The Coaching Academy BlogThe Coaching Academy Blog

04 Apr, 2012

Don’t Let A ‘No’ Hold You Back – Bev James

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coaching Articles|Life Coaching Articles

Don't Let A 'No' Hold You Back - Bev James

I am often struck by how ready coaches are to take ‘No’ for an answer – rather than seeing it a first step towards winning an eventual ‘yes’.

Successful salespeople are trained to be resistant to ‘no’s because only a percentage of clients will want what they are selling. The salesperson’s mantra is, “I welcome the ‘no’s because every ‘no’ is taking me closer to a ‘yes’.” Anyone who has been pursued by an ardent admirer will also know that not everyone accepts a ‘No’ as final!

Our attitude to setbacks has a major impact the way we live our life – and run our business. The way we respond to a ‘No’ is especially important. It is very closely aligned to our beliefs about ourselves, about our success (and about money).



What do you commonly say to yourself when faced with a setback? What words or phrases are you using that that may not be serving you well? Do you use phrases like:

I knew this would happen

This always happens

They are/ I am useless

There’s no point

I can’t

It’s alright for some

These phrases have a negative slant to them. They feed negative beliefs about yourself and about the outcome. In a profound way, you are telling your brain not to try any harder.

If on the other hand you re-frame your negative belief to become a positive belief, you will begin to feel that success is possible. You will strengthen your self-belief. You will push past the ‘no’s to find a solution – and improve your chances of success:

Not everyone will say yes immediately

How can I turn this around?

What do I/ what does my customer need?

I can

I believe in my ability to succeed

When you are working towards a goal, your motivation will have high and low points. It’s what you say to yourself and the action that you choose in those moments that will drive results.




Most coaches are sitting on a fortune and don’t even know it. The big mistake is to take ‘Not yet’ to mean ‘No, not ever’. The next time a potential client says, “No thank you”, don’t automatically cross them off your list, ask whether you can approach them again another day; or jump back in the ring straight away and try a different approach.

How many potential customers, who have said ‘No’ in the past, might consider buying from you now?  Go back to your database today and see how many of your ‘Not yet’s from the past can be turned into ‘Yes’ today.



Persistence eventually provides its own motivation. If you keep pressing on, even when you feel like quitting, you will accumulate results. And those results can be very motivating.

As the saying goes, people are not failures – there are simply some people who have given up on themselves before reaching success. The only way you can truly fail is to stop trying.

Failure + Persistence = SUCCESS

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Sir Winston Churchill


About Bev

Bev is CEO of The Academy Group which includes The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy (EBA) & EBA for Coaches which are both joint ventures with James Caan. Her book “Do It! or Ditch It” has already been listed as a bestselling business title and she is ready to pass on her success to your organisation.

Connect with Bev on Google+

5 Responses to "Don’t Let A ‘No’ Hold You Back – Bev James"

1 | John Aspden

April 4th, 2012 at 12:49 pm


Just had a ‘Not Yet’ this morning and it’s strange how we can start to twist this in our minds into a ‘No’. Crooked thinking.

It’s all about mindset and it is a constant ‘Work In Progress’. You have to keep on top of those thoughts.

Great blog post.

2 | Nelia Koroleva

April 4th, 2012 at 3:40 pm


I love Bev’s article for the plain language and directive approach.
What makes her article particularly timely – the subject matter and the knowledge!
I’d like to add that a ‘No’ is really a great feedback, because it simple shows us:
a) we need to change our direction(s).
b) we need to improve or to update specific skills/knowledge/attitude/behaviours.
If (a) – it means that we’re much better and advanced for that a ‘No’ job, a ‘No’ contract, a ‘No’ person. Something/Someone MUCH BETTER and MUCH BIGGER is awaiting US, we just have to find and look at it.
If (b) – it means we need to GROW, mature and evolve. It’s the BEAUTY of human beings.

3 | Sue MacGillivray

April 4th, 2012 at 5:10 pm


Thanks Bev for a thought-provoking article. Who really is stopping us?!
Success for me is:
S trength of conviction to keep going is paramount
U nderstand your contribution to the people around you
C elebrate the successes along the way
C ontentment is vital. Like whom you are. Be
comfortable with yourself
E njoy taking action
S hare your thoughts and plans with those you respect
and love
Step by step is key- just getting started is a great success!

4 | Ann Skidmore

April 5th, 2012 at 9:37 pm


As always Bev shares her practical and down to earth wisdom about an area that everyone can relate to. After all we are all in the sales environment whether we are going for a job interview or selling coaching products and services. By looking forward to receiving the ‘not yets’ or ‘not right nows’ we learn from every experience to help convert that towards a ‘yes’. For me all these experiences are learning opportunities to keep myself confident and continue with my strong belief in the power of coaching and personal branding. So if I hear a ‘not yet’ it enables me to demonstrate my coaching skills and ask ‘when in the future would be more convenient for you?’ and guess what there always is a time in the future so then we can move towards that. In this way we can appear confident and comfortable with the situation and not desperate for that ‘sale’. Why push towards a yes when it might be a ‘maybe’? Thanks again Bev for another great article to help so many of your readers.

5 | Carol Brown

April 23rd, 2012 at 4:35 pm


Brilliant article Bev.

Having come to coaching from a sales career, I thought I was immune to ‘no’ but when I started my own coaching business my immunity seemed a little diminished.

I applied the coaching skills I had learned to my own situation and soon things changed. I adjusted my point of view and used my own experiences and coaching skills to develop a ‘Setback Survival’ module for my personal development course. Every cloud and all that…but you do have to look for the silver lining :~)

Comment Form

Blog Calendar

March 2019
« Oct    

  • Emma-Louise Elsey: CONGRATULATIONS to The Coaching Academy! I'm a bit late to the party here, but that's wonderful news. Well done for all your hard work and dedication
  • donna: That's me in that pic!!!!
  • Harry Singha: Great shout Thanks

About The Coaching Academy

The Coaching Academy is at the forefront of coach training worldwide. As the largest UK school for coaches, The Coaching Academy has developed a reputation for quality training and has trained over 30,000 people in coaching skills over the last ten years.

The team of trainers you will work with are hand-picked from the cream of the UK’s finest coaches and trainers... [read more...]

  FREE Coaching Report


  Please tick if you have attended or applied for our FREE Coaching Course:
FREE Coaching Report
Log in