Every business has to have customer service. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Put yourself in the mindset that you already have everything you need. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Anything you do in life, it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Okay. It’s time to get serious about your business! Your clients are coming to you, they have a serious business and they need some serious help, and this is where you come in.
Being a virtual assistant isn’t like a part-time job that you see in the classifieds or just online somewhere. Yes, you can get started part-time. In fact, if you have a full-time job, you are in a better situation than someone’s who’s starting that doesn’t have a full-time job.
Or let’s say you got laid off and you have a severance package, then you’re in a better situation than someone who has no income at all and they need to get going. If that is you, you have no income at all, you need to get going, take a deep breath. I don’t want you to feel desperate or like you have to take whatever you can find.
Put yourself in the mindset that you already have everything you need and that what you bring to your client is the ability to free them up so they can do what they need to do for their business.
I have to tell you, it’s funny to me when I get emails from people, you know, like when people unsubscribe you can tell why, and I’ve gotten several that will say, “Oh, thanks so much for the information,” which I’m like, oh, good, perfect. “But I got me a job, so this virtual assistant thing…maybe later.”
It lets me know that the person was being very casual. I’m not talking to the casual people. On the website, training, podcast, coaching, I don’t want to talk to casual people. If you’re just doing something until something better comes, I’m not for you. Seriously, because I have been living, eating, breathing serving clients since 2008.
I know there are a lot of people, including you, who are very serious, want to be working from home, want to serve clients, and want to build beyond your imagination as far as your VA business can go. I know it, and that is why I’m pulling it out.
Are you serious about your business? How do you know that you’re serious? Number one, you get up every single day with excitement, a positive attitude, and being determined to get clients and serve them well.
80 percent of what we have to do is marketing. Just like any other business, 80 percent is getting the clients. We spend a lot of time worrying about the 20 percent, which is what’s my name? What’s my website? I don’t know anything. I don’t know how to get started. Excuses. You are doing something or have done something in a business, corporately, for someone else, doesn’t matter, you have skills and somebody’s looking for those skills.
I always like to pluck out client care and email support because those are things that no matter where you work, customer service is involved. It doesn’t matter what label they put on it: client care, customer support, whatever, it boils down to customer service.
Every business has to have customer service. Everybody, whether you’re a coach, a teacher, doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a director, whatever, customer service is involved. That’s something that you can easily offer somebody who’s busy. They’re coaching, they’ve got a calendar that needs to be planned, all these things.
The second way to tell that you’re serious about your virtual assistant business is that when you talk about it, you get excited about it. You enjoy sharing what you do, and you can see beyond what’s in front of you. In other words, you have a vision for where you want your business to be.
It doesn’t matter what your vision is. Your vision may be to take on two to three projects a month. Your vision may be to have a certain number of ongoing clients a month, meaning they have plenty of work for you every month, month after month after month.
Or your vision could be that you want to build a virtual assistant firm where you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve maxed. You have all the clients that you yourself can take on, but more people are still coming and so instead of turning them away, you bring on other virtual assistants who serve those clients.
In turn, creating a virtual assistant firm and eventually moving yourself out of the role of a virtual assistant and becoming the project manager for your clients where you oversee the different parts of their project where you maintain your contact with the client, but you facilitate the task and you contract other virtual assistants to do that.
It doesn’t matter what your vision is, but you should have one, and that’s the second way you can tell that you’re serious about the business.
The third way, you refuse to give up!
Anything you do in life, it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride. It’s going to be ups and downs, ups and downs, twists and turns. That’s just life. If everything was up, up, up, we wouldn’t know the difference between what’s up and what’s down because we’re always at that one level, and yet it’s scary when you’re going down because you don’t know how far down you’re going, and then you don’t know when that up is coming.
But that’s the journey. In spite of the ups and downs, twists and turns, you refuse to give up. You keep going. You learn and you keep moving. That’s the third reason you know that you’re serious.
Anyway, just want to clear the air and talk to my serious business owners, regardless of where you are: just getting started, been doing it, ready to move to the next level.
Okay. I want to share this with you. If you’ve done client interviews, you’ve had consultations, I’m talking about the initial part before the client hires you for their project and you’re actually talking to them, whether it’s over the phone or video chat, you can see them, talk to them, I want to caution you about giving prices in the midst of that conversation.
I have to tell you, every single time I have ever given rates during the initial conversation, and I mean where you’re talking with them or video, not email, but where it’s live conversation, every single time I have kicked myself after the call. The reason why is because you’re already a little nervous about talking to the client.
You’re really focused on what they want, so you’re in the middle of that whole interview, taking notes, seeing what you need, asking questions process, and you’re really not in a state to give rates because you need time to think, calm down, and really focus on what the client is asking you for so you can give them a reasonable rate.
I know it’s hard. It can be difficult because, depending on the client you’re talking to, they may be pressuring you. In that case, I want you to give a range versus the exact, and let them know that you need to look at the details, review your notes to see what all is involved, and then give a rate from there. This is if you use a flat rate for your projects.
If you do a block of time like, I don’t know, $35 an hour for five hours, and I’m just throwing out numbers, that’s not advice, I’m just throwing out numbers to give you a visual, if you charge a set amount for any tasks, then this is not geared towards you. This is geared towards you if your rates vary based on what the client is requesting.
Do not give it during the initial conversation because once you put it out there, you can’t take it back. I don’t mean you can’t raise your rates later. I’m talking for that particular client, for that thing right then and there. Once you put the number out, it comes out of your mouth, you don’t have time to discuss it with yourself, and you need that time.
I’m going to say it again. Every time I have ever given an amount over the phone, in the initial conversation, I have kicked myself.
It was lower than what it should have been. Lower than what it should have been, and when that happens you have to just follow through with it. But I can tell you, oh, just the thought of it would just make me sick. I could be sitting, you know, doing something else, hanging out with my husband, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking about, ugh, did I really give that?
This is like the warning, warning, warning. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. If they’re pressuring you, give a range, but do not give exact. I don’t mean, oh, it’s $35 an hour, period, but you don’t know how much time it’s going to take. No. I mean give a range. It could be between $30 and $45, just depending. I need to review the specifics and then write it up and let you know what it’s going to be.
This is also why I like flat rates because clearly if it’s a flat rate, you’re not going to sit there and calculate that amount with your client in front of you on the phone or video. Obviously, you’re going to have to go and review all the requests and then let them know after that.
Anyway, there’s a huge warning on that. This is something that’s easy to do and make that mistake at the beginning, at the middle of your business, and when you’ve been in your business for a while. Okay.
So that’s just a warning. If you’ve done it before, then you probably can relate to what I’m saying. You’re like, oh my gosh, yes. So I just caution you on that, because when you write it down, you can see it, you have time to process and think about it. Right? Yeah.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.