Why Prospects Are Afraid To Talk To You (And How To Move Them Into Their Comfort Zone)

Cathy Goodwin
5 min readApr 29, 2020

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. Two increasingly common backstories are:

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Backstory #1: Consultation morphs into an upsell, with no warning.

Melissa signed up for a 4-week workshop for $297. A one-to-one 30-minute call was included.

Melissa looked forward to that consultation. She told the consultant she planned to scale down her business to make more time for her family. She wanted his help.

To her surprise, the consultant became extremely aggressive. He told her she’d go broke if she didn’t do certain things, which of course he could teach her.

“It was like one of those horror stories, where the person you trusted turned out to be a monster,” she recalls, shuddering.

Backstory #2: Stubborn consultant refuses to reveal the price without a phone call.

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Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story. http://cathygoodwin.com