It’s Halloween and I couldn’t help myself. Ghosting isn’t something that happens only in online dating. Clients can ghost you as well. One minute, clients are jumping on your calendar, doing their work, and then nothing. All goes quiet. 

For a few weeks, you wait to hear from them because your work together isn’t done, or because they have a credit balance and…crickets. 

I usually have one or two a year, but this year clients disappeared at an even greater rate than usual. Business ghosting seems to be an epidemic. Even people who I had known for more than a decade quietly slipped away into the dark of night, only to be seen on social media again. 

I have to say that it hurt my feelings. 

When I work with someone, I am completely committed to their success. Some of what a coach needs to do is to hold a vision of what a client could achieve until they can see the possibility of creating it for themselves. 

I was ready to take the holidays off at the end of last year through the first week of this year. I cleared my calendar and was looking forward to doing some planning for my business and my book launch. An old friend who I adored reached out in distress saying that some things had shifted and they needed to find a job – pronto. 

I put my holiday plans aside and helped them create a resume for their entrepreneur to employee career transition from scratch because they had been working for themselves for 20 years and didn’t have the right kind of resume for job search. 

I also did some coaching with them to set them up for success in the new year, and so they wouldn’t get into a really bad headspace over the holidays.

Usually, I would not take this type of individual as a client, not because I don’t think I can get them a good result, but because I know from experience that they will flake on me and go start another business. 

I put that out on the table with this person when we first spoke. They assured me that they were committed to their job search, and they did seem to have some compelling reasons that might get them to stay the course. 

After a month or two, they clearly became less committed. Our communications faded away. I reached out several times. They ghosted. 

A short time later, I saw a big launch of their new business on social media – the business they never told me about – because we’re still connected. 

Two other clients did the fade away thing to me this year as well. 

Client ghosting hurts. It’s definitely a trick with no sweet treat. 

Happy Halloween. I hope yours is more treat than trick. 

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash