Dietitian Tools For Consults: Why Customers Are Saying NO

by | Oct 7, 2020

We’ve all got on the phone with potential clients, explained our services and how our programs work, stated our prices, and had people flat out tell us no. We thought we had all of the dietitian tools in order to be successful dietitian business owners, right? But people still end up telling us no.

Why does this happen?

You know that you’re good at what you do and you’re the nutrition expert!

You went to school for nutrition, got a degree, completed so many supervised hours of practice, sat for the registration exam, AND passed.

As a dietitian entrepreneur, YOU have the credentials at the end of your name- RDN, LD, MS, PhD, CNC. Unlike all of the influencers and “health gurus” that are out there today, you are actually qualified

Are people saying no because the economy is bad? Because we’re in the midst of a global pandemic? Do people just not have the money? Is it because nutrition is oversaturated?

What if I told you that it’s none of the above. 

Before I explain 5 reasons why your customers/potential clients are saying no and provide a few dietitian tools, I have to tell you a story. 

I was just like you. Potential clients used to tell me “no” all the time. I was so bad that I literally couldn’t give away my boot camp coaching FOR FREE. It took me YEARS of making the same exact mistakes that I see so many young, new RDs and nutrition coaches make. I’ve been there and I know that it takes time to relate to a potential client and guts to put yourself on the line, all for someone just to turn you down. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and to provide a few dietitian tools so you don’t go on making the same mistakes that I did. 

Dietitian Tool One: You yourself are not sold!

You, the dietitian business owner, would not buy your own program and you don’t trust in the fact that you can deliver results for your clients. Nothing else matters unless you begin to believe in yourself and SELL yourself. If you don’t believe in you, then who else will?

When we provide online nutrition counseling, we essentially all do the same thing, even though the principles are different. We offer our support, accountability, expertise, and guidance.

What if I told you people buy coaches, NOT coaching. If you are not sold on yourself and on your ability to deliver an outcome for your client, people will not buy in.  You need to be able to confidently say “YES MRS. JONES, I can get you to where you want to go.”

If you’re brand new to coaching, how do you get over this doubt? 

Fake it till you make it. Display confidence even if you don’t believe it. You have to tell yourself every single day that you can do this. 

CHALLENGE: Think about any other time in your life where you tried something new and you weren’t good at it. When you first began to walk, I’m sure you fell down a variety of times before actually learning to walk. Did you say “eh, screw it, this walking this isn’t really for me?” I mean yes you were young so you probably don’t remember, but you’re able to walk today aren’t you? YOU KEPT GOING and you learned from your mistakes. 

Your first time playing a sport, did you make a few mistakes? Did you let a goal get past you? Did you drop a pass or strike out a handful of times? Probably! But did you quit every time something didn’t go your way or go as planned? NO. You kept going! And you became successful

Tap into those resources and dietitian tools and apply them to your coaching. If you need to jump up and down or look at yourself in the mirror before a coaching call and recite “I CAN DO THIS,” then do it. In order to change your mindset, you have to change your physiology. Practice this dietitian guide the next time you have a consult 

Dietitian Tool Two: You’re making it all about you

I see this way too often with dietitian business owners. One of the biggest mistakes you can make going into your consultation is spending the majority of the call talking about YOU.

“I went to school for this, I have this certification.” I hate to break it to you, but they do not care. Your ideal client doesn’t care you’re an RD, they care about what’s in it for me

If you make things all about you, you need to switch your mindset and have your potential client do most of the talking. I say very little in my consults and do very little selling. Instead, my prospect does a majority of the selling and state why they would be a good fit for my coaching program. This is where your business will grow.

How does this happen? I ask the questions that put them in the position to do the talking and make it about them 

What’s their pain, their struggle, their adversity?

When people come to you they’re in pain, they have a problem, and they’re searching for a solution. If you do not show them that you have that solution that they’re looking for and if you don’t create an infinity between you two, then the rest doesn’t matter. 

We need to get our clients to know, like, and trust us as dietitian business owners.

Ask them questions to get them talking about their problems and their REAL problems. WHY do they want to lose weight? What would that do for them and how would that impact their life? This is one of the absolute best dietitian resources that I can share with you.

Dietitian Tool Three: Talking benefits and features instead of emotion

During your consultation, you might spend talking about macros, MyPlate, meal timing, or even carb cycling. I’m here to tell you the honest truth- they don’t care about any of that.  What they do care about is emotion. People buy things based on emotion. 

Here’s an example. Recently, my wife and I have decided that when we fly domestically, we are going to fly first class. Why? It’s triple the price of coach, so why the heck would someone ever pay to fly first class? We made this decision because my wife has back pain and the normal seats are much more cramped and limited. The negative emotion that this causes me and the PAIN that she is in caused me to INVEST my money into the solution, which is first class.

She now gets a better seat, attentive service, a bigger seat, her pain is alleviated. I invest my money and energy to solve the problem. 

If you worked at an airline and you were to sell this to me for the benefits and features, I really wouldn’t care. I would rather save my money. With that being said, if you were to sell this to me as the SOLUTION to my problem, I’m sold. Every. Single. Time. 

If you can articulate to them that you understand their pain, have the solution to their problems, and speak to them on an emotional level that resonates, people will without a doubt do business. 

Dietitian Tool Four: You are not asking for the sale

At the end of your call, you have to give a DIRECT call to action to work with you. ‘These are the programs that I offer, which one of these can I get you started on today?” Be confident and PRESENT THE SOLUTION. No value will occur until a sale has been achieved. 

Did you just get on the phone and provide information? Unfortunately, you just wasted your time. Information is abundant in the world that we live in today and you can google search anything you can dream of through the touch of a button. Value is only achieved when a sale occurs. When people pay, they pay attention to your advice and your recommendations, because YOU are the dietitian nutrition expert. YOU have the dietitian tools that are necessary in order to be a successful entrepreneur. 

Dietitian Tool Five: You’re not overcoming objections

You’re on the phone, you ask for the sale and then they tell you that they need to think things over before committing to working with you.

What happens?

Do you say “okay, just let me know in a week or so what you’d like to do!”

NO! It’s so important to understand that objections are not “no’s”, they are “I need more information.”

Have you ever heard a potential client say that they need to talk with spouse or review finances before committing? I’m sure you have, and this again is not an objection, but an “I need more information.”

If you don’t help them to overcome these objections by meeting them with questions, you are not doing them any favors. One of the best dietitian tools that I can share with you is no value occurs UNTIL a sale has been achieved. 

Instead of saying “Okay, go think about things and let me know,” change your frame and ask, “help me to understand what you need to think about, how can I add more information to help you to make a decision today, help me to understand so I can further assist you.”

“But Tony, that is so sales-y of you.”

While you might be thinking that, let’s look back at reason number one. I am SO sold on myself and my ability and my passion for helping others and I BELIEVE in my services. I am so convicted and passionate about myself as a coach that I am going to stay on the phone until I get a yes or no answer. 

That’s it my friends. It’s that simple. If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?

Now that you have these dietitian tools at your fingertips, go out there and apply them!

Email me at and let me know what resonated with you the most tell and how you are going to apply this information to your own business!


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