The first “no” you receive when you ask your dream client for their time is usually neutral.
The first “no” doesn’t mean that your approach is wrong or ineffective. That “no” most likely means that your dream client already has a partner, receives way too many calls, can’t discern who might be worth spending time with and who isn’t, and is too busy to try to figure it out. So, your dream client says “no” to everyone.
Each of the “no” responses you get to a request for a meeting after that first “no” is a judgement on how you’re doing differentiating yourself and proving that you can make a difference in their business. This is true if the second “no” is during the same interaction or months apart.
The question you have to answer is what you do between those “no” answers that changes the outcomes of your request.
Do you give up, accept the “no” answer, and ask if you can “check in” in 90 days? Or do you restate the value your dream client will gain by meeting with you?
Do you let it lie, or do you immediately send a follow up note outlining in writing how you can make a difference and again requesting a meeting?
Do you move on to easier, more receptive targets? Or do you buckle down and begin a nurture campaign, delivering actionable ideas as a way to make deposits in the relationship in front of your next ask?
The first “no” probably doesn’t mean your approach is wrong. Every “no” after that means that you haven’t yet found a way to differentiate yourself and prove that meeting with creates enough value to deserve a “yes.” If you want appointments, you have to do something different between the “no” answers to get a different result.