Top Tips to Find Your Perfect Dream Client

Top Tips to Find Your Perfect Dream Client

Top Tips for Finding Your Perfect Client

One of the hardest things for me to grasp when I was starting out was buying into the belief that not everyone was my client.

I wanted out of my soul sucking job so bad I was willing to take anybody as a client – even though I knew deep down it was NOT the best fit for me.

I would work with any client that showed interest in working with me.

But… I learned very quickly that that’s not the right way to run a service-based business.

Because it’s all about relationships!

Have you ever done that? 

Gone against your better judgement and said Yes to working with a client that you knew was not right?

What I mean by not right – is not right for you.

It’s all about working with the right clients – your dream clients.

But, when you’re just getting started and trying to land that first client it’s tempting to just say YES to whoever wants to hire you.

You’re hungry.

You want to get your business up and running – to get experience as a Virtual Assistant.

And… maybe get yourself one step closer to escaping the cube farm.

I get it!

I did this more times that I wish to admit and what happened was not pretty.

I ended up having to “fire” clients because it was not a good working relationship for either of us.

And… firing clients is NOT fun.

I eventually learned to listen to my instincts and follow them when it came to working with clients.

That’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and your potential clients.

Listen to your instinct, your gut, your source or whatever you want to call it, because it’s going to guide you to make the best decisions for YOU.

I know it’s scary to say NO to potential clients for a number of reasons but you started your business to work with the type of people you enjoy.

Not the ones you don’t.

Remember… it’s all about the relationship.

To help me avoid making the same mistake I came up with what I called my “Dream Client Profile“.

It’s really more of a checklist than a profile.

You see, I’m not worried about whether or not their married or have kids or live in South Carolina.

What I want to know is if they’re a micro-manager or a nit-picker.

Yes… I know I’m using labels here but these are to help ME identify the people that I KNOW I don’t work well with.

So, I invite you to do the same.

Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle.

On one side of the paper write down all the traits you know you LIKE to work with.

To help you get started, think of people you’ve worked within the past or current clients that you really enjoy working with.

Then ask yourself, what did you like about them?

What made it enjoyable to work with them?

On the other side of the paper, list out all the traits you DON’T like to work with.

Remember… You’re entering into a relationship with a client, so you want to make sure that you’re only working with people that you enjoy.

I’m sure in your past you can think of people that fit both sides of the coin, people that you really liked to work with and people that you didn’t.

Try to identify the traits that you really liked or disliked.

For me, I just cut right to the chase and I only did a dislike list (it was easier and much shorter).

It was easier for me to think of the traits I didn’t like.

Now both sides of the list are important – you really should know the types of people you like to work with.

But… you need to really focus on the Don’t Like list when interviewing potential clients.

Why?

Because they should NOT have any of the traits on that list.

So, each time I interviewed a potential client I knew what to watch out for.

I do not work well with the following types:

  1. Micro-Managers
  2. Fire Fighters (not real firefighters… I’m talking about people who run around like their hair is on fire where everything is urgent or late)

If someone has these traits it doesn’t make them BAD – it just makes them not a good fit for me.

Make sure you’re filling your business full of client’s that you LOVE.

If you fill a space with someone that isn’t the right fit, then you don’t have room for one that is.

So… are you going to create your own list?

When it comes to interviewing potential clients – it’s important to have a rinse and repeat system.

I have an entire blog post on Discovery Sessions that you can read here.

It walks you through my system, including what to ask during the interview and much more.

Give it a read if you’re interested.

One other thing I wanted to touch on is the number of scams showing up in our industry every day.

For example…

  • If you’re offered a job WITHOUT an interview – it’s a scam.
  • If they ask you to send them money or pay for something upfront – it’s a scam.
  • If they want to send you a check or wire you money without knowing anything about you – it’s a scam.
  • If it’s too good to be true – probably a scam.

Ask around, Google their information to find out more.

Unfortunately, there are more and more scams popping up every day.

Protect yourself!

Ok… last thing about perfect client fit is understanding you are not an employee, you’re an independent contractor.

This is where things can get a bit sticky since many people come out of a professional type job and are used to managing employees.

They think it’s the same way they manage contractors… but it’s NOT.

You need to check the laws for your country to find out more details about employees vs. contractors.

Here in the United States, there is a very clear statute that the IRS wrote that clearly defines the differences.

Bottom line is your clients are not your employer and cannot dictate certain things to you.

If you find your clients are confused about what they can and can’t do – use it as a learning opportunity and send them to the appropriate site.

Here’s the link if you want to find out more about US rules + regulations.

Sorry… I know I said last thing but just thought of two other important things I want to include.

Don’t discount your rate to get a client – it sets the wrong expectation.

They may believe that your rates are negotiable and they shouldn’t be.

Your rate, is your rate, is your rate.

Don’t lower it because someone doesn’t want to pay it.

They’re not your dream client!

Let them go.

My best advice is don’t work with anyone who is NOT your dream/perfect client.

If you’re having trouble finding them, then maybe look at your process.

Where are you looking for clients?

If you’re on one of those eBay for people sites like Fiverr or Guru, then you’re competing with others that are just looking for the cheapest resource they can find.

You’re more than a cheap resource.

Go where you’ll find the clients that will pay you what you’re worth.

I like the fishing analogy here – if you’re currently charging $25 an hour and increase your rates to $50 an hour, you’ll need to move to a new pond where you can find your dream clients.

How are you approaching potential clients?

If you start off by selling something, I’d suggest a different approach.

You’re starting a relationship – start by giving them something of value.

Solve a problem using your expertise.

Give them a free checklist or share a blog post that shows your brilliance.

Whew… I know this was a lot of information but I hope you’ve found it helpful.

Hopefully, I’ve given you some things to think about.

The last thing you probably want to do is be unhappy in your business because you’re not working with the right clients.

I’d love to know if you did the list exercise – please share below as a comment.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Setting Your Rates
  2. Virtual Assistant Systems
  3. Interviewing Potential Clients – My System
  4. Back End Vs. Front End Type Services

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

What’s your system for interviewing potential clients and then closing the deal?

Do you have one?

It’s SO important to have your systems in place BEFORE you start working with clients.  A system that includes interviewing potential clients and closing the sale.

You see, it’s not enough to interview clients to find out if they’re a good fit, you need to know what kind of information you should ask plus how to overcome common sales objections to close the deal.

So… What kind of system do you need?

One that gets results, is simple and is rinse + repeat.

I call my system of interviewing potential clients “Discovery Sessions”.

I’m discovering what the client is all about and how I can help them. I’m also discovering if it’s a good fit for both of us. Because I’m not just selling a service, I’m starting a relationship with this person and it needs to be right for all involved.

Have you ever taken on a client that you know you shouldn’t have?

Maybe you saw the signs that they were not a good fit for you but chose to ignore it.

Yes, I have! I’m raising my hand here!

I did it a few times before I learned to trust myself and say NO to potential clients that weren’t a good fit.

Being the right fit for you and them is the most important thing no matter how long the relationship.

There are a few so-called “red-flags” that you should watch out for.

When it comes to red flags everyone is different (you’re likely to have your own list, I do). But there are a few common ones I recommend you watch out for.

  1. Too many Virtual Assistants in a short period of time. For instance, they’ve been through several Virtual Assistants in the last few months. This is usually an indication that the person may not be easiest to work with.
  2. They’re negotiators… They want to negotiate everything. You’re rate, the deadline, your boundaries, how you run your own business, etc. These can be the type of people that question everything and can be a drain on your energy.

Like me, you probably have your own list of Red Flags.

If you don’t, I suggest you create one that you can refer to when you’re interviewing clients. You’re looking for traits that you know you don’t work well with.

My main red flags are:

  • micro-managers
  • firefighters (everything is always an emergency and on fire)
  • negotiators

If during the interview you find out they have something on your Red Flag list, then you know it’s a “no”. Trust yourself – you know what’s best for you.

Ok, now let’s discuss the “standard” questions you should ask during the interview.

For me it’s simple, I just ask a couple of simple questions to get the conversation started and then let it flow.

These are the questions I always ask:

  1. Have you worked with a VA before?
  2. How can I help you?

That’s it.

The questions I ask after these depend on the conversation.

It’s what works best for me.

Everyone is different and has specific needs, so I just let the conversation go where it needs to go. I don’t follow a specific script or questionnaire.

Why these specific questions?

Well, for one I want to know if they’ve worked with a Virtual Assistant for two reasons.

One, if they have, I want to know how it went. Have they been burned by a VA before? If they have, I know there is a potential for trust issues right up front and I know how to deal with it.

Two, I want to know what problems they have that I can solve for them. That is why they reached out to me.

I’m all about simplicity and it works for me.

Remember, my motto is Your Business – Your Choice. Do what works for you.

If you like more structure or want a list of questions to help you get started, feel free to download my sample questionnaire to give you some ideas of what to ask.

Your Discovery Session system can be simple and tailored to fit your exact needs.

It doesn’t need to be difficult or complex.

It just needs to work!

Ok… one last thing. That one thing most people dread about interviewing potential clients.

It’s that part of the conversation where you have to start the “close“.

You know, where you have to start talking about your rates and how you work with clients.

The sales conversation!

For so many people they dread having to talk about their rates… it can make them nervous or sick to their stomach (that was me).

But… in order to close the deal, you have to talk about your rates.

You have to understand that you are the sales + marketing department.

It’s up to you to get more comfortable with talking about what you charge because you’re worth it.

Remember, they came to you for help and they know you’re a business owner and you don’t work for FREE!

Go into each sales conversation confident that you can help them and you are worth whatever you are charging.

Here’s a little mindset tip to help you if you’re nervous about quoting your rates.

Double your current rate and then recite it to yourself in the mirror for 7 days.

It really works!

For example, let’s say your current hourly rate is $25 an hour. So double it and then stand in front of the mirror and say “My hourly rate is $50 an hour”.

If you sell packages then do the same thing – double it and recite it to yourself in the mirror.

You may think I’m nuts but it works.

Next time you’re having that sales conversation and it’s time to talk rates, it will be easier!

Are you ready to create your own Discovery Session System?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create your own system for interviewing clients.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Setting Your Rates
  2. Virtual Assistant Systems

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Are You Nervous About Speaking To Potential Clients?

Are You Nervous About Speaking To Potential Clients?

Interviewing Potential Clients

I remember the first time I had a potential client ask for a meeting to discuss how I could help them. I was terrified – I was like what do I say or ask?

Speaking about your business to a prospect is much different than applying for a job. In truth, you want to listen more than you talk.

In this week’s VLOG I talk about:

  • how to prepare
  • sample questions to ask
  • how to follow up

The biggest thing to remember is, it is NOT a sales call – it is a conversation to find out more about them and their business and how you can help them.

Enjoy the video and thanks for listening.

I’d love to hear what you think. Do you have a story about not meeting with a prospect?

Please take a moment to leave a comment below and share your thoughts and questions. Or, feel free to share what you learned from this video.

You find a list of sample questions in my Prospect Questionnaire for free here.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for watching!

Enjoy your day – Susan

Are Your Business Policies Documented?

Are Your Business Policies Documented?

Business Policies

Have you taken the time to document your business policies AND share them with your clients?

I know many business owners that have not documented their policies or shared with them with their clients. This can cause potential problems…

For instance, let’s say that you charge an “urgent fee” for last-minute tasks or projects. Now, you may have told your client but they may not have “heard” you or understood exactly what an “urgent fee” is or when they would be charged one. Imagine their surprise when they receive an invoice that includes an “urgent fee” of $75.00 (just an example)! They could be very unhappy to find out that you charged an extra fee to have their work completed by their last-minute deadline.

I highly recommend that you take the time to document all of your business policies AND share and discuss them with your clients. In your first meeting – go over them in detail, make sure they understand them and address any questions or concerns at that time. This way, there are no surprises. Add them to your Welcome Packet!

If you’re not sure what to include in your business policies, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Business Hours – include whether you work weekends or nights.
  • Rush or Urgent Fees – if you charge a fee for last minute tasks please be sure it is clearly documented what constitutes a “rush” fee and how much you charge.
  • Referrals – do you give existing clients a discount if they refer someone who becomes a client?
  • Average Turnaround Time – this is key for Virtual Assistants; what is the average turnaround time to complete tasks. Be sure to document that all tasks are different depending on complexity but you can give include an average.
  • Emergencies – how do you handle life’s emergencies? Do you have someone who covers for you while you are out of the office?
  • Holiday Schedule – what holidays do you or your team observe?

Your business policies is a living document. Be sure to schedule time monthly or quarterly to update it. Don’t forget to send the new versions to your clients and discuss any changes with them the next time you meet.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Please share if you know someone who might benefit from this information. The share buttons are below the post.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day – Susan

PS – All of these items should be in your contract as well. I have the separate document since we all know no one reads the fine print on contracts.

PPS – If you are a Virtual Assistant and are confused about what goes into a Business Policies document – check out my VA Biz Bundle.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

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