3 Types of People to Avoid

3 Types of People to Avoid

Not everyone is your ideal client. You have a good heart and you want to help those you come in contact with, but unfortunately you can’t help everyone. When you try to help everyone then you help no one.

Remember that last line.

“When you try to help everyone then you help no one.”

I had to learn this the hard way.

Growing up I was taught to help others, give back, and be a good neighbor. These are qualities that we can agree are the foundation for a person of good character. However, that level of unconditional and universal giving doesn’t make for a successful business plan.

Now, in NO WAY am I saying that you can’t be a good-hearted and giving person if you want to be successful. I encourage you to be kind, giving, and heart-centered. I encourage you to operate with full integrity at all times. And I encourage you to maintain good personal and professional values.

However, if you’re a coach, consultant, or other 1-to-1-service provider then you must acknowledge that not everyone is your ideal client. It can be a hard pill to swallow because you got into the service industry to help others. You want to see people grow, achieve, and succeed. And for many, it can be extremely difficult to see someone struggle and not offer assistance.

This is something I still battle, even as I write this blog. For the most part, I always like to give the benefit of the doubt. I look to see the best in people. I believe that we can all change and I frequently give additional chances. Friends and colleagues frequently tell me, “Rich, you always see the good in a situation,” which is a powerful tool for reframing those bad or unfortunate events in life but not always beneficial when it comes to client recruitment.

Unfortunately, some folks don’t want to be helped or they have a secondary gain for keeping pain and struggle within arms reach. Some individuals will take, and take, and take and never give back. Others just want the free stuff and will only waste your time in the end.

Here are three types of people to avoid with your coaching or service business:

These people always want bargains and discount prices. “Can you give me a break?” or “When are you running another special for new clients?” These people don’t value you or the quality service you provide. Eventually they might convert to become a paying client or perhaps buy a product but they will make you work for it. It’ll be a tug of war and they won’t give in until they’ve beaten you down. They will hold out for the lowest possible price and still complain that it should be lower.

They are just that! They suck your life force during the coaching relationship. They are a huge pain in the ass. Chances are they slipped through the crack or you gave them the benefit of the doubt and they proved to be nothing more than an awful headache. You know exactly whom I’m talking about. Chances are, you had one or more of these clients in the past and you swore to never again allow these people into your circle. Fire these clients right away!

They will only come for the free stuff and never convert into being a paying client. They’ll talk a good talk and pretend like they’re interested but the only thing they want is the free tools and advice. They’re the first to raise the hand to get that complimentary 30-min strategy call or brand new coaching tool but they’re not touching their wallet to take that next step. They take and never give back. They’ll say “maybe later” or “give me a few days to think” but then they’ll avoid calls or messages. Perhaps they’ll offer the old “now isn’t a good time but definitely in the future” excuse. They may seem like fans and they’ll cheer you on from the sidelines but it’s just a ploy to keep getting the freebies. They’ll continue to lead you on so they can still receive the benefits without having to commit to any real professional relationship.

When you see these people coming then run the other way. Don’t give them your time or attention. These are just three examples of the wrong client and there are plenty more to be discussed.


You are worth it!

Find the clients who love, love, love what you do and don’t settle for people who fail to see your true value.


Can you add to this list? Leave a comment and let other coaches and service providers know some other WRONG CLIENTS TO ABSOLUTELY AVOID.

Rich Perry

Hey, glad you're here! My name is Rich Perry, and I'm a best selling author, conscious entrepreneur, and influencer. I'm the co-author of International #1 Best Selling book Bankroll Your Mind and was invited by Jim Britt and Jim Lutes to be a co-author in The Change, the fastest growing personal development book series in the world. My gift is the ability to relate to each person, taking you on a hero’s journey by integrating both conscious and unconscious performance to create a lasting and powerful change. I work with first generation entrepreneurs and business leaders who are ready to make a difference in the world. My motto is “Lead By Example Through Excellence”

Web: http://www.thepathofme.com

14 thoughts on “3 Types of People to Avoid


Rich Perry

Mar 29, 2019 AT 00:07:24

Hey Oksana! Thanks for your kind and generous words. Also, Thank You for taking a moment to share your insights and you're 100% right. Coaches should absolutely be mindful when choosing to collaborate and partner in business. Be Excellent!


Mar 28, 2019 AT 21:55:24

Hey Richie, I totally agree with what you have outlined above. The energy suckers and the gimme for free. I would also add for the coached to be super mindful of those people who call themselves coaches as well, and who enter your space for collaboration - partnership, co-production, etc. This can be a very tricky road to step on. They might only want to shine in your glory if they see that you are somehow successful. They will be nothing but talk, and they will be drinking your energy and your nerves like it's a banana smoothie. I am going through "partnership" right now and I had to learn it hard way. Be very mindful about whom you are letting in. Oksana

Rich Perry

Nov 29, 2018 AT 00:16:50

WOW Camelia! I think you just penned PART 2 of "3 Types of People to Avoid" Thank you. You totally nailed it and I'm grateful to you for sharing these profound insights from your own work.

Camelia Paduraru

Nov 28, 2018 AT 10:36:24

Thank you, Rich, for this insightful article. You chunked up some of the most common 'less-than-ideal' clients very well. To me, it boils down to people that are not willing to put in the effort to get the results they want, be it in terms if time, money, and commitment to take action. Some other things to look for, in my experience, are people who do a very good job giving you lip service about how much they want to change, but then they want it on their own terms: 'I want these many sessions, with this frequency, and I want to to... show me/ teach me/ give me...' Some of them, the trained ones, would even say what specific interventions they want you to do or not do with them. It's another way of not surrendering to the process. Then people who wouldn't take 100% responsibility for their results, and think that doing interventions and clearing alone would solve their problems and get them the results they want. This is a more subtle one, because they're very engaged in the process, they are very big into healing, therapy, and working on themselves when in fact, they are just revisiting their past over and over again, finding more and more patterns, issues, having loads of aha moments, going from one workshop, to another, to another, from coach to coach, always looking for the next 'best thing' in terms of personal development tools, and being on this ongoing, everlasting working on themselves journey, when in fact, they make it into another way of not facing the current reality, moving forward and taking action in their lives. For those trained in NLP, you know what Values Level I'm talking about here. Let us be mindful of them and keep showing up for people who are there to put in the effort and really make it worthwhile!

Rich Perry

Nov 25, 2018 AT 16:15:13

Thanks Deb for your insightful addition. You know how much I love and value your work and I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Looking forward to our next collaboration!

Rich Perry

Nov 25, 2018 AT 16:07:36

Thanks Amina for your generous words. I do appreciate it. Also, great addition to the list! Those clients "addicted to being right" are a tough bunch. I'm reminded of the Zen saying, to "empty your cup" because you can't fill a cup that's already full.

Amina Hedayat Khalil

Nov 25, 2018 AT 14:04:12

Excellent article Rich! I’ve encountered those types and i tried to be patient as long as I can but when I found there’s no use I fired them. The one kind that every coach must not waste a lot of their precious time with is the client who is addicted to being right! They come to the coach and they know they need coaching but at the end of the day they want to prove to themselves and those around them that they are doing everything right. I had to fire about three clients with this type of attitude. Until they are willing to change, they are uncoachable. Continue putting forth your great insights and great work, Rich!

Deb Crowe

Nov 25, 2018 AT 11:40:17

Rich, Very interesting and insightful blog. In business we certainly have exposure to many different people. My approach has always been to allow myself to “step into their world”. I’ve always liked and migrated to the old cliché of ‘walk in their shoes’. People have and exhibit many different types of behaviour along with their habits of thinking. I’m a huge proponent of boundaries and implement them when I feel it will serve me better. When I encounter someone or a group who may display some of the characteristics you described, we know as coaches it comes from a foundational place of fear. To me it represents that the client is not ready, is not recognizing their behaviours and may not see the benefit of personal development.

Rich Perry

Nov 25, 2018 AT 00:10:40

Thanks Lucas! I can imagine you are especially picky with your clients because you work with a lot of authors, and we all know that writing a book PLUS EVERYTHING AFTERWARDS is incredibly time consuming and requires serious commitment. Your work certainly warrants a qualification process to make sure the person is ready to do the necessary work. They must be ready to walk the talk not just run their lips.

Rich Perry

Nov 25, 2018 AT 00:04:57

Thanks so much Pamela! Incredible insight into this topic. I appreciate you my friend.

Pamela Hamilton

Nov 24, 2018 AT 21:48:54

Hi Rich, A good article. Unfortunately, I think that people have been conditioned to look for either sales or freebies. This stems from the ideas that have been presented to us of being limited in all. Everyone is looking from the place of devaluation. They don’t value themselves, so those sorts of people will not value our creative work. We see this in the madness of Black Fridays and how this is moving in and around us at a fast rate, in other words everyone is jumping to get a deal. For business to go well and harmonious I feel that we must be a little tough and put forth what we want and expect, and that means not just to the person involved but what we can visualize our future to be. Be aware of those who are out to get something for nothing but when they appear cut them loose and let it be. As Abraham/Hicks says, “Nothing can come into our experience without our invitation.” Pamela Hamilton

Lucas Robak

Nov 24, 2018 AT 20:09:22

Fantastic article Rich! I've encountered all three of these people while building EVERY business I've been in. Another client to avoid are those who want the results but don't actually want to do the work (this doesn't apply to Freelancers because that's why they're getting paid). Another client I purposefully avoid are those who are "Talkers" and not "Doers." They'll keep talking and giving updates but when it comes down to it, they never took action in the first place. I'm still learning how to avoid these people in my qualification process because I'm now very picky with whom I work with.

Rich Perry

Nov 24, 2018 AT 02:06:26

Yes, this happens a lot. For newer entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, service providers, etc. doing some work for free (or pro bono) is great for experience and to get your name out there. However, this can only last so long. Because we have to eat too. We have bills too. It's impossible (and quite foolish) to try and build a profitable business when the majority of your work is given away. I appreciate your comments Sadiqua and hope you'll be able to use this information to identify the right clients who will sing your praises and kick those gimme gimme-ers to the curb!


Nov 24, 2018 AT 00:50:06

I can relate to all this especially doing my business I've encountered clients who thinks you should give them for free since you're not established and will speak ill of you.

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