How to Mine the Gold of Internal Criticism

10/29/2010 11:28 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Through my Coaching You to Success program I have had occasions to counsel clients on how to improve their products and services based on customer feedback. In one instance, it was my client who was creating her own internal criticism and potentially hurting her success.

"Debbie" is an intuitive counselor and she was breaking ground in the business and new to marketing herself. She was highly sensitive when people called her a psychic. In her mind there was a negative connotation to the term and the perception people had about psychics. Her response was to get defensive and deny being a psychic. This defensiveness could be perceived by her potential clients as a red flag. I advised her to change her perspective.

I suggested she fall in love with the word. The reason people will seek her out is because they believe she is a psychic and even though she did not like the term, denying that part of the service creates confusion in the minds of her potential customer and may cost her business.

What benefited Debbie the most was my advice to have a clarifying statement about what she did when people responded with the psychic label. For instance, she would say "If you think of a psychic as someone who can help you see what is coming in the future and provide some guidance and suggestions that's really what I do. So I am a psychic of sorts but I assist my clients through guidance." This new definition distinguishes her and demonstrates her added value over the traditional psychic concept.

What I did was help her see the positive aspects of embracing the concept of being a psychic. She can and will still brand herself as an intuitive counselor but this way she does not have her defenses up and she provides clarity for her client.

Remember that you will not please all of the people all the time. Everyone filters things through their own belief system based on their own experiences. You will also not be the solution for everyone. What you can do is capitalize on that part of what you do that people most understand and expand upon it.

Instead of just anticipating the objection or criticism of a potential client, embrace it. Use it to help your marketing strategy. Use it to help distinguish yourself from your competition.

Have you had a similar experience with perceptions within your industry? Please share your lessons with our community by using the comments section below.

Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author and an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal and professional development and Internet marketing. As an entrepreneur, business owner, mentor and professional speaker Peggy has been inspiring individuals to pursue their personal and business objectives and achieve ultimate success. She provides effective Internet marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, professionals, and business owners, who want to establish an online presence, achieve bestseller status, build their brand, grow and/or expand their business online. You can find out more about Peggy at her website,