TIP: Re-read this portion several times and return to re-visit each time you are about to interview your next potential client.
- People can detect an apparent sales pitch and tend to shy away from the whole confrontation. The best way to dispel this illusion is to relax.
- Take a sincere interest in learning about the other person and enjoy learning about that person.
- Look at meetings you attend as a fun occasion; one in which you will meet a new friend.
- You will want to learn about the needs of the other person. Remember to listen to the person and not go overboard with explanations about VAing.
- It is best to not view the conversation as a sale, but rather the beginning of a possible partnership. The sale should come to you. It’s okay to suggest that perhaps a VA partnership might be just what this person is looking for to satisfy those needs discussed.
- If a person wants to learn more about what you can do for him/her, the conversation will come around to it.
- Show confidence in yourself and extend that confidence to your contact that VAing works and that being a VA is comfortable and right for you.
- Make a list of the things you will not do and do not compromise your Virtual Assistant venture by agreeing to tasks that are not fun for you. Do not accept projects that you cannot handle or are uncomfortable with or you do not have the knowledge or resources for. Be honest with yourself and your potential client.
On your worksheet, list the things you WILL NOT DO.
Now, look at the statement you wrote earlier – is it still a good statement?
It’s okay to have several versions – maybe you need a different version for each potential client.
Remember: Be sure to PRACTICE your statement!
What is the Description of Your Service?
What Do You Do? Prepare Your Statements
Work on answering this question in one sentence. It is an effective method of increasing business and identifying what you do literally on the spot. It will help communicate what you do in easy to understand terms.
Just think if you could say with just a few words, one sentence or a few sentences that were so powerful people would understand your services and want to “buy” on the spot. Imagine someone you just said these few words to talking about you in their next conversation only to find out that person could use your services. Good planning and practicing will make these statements become your identification, your recognition point and your ‘brand’.
Create statements that tell people what results they can expect when working with you. With these points, potential customers can identify you as the answer to their prayers. You can help solve a problem; you can support them or fill a need. You want them to respond with, “I can identify with that,” “I need that,” or “tell me more about that, and what you do,” or “Who couldn’t use that?!”
- Don’t make the mistake of using a label or a long-winded explanation to educate people about what you do.
- Have a few statements that are so simple that people will remember and will easily repeat.
- During your first months in business it is important to deliver a very consistent message over time to educate and inform people.
- Watch out for promises that make people skeptical.
- Creating a slogan or a tag line is different than creating your statement. You don’t want a catchy slogan, but you want a solid statement of the outcomes a person can expect when partnering with you.
- It is a lot easier to under promise and over deliver. People are more likely to be WoW‘d and you want to create a need for them to come back to you for more of the same!
Describing Your Services
Write out the results that people can expect to achieve by partnering with you. Do not focus on how you achieve results for your clients; just tell them how they will benefit. Think of it in terms of their needs. Clients or potential clients most likely don’t want to hear all of the steps you went through to get to the results. Ask yourself, what do they need where I can provide a solution?
Write down 10 “results” of your services, and then practice saying:
“I work with people who ___________” or “I work with companies that want __________.”
When you narrow it down to a few statements, start trying them out on people and see how they respond. You will know which one is working when people respond positively.
- I work with business people who need more time in their lives so that they can focus on their business and what they love to do.
- I work with successful entrepreneurs who are ready to delegate tasks so that they may effect significant change in their business.
- I provide time and ideas for self-employed professionals and sole practitioners.
- I partner with you, the professional, so you can overcome obstacles between you and your business goals by handling the tasks that are taking too much of your time.
Note: You will most likely know right away when someone you are explaining your services to “gets it.” In other words, they understand the concept. We have found that if someone does not show the sign of understanding the concept, that it is best to move on to the next person and not try to force the VA concept on that person.
Create a 30 Second Introduction
Today’s communication is greatly influenced by the media; short and fast clips. Think about how many different subjects you are exposed to every day or even in just one hour! It’s amazing. To keep an audience interested, even an audience of one, we must think brief and to the point.
Three Simple Steps
- Give them your name. Say your name slowly and clearly. Next, give them your “MIP,” your most impressive benefit. Then tell them what you do.
- Restate what you do and the benefits of partnering with you, using different words. By repeating, you are telling the person what is important for them to remember. By repeating your key points, your contacts will remember you.
- End your 30-second talk with a memory tag; what people will remember after they walk away. Make it visual and make it unique. Make creating your memory tag fun.
“Hi, my name is Mary Smith. I help business owners gain resources in the form of time to focus on their business goals.”
“I am a Virtual Assistant. I work one to one with entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals and small business owners. I help them take their professional careers to the next level by providing more time in their lives. When I partner with someone, that person is number one.”
TIP: Show a potential client you are serious about working with him/her by doing two things – send him a list of questions via email and ask for a 30 minute telephone conversation. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interview you!!!!
Prepare a List of Questions for Prospective Clients
Preparation of a few questions will help with initial contacts, impromptu calls you may receive from potential clients and when you are getting serious about a VA partnership with a prospective client.
Suggested Questions for Prospective Clients
Try some of these questions to maintain momentum in a conversation about a prospective client’s needs versus your abilities.
- What is the biggest challenge you have in growing your business?
- What opportunities are you missing by using your time to handle administrative tasks?
- What do you do each day or each week that your dread doing?
- What are you wasting your time with?
- Have you considered doing it this way…?
- Could you delegate that?
- Will you listen to ideas and try new things?
- Are you willing to delegate?
- If I were there right now, what would I be doing for you?
Questions for an Interested Prospect
Here are some questions for clients whose interest in partnering with a VA is established. It is important that clients are successful at what they do.
- What is the biggest change you expect when partnering with a VA?
- What are you expecting from me?
- What are you expecting to happen because you now have a VA?
- What is it that you want our partnership to focus on primarily?
- For you, what do you see as the most exciting part about working with a VA?
- For you, what is the scariest part about working with a VA?
- Are you willing to communicate via email and telephone on a regular basis?
- What is the most helpful thing I can do for you?
- Are you willing to listen to ideas and suggestions with an open mind?
What Should You Do After the Interview with an Interested Prospect
This is an exercise that will help you understand how you were perceived, what you need to change and how you can make the next client interview better. It would be a good idea to keep copies of this page and use it as a worksheet. This is for your information only.
- What looks exciting about the prospect of working with this person?
- How did you feel right after talking with this person?
- What do you think this potential client thought of you?
- Did you hear any pauses from the potential client that indicated more questions or reservations in partnering with you?
- What could you have done better to present yourself as the professional VA you are?
- Are there other questions that need to be cleared up before going into a partnership with this person?
- Is this the type of person/business with whom you would like a long term relationship?
- Now forget about the interview for a day or two and then pick this page up again and review your initial thoughts.
Do You Fit What This Prospective Clients Needs?
Make two columns on your worksheet – on the left side put:
What Is This Person Looking For?
On the right side put:
What Can I Offer?
What Is This Person Looking For? What Can I Offer?