The most exciting AND nerve wrecking thing for a new virtual assistant is booking your first consultation. You’re probably wondering: how should I prepare, what should I say, and how do I talk about my rates without sounding like a beggar?
Well you’ve accessed the right blog post. Read along to find out how to rock your first or next consultation.
Do Your Research:
Before you meet with your prospective client (in-person or video chat), it’s important to do your thorough research. Figure out who this person is and what their business is about. When you understand the mission, vision, and core values of their business, it’ll make it easier for you to carry out on deliverables later. In fact, when you do your research beforehand, you may be able to come up with some solutions and suggestions of your own for them!
Also, don’t think it makes you look creepy to find out a little background on your prospective client. We do the same thing when we get called in for an interview, right? The only difference now is you are representing your own company!
How Should I Go About Researching:
When I’m researching prospective clients, I head straight to Google. There I will be able to find a wealth of information, including news that may have recently been published about the company. Wouldn’t you want to know if they recently expanded, merged, or downsized?
My second source is their website – there I can take a look at their services, their story (about us section), and anything else that may pique my interest.
Lastly, I’d take a look at LinkedIn. If you’re not sure how to find their account (and other social media handles), Rapportive for Gmail has an amazing feature. 😉 Thank me later!
During The Consultation:
During the consultation you should explain exactly what your business is and why you got started. You may think that your prospective client has looked all over your website but this may not be the case. If they’re busy (which is why they need you), they probably have only touched the surface and may not know all that you can offer them.
The next thing I’d do is explain why I want to work with them. If you got into this virtual assistant game simply for the money – you may never find yourself satisfied and your client may never find you to be genuine. When I work with my clients, I am invested in their growth and success. I get satisfaction from seeing my clients go from overworked to overjoyed with their new work/life balance.
Following my why, I would explain HOW I can actually bring value to their specific business. This is why it’s so important to do your research! Don’t be surprised if you run across a prospective client who knows that they need a virtual assistant but they aren’t yet sure how to use one. There are a few different techniques to find out how you can be of assistance. Click here to download our VA/PA Outsource Form to provide to your client.
I explain how and when I go about sending invoices, my hours of operation, and their preferred method of communication. The latter is so very important! I have some clients who hate phone calls and therefore I know not to call them unless it is absolutely urgent. You should also be true to yourself regarding YOUR communication style. If you don’t like receiving updates by phone from your client and you’ve accepted the contract anyway, you may find yourself miserable. Make sure you both are on the same page – it’ll make for a long-lasting and pleasing relationship.
Now Let’s Talk About Money:
For some, talking about money can be a bit intimidating, but it is absolutely imperative that the conversation is had. They say your passion is something you love so much that you’d do it for free, but it doesn’t mean you should do it for free all the time.
When it comes to discussing money, it’s important to be very clear. Do you charge hourly or project fees? Are unused hours able to rollover? Do you charge a percentage for third party purchases? Are late fees added after a certain number of days? Explain all of this so that your client can make an informed decision.
Lastly, be confident! Your goal is to help them make money, save money, and save time. Who doesn’t appreciate that?
If it makes you feel any better, they expect you to discuss this with them and they’re even okay with it! You’ll do great and when you do, I want you to email me at email@example.com to tell me all about it.
Securing The Bag
After you’ve explained everything, it’s important to establish next steps or there won’t be any.
If you made any promises to send additional information, then do so by the established deadline. Have you both decided to move forward? Then provide the contract and go over everything together before signing. If your prospective client isn’t quite sure about what they need, then provide them with this homework assignment.
Following the consultation, I send a thank you email and ask if they’ve thought of any additional questions/concerns since our meeting. I also add them on LinkedIn if that hasn’t been done already.
Lastly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. Stepping into entrepreneurship is no easy task but it is definitely a life changer. If you have any questions/suggestions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in being a Virtual Assistant with Imperative Concierge Services? We work around your schedule, provide you with clients that match your skill-sets and experiences, and more. Apply now!