It may seem like a simple question, but it amazes me how many Virtual Assistants don’t know. Well not completely anyway.
Here’s what I mean … once you decide to become a VA and set up your business, your first priority is to find clients. Right. We all want to start seeing the money coming in so we can relax a little.
Nothing wrong with that.
Those clients then (hopefully) turn in to long-term loyal clients – assuming you’re doing a good job.
Weeks of supporting them turn into months, months turn into years, when you suddenly realise you’re stuck working on tasks that you’re not really interested in.
In fact if you really think about it, the work you’re doing is often determined by them.
In your initial excitement of gaining clients, you forget why you decided to become a VA. You forget what services you want to offer clients. Then the realisation hits – you’re not doing what you actually want to do. The type of work you originally wanted to offer.
Instead it’s dictated by your clients.
Which in the short-term may not cause you any problems, but long-term it probably will.
Because you’ll get bored or frustrated. You won’t enjoy the work any longer, or at least not as much as you once did, and for that reason both you and your client will suffer.
You will suffer in terms of enthusiasm and productivity.
Your clients in terms of results.
So with that in mind, and for any new VA’s who are still trying to find the direction to steer your business in, spend some time thinking over the following ten questions.
Not only will this help you truly understand what it is you want to do – what services you want to offer – but many of these are questions a prospective client will ask you.
Q1. What are the benefits of your service(s)?
Q2. Why should someone work with you over another Virtual Assistant?
These are the two most important questions you should be able to answer, straight off the bat.
Think of it as your elevator pitch.
Unless you’re offering a real specialism where training is an absolute necessity, no-one’s really interested in how qualified you are or how much experience you have. Or even what other clients have to say (although testimonials are good to display on your website).
What prospective clients really want to know is what you can do for them and why you’re better than the other VA’s.
So what are the benefits of using your services and why choose you? What do you bring to the table?
- What past work colleagues have said about you
- What past clients or employers have said about you
- What friends and family say about you
Then list every service benefit, however small or insignificant it may initially seem. Go through and prioritise them.
And finally, decide which are worthy of being included in your 30 second elevator pitch.
Q3. Could they do the same work themselves? And if so, why is it not a good idea?
This is important as it’s verbalising why growing businesses should use a Virtual Assistant, regardless of their own skill set or experience.
For example, could they do the same work:
- Yes – if it’s general administration tasks. Most people could get pick this up, it’s just a question of how quickly they can do it and how efficient a system it is.
- Maybe – if it’s something requiring skills, perhaps they can learn it themselves, assuming they have the time.
- No – if it’s a specialism that requires in-depth training.
And as to why it’s probably not a good idea for a growing business to take on everything:
- Less efficient systems
- Potentially costly – to train or inadequate experience
- Limiting business growth …
Among many other reasons.
Q4. What are the common challenges businesses face that you offer a solution for?
Q5. If a business isn’t using your services, what are the problems they’re most likely facing?
Q6. If a business doesn’t use your services, what opportunities might they be missing out on?
Understanding the challenges, issues and opportunities of business owners is essential.
Not only does this help you effectively ‘sell’ your services, but it shows potential clients you recognise the struggles they face. Creating empathy and immediately forming a connection. Opening up the doors for further discussion.
Q7. Do you have a specialism? If so, what is it?
Offering a specialist service helps you better target your marketing So if you have one, use it.
Find potential clients who have a need for that service.
Connect with them. Interact with them. Show your expertise.
Become the authority in your field and clients will come knocking on your door, not the other way round.
Q8. Without using your VA services, how do businesses do things now?
Q9. What opportunities to that business would your VA services create?
Being prepared here will particularly help you at face-to-face networking events.
First by empathising with the time pressures and effectiveness of ‘doing everything alone’. Followed up with how you could make their work life different.
Emphasise the empathy, then the soft sell approach.
Q10. What’s the one reason a business should use your services?
This is effectively the ‘close’ of your elevator pitch.
Nail it, and you’ve just bagged yourself another client.
So what’s next? The questions you should be asking prospective clients …