They rejected your generous offer: what’s the story?

Cathy Goodwin
2 min readOct 11, 2022

Storytelling helps you understand why prospects bring the “fear factor” to your stories.

2 Images Combined by Cathy Goodwin

When I started my first business on the Internet, some rockstar coaches were advising everyone to write a note on the back of their business cards: “Free 30-minute consultation.”

Today we’re seeing a backlash.

“I offer a free report on my business card,” says one business coach. “If I offer a free session, people think I’m selling.”

He’s probably right. We hear the word “free call” and our sales radar starts to ping. We are also seeing a backlash on low-end programs — the first step in some funnels — and offers that include free consultations.

To many people, a “free call” means a sales pitch. And they’re scared.

Prospects consider your consultation — free or paid — in the context of their backstory.

Their backstory creates the context for viewing your offer.

In my latest podcast episode on Strategic Storytelling, I talk about 3 increasingly common backstories that clients bring to our free consultation offers.

As you might expect, the most common backstory is, “Last time I did this I got a serious upsell…and I couldn’t make it stop.”

But an unexpected backstory is, “Been there, done that.” And that leads to a loss of credibility.

Listen to Episode #75 to discover the 3 stories your clients tell themselves when they hear your free consultation offer…and the strategies you use to calm their fears.

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I’m Dr. Cathy Goodwin, a copywriter, storyteller, and strategist. My clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and solopreneurs. I help them get new clients through digital marketing, with a unique mix of copywriting and storytelling that lets them strut their stuff without being sales-y or obnoxious.

This article is based on some concepts presented in my video course, The Client Advantage.

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Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story.