7 questions to ask yourself before taking on a new client
Taking on a new client requires a lot of work. There’s contracts to draw up, proposals to put together and that’s before we even talk about timeframes. But in all honesty, if you want the process to go through smoothly and stress-free, you need to be asking yourself a few serious questions to ensure that they’re not only a good match but that you’re confident you can do the job at hand well.
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1. What does the client need from me?
As a VA, your roles and responsibilities are likely to vary. One day you might be tasked with writing a new blog, the next you could be sending out invoices, managing the diaries or even doing some project management. When you first start chatting with a potential new client, it’s important to understand exactly what they might want and exactly what they don’t want. It’s no good selling your social media services if they don’t even have a platform and, likewise, if they have an external accountant, they probably won’t be interested in knowing how fast you can send invoices.
2. What does the client expect from me?
Just as important as knowing what your new client needs from you, it’s crucially important to find out what they’re going to expect from you. This is a great opportunity to set expectations and boundaries around the working relationship too. After all, if your client says that they expect you to answer messages and calls promptly, you could remind them of your working hours, and that goes for weekend hours too!
3. What would I view as success?
Think of this one like your expectations for the client relationship and project. What would you be happy with? What achievements are you hoping to tick off? By knowing exactly what you want out of it, you’ll be on track to serve your clients better and it can help to improve the client onboarding process too.
4. Where do I see this going?
You might only have been brought in on an ad-hoc basis, or maybe your new client has signed up to a few hours each week. Either way, it always pays to consider whether there is scope for more work, where you could upsell and keep an action in mind that you’d like your client to take.
5. Can I really handle the extra workload?
While this might sound like a silly question to ask yourself, it’s probably one of the most critical. Consider the actual client project, client support and any other time spent on calls, doing amends or even discussing new work with the client. While it might be tempting to promise the world and more to new clients, you need to be realistic - for both you and them. Remember, accepting a new project and then not being able to give it your all could be very damaging to your career.
6. Why do I want to do this?
This is a great opportunity to remind yourself of exactly what the client wants, needs and expects - and also why you do what you do. It’s so easy to lose track of why we started our VA business in the first place but if you remind yourself exactly that as well as your skills, your USP and why you’re the right person for your client, you’ll be fired up and raring to go.
7. Are you both a good match?
In short, you need to make sure that your client has a direct need for your product or service and if they’re a good match for your company. This is where your brand values, motto and any boundaries will come into play. Not every client will be a good match for you, and when they’re not, it’s very difficult to achieve a long-term relationship and fantastic customer experience. Don’t feel like you have to accept every client into your business, and remember it’s more important that the ones you do accept are the right ones.
Taking on new clients might require a lot. But, the truth is, it can also be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of running your VA business. Plus, we’ve even helped you out by creating a new client checklist to help you out during the consultation process. Download it here and don’t forget to let us know what you think on social media.