3 Essential Things You Need to Know
to Close More Clients
As a virtual assistant and freelancer, you know that in order to get paid you need to be able to close clients. But what if you’ve been pitching to potential clients and aren’t hearing back from anyone? Maybe you’ve been applying to job opportunities, interviewing, but keep getting rejection email after rejection email. Ouch. Or perhaps you’re reading this right now because you’re doubting yourself and your ability to close a client, so you haven’t even applied to jobs at all. If any of those scenarios sound familiar, then keep reading.
I recently had the opportunity to chat on Facebook live with Renee Hribar, a top sales strategist, and wanted to share with you what she believes you need in order to close more clients.
Because whether you’re new to the Virtual Assistant world and are wondering if you have what it takes to close a client, or a newly 90 VA program graduate trying to land your first contract, or even if you’ve been working in the VA field for quite some time but find yourself struggling to increase your clientele, wherever you are on your virtual assistant journey, in order to close more clients you MUST have the proper framework in place. Not having a solid framework for closing clients will lead to a lot of miscommunication, loss of contracts, and unhappy clients.
1. Closing a Client Begins with the First Contact
Say you have a potential client who reaches out to you and says they need XYZ. You read the email and think, “Sure, I know how to do that,” and you immediately agree to the project and begin discussing rates. But unless you are 100 percent sure of what the project is and the client’s needs, that’s probably not going to be a good idea. Why? Because chances are XYZ means something different to you than it does to the client.
You can avoid all the confusion and future unhappy emails by simply replying: “Yes, that sounds like something I can do, but let’s get on the phone and talk about it in more detail.”
Setting up an initial call will help you figure an accurate number of how much the job will cost and what it all entails before you send a formal proposal.
2. Set Yourself Up for a Productive Initial Call
The initial phone call is your time to shine. Let the potential client know what your experience is with the specific task they have in mind, give little snippets from your resume and talk about the things you’re good at. If the task is something you’ve never done before, let them know that you’re not experienced in that area but one of your best qualities is your ability to learn anything and if they are willing you are willing to give it a shot.
One of the most important things you need to do while on the call is ASK QUESTIONS. It’s been said that good salespeople have good sales pitches, but great salespeople have great questions. Always ask specific questions.
Specific questions are going to be determined by what the client needs and what it is they do for a living. For example, you can start by asking:
What their budget is for the project?
What is their timeline and when should you have it done by?
What exactly are they are expecting from you?
You can ask if they’ve ever hired someone for the specific task before, what was their experience with that?
Does the client have any experience with the specific platform that they want to be using?
Is it a long term or a one time job? A question like this may help you to determine which client to take on if you have multiple people reaching out.
The smarter the questions the greater your proposal will be.
Here’s a tip: Incorporate a hard stop into all your initial phone calls to avoid hopping on a call and spending hours and money (because your time = money) talking with a client. Mention in the very beginning that you only have x amount of time to talk with them and then you have to go.
3. Have a Well-Formulated Proposal and Process in Place.
Charge what you are worth.
The proposal may be the hardest part for some of you, especially if you are just beginning your VA journey. What I always tell my VA students is do not be afraid to charge what you are worth, and what you think your time is worth (*spoiler* you and your time are worth a lot). Own your worth, look at yourself as a peer and not someone who is begging for a job. Be confident that the skills you have and your ability to get the job done is worth more than peanuts, so charge a rate that is worthy of your skills and time.
Never post your pricing or say what you charge in the beginning.
Why? Because if the project is large or complex then you don’t want to propose a number and then find out the project is a lot more work than you originally thought. No one wants to work for free. To protect your time and money, book a second call and make sure you have all the information you need. You can even send them the proposal and go over it with them on the phone line by line, explaining to them what things mean until you are both satisfied that you are on the same page. Don’t be afraid to double-check. Remember, if the client understands the value that they are getting, they are going to say yes because they need the work done.
Have a deadline in place.
On every proposal you send, be sure you always have a deadline in place —“This price and this offer is valid through this date only.” You may decide to up your rates and you don’t want a client to get back to you months later and still expect to get the same rate.
Have a clear way to accept payment.
If you don’t have a payment portal then clients can’t pay you. You need to know how you will be accepting money, what platform and process you will use. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make in the beginning — they don’t have a clear way to accept payment. So whether it’s Freshbooks, Transferwise, or Paypal, know what platform you are using and make sure your clients have that information.
Decide how you will send formal proposals.
When it comes time to extend a formal proposal, there are a few different ways you can do this. If you are confident you and the client are both on the same page, you can tell them your proposal at the end of the initial or second phone call. If you need a little more time to crunch all the numbers, you can send an email to them afterward. Or if you are still unsure of a few things or need a little more information, do not hesitate to set up another phone call.
Another tip: In between phone calls, you can be asking your peers in the VA field and figure out how much you should propose for the specific task before you commit to anything.
Have a clear on boarding process.
On boarding is simply how you welcome new clients into your business and normally begins when you sign the contract and goes through the next steps you will take with your client to get all the documents and information you need to start the project and complete it on time. So whether you send out a questionnaire or have a form that you send to them, having a clear way you obtain your client’s information is super important because you don’t want to be chasing down and bothering the client all the time because you failed to ask and obtain all the information you needed in the beginning.
Having this framework in place will set you far above the crowd when you are trying to land your first client. If you’re already out there in the VA world and struggling, then zero in on your business model and make sure you are incorporating these techniques. Once you have the proper framework in place, the right client will find YOU. You will have happier clients and happier clients mean potential referrals.
Are you interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant, but aren’t sure where to start? Have you signed up for my free class? In the free class you will learn what Virtual Assistants are (and what they are not!), how to find legit online work (no scams, no selling anything) without having any prior experience, and we share our top resources for everything you need to begin working online. Sound like something you’re interested in? Click here to enroll in the free class and begin your VA journey today!
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Are you new to the Virtual Assistant world and are wondering if you have what it takes to close a client?
The secret to closing more clients smoothly and efficiently is all about having the proper framework in place.
Not having a solid framework for how you will contact clients, get information from an initial call, and send a well formulated proposal to clients will lead to a lot of miscommunication, unhappy clients, and loss of contracts .
Having worked in the online world (without selling anything) for over 6 years now, and having helped hundreds of women to successfully work online, trust me, once you’ve got the process down, you’ll be able to close clients without losing time or money.
I wrote an entire blog post about what you need to know to successfully close clients. It’s linked in my bio , check it out and let me know what you think in the comments!
Feeling like you’re spending too much time⏱️ on the phone with clients?
Here’s a tip: Incorporate a hard stop 🛑 into all your phone ☎️ calls to avoid hopping on a call and spending hours and money (because your time = money) talking with a client 🗣️📞.
Mention in the very beginning that you only have ☝️ x amount of time to talk with them and then you have to go. 👋
Let me know what your favorite time saving tips are in the comments!
🙇♀️Have you been struggling to land contracts and feel like you’re having trouble selling yourself during the interview process?
☝️It’s been said that good salespeople have good sales pitches, but great salespeople have great questions.
When you are interviewing for an online remote job one of the 👉 MOST important things you need to do while on the call is ASK QUESTIONS.🙋♀️
👀Check out my latest blog post to see the kind of questions you SHOULD be asking! Comment below if you would like the link.