But do you know what’s better than getting a new writing or virtual assistant client? Keeping that client!
And the best way you can make sure that you’re doing your part in keeping said client is by overdelivering from the get-go.
In this post, Laura Pennington offers some advice on how to overdeliver with a brand new virtual assistant client. It’s not hard to do, but you have to keep in mind a few things.
The first impression that you make with a new virtual assistant client can make or break your entire relationship with this person.
In fact, when I frequently talk to new VAs, I encourage them to leave the best possible impression with their brand-new client in order to capitalize on the opportunity for referrals, testimonials and repeat work.
There are several different steps that you can implement in order to be successful with overdelivering with your new virtual assistant client.
Before I dive in, I want to explain that there’s a careful balance between giving way more than you bargained for, thus letting a client take advantage of you, and simply going a few steps ahead to make sure the client feels important and special.
This is a great way to cement your success as a new virtual assistant and all these steps don’t take much time or effort.
1. Ask Questions Upfront
If your new client has never had the opportunity to work with a virtual assistant before, or if they are somewhat unfamiliar with the process and the information you will need to get the task done, it is your responsibility to ask questions first.
Don’t be the person who waits until a week has gone by to realize that you don’t have the right password or the right steps to take in order to complete the job.
Instead, make a list of all of your questions upfront.
See if you can get the client on the phone if possible, even if it’s just for five minutes. Clarifying this information will allow you to do the task when you need to without brushing up too close against the deadline.
It also shows the client that you care and that you are clear about getting all the details you need before kicking off on the job.
It is a clear indicator that you never took the time to read through the directions if you replied to the client and said you were good to go and then waited four or five days to follow up with additional questions.
Asking questions ahead of time shows that you have read through all of their communication and that you are committed to having everything you need in order to do your job properly.
Most of the time, clients are thrilled you ask for more detail as it gives them a chance to prepare better instructions for you in the future.
2. Deliver a Day Early
Some clients may push you to rush deliver certain services or to complete certain tasks in a prompt manner. If you have the opportunity to give them a deadline that you suggest is reasonable, try giving yourself one extra day.
The reason for this is not because you will actually need the extra 24 hours to get the task done, but rather to show that you are capable of completing projects on time or early.
This leaves a great memory in your client’s mind that you take their deadlines seriously. It will also show them that you are capable of pacing yourself appropriately and estimating how much time a new project will take.
This has a ripple effect of showing the client that they can always count on your word in the future.
3. Suggest a Better Way of Doing Things
Is your client’s current management system too chaotic for you to jump in easily?
This is a good opportunity for you to suggest a simpler or easier way of doing things. You might want to complete the immediate task, but suggest that you noticed things while you were completing it that would make things simpler in the future.
As an example, if you were taking over the management of a client’s podcast, you might suggest that their booking and scheduling feature is too chaotic and is simply adding more emails to their inbox. You might suggest the workflow that makes things easier in the future.
This indicates to the client that you have a great depth of knowledge about organizational subjects and that you’ve gone one step beyond by making things easier for the future.
As an added bonus, making things easier for the client also makes things easier for you and allows you to use your time intelligently so that the client gets as much as possible in terms of working with you specifically.
(Gina’s Tip: Check out this post from Rachel on how she organized her clients’ inbox management system.)
Overdelivering with a brand new virtual assistant client does not have to be complicated.
Showing that you’re professional, deadline driven and concerned about getting all the appropriate information upfront is one of the most effective things you can do to build an amazing relationship.
When a client wants to work with you again and again on retainer because you wowed them the first time around, it’s a win-win! You get peace of mind about planning your future income and your client knows you’ll only continue to become more knowledgeable about their needs.
What’s the best way you’ve been able to turn a brand-new client into one working with you on retainer?
Laura Pennington is a freelance writer, project manager, and virtual assistant for insurance agencies and personal injury law firms. She’s currently completing her PhD in public policy and hosts the Better Biz Academy podcast, where she interviews inspiring freelancers and online biz owners about their journey and client-winning tips.