You studied the skills, followed the templates, networked, cold pitched to your list of ideal clients AND….
Your fellow VA’s all seem to have snagged clients within the first few weeks, where did you go wrong!?
The dreaded S Word: SALES, eek!
Let’s face it: selling yourself can be awkward, and as a Virtual Assistant, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. If you don’t have a solid sales process, you’re not going to be landing online clients anytime soon.
It’s a jungle out there and unsuccessful pitches can be pretty soul-crushing. Client acquisition and retention are skills in themselves, and we are here to help.
90 Day VA team did a series of interviews with sales guru, Renee Hribar, a TEDx speaker and author who has run multi-million dollar sales departments.
We discussed 5 of the most common mistakes even some veteran Virtual Assistants are making when trying to get clients to commit. And guess what?…
Landing an online client is like landing a committed relationship.
According to Renee, client acquisition is a lot like your last relationship. With the right nurturing and consideration, you’ve got yourself a LIFE PARTNER.
Make the wrong moves, and they are out of there like a flash and running for the hills. Let’s take a look at mistakes you may be making that are stopping you from landing online clients.
1. You Pitched Too Soon
Pitching your prices and a laundry list of skills before qualifying in what your client is actually looking for is a sure way to turn them off doing business with you. Not taking time to understand their objections, needs, or challenges will make it difficult to create a valuable and personal pitch.
Pro Tip: Try brushing up on some pre-framing strategies. Pre-framing is the part of the initial sales process focused on pitching to your clients’ anticipated objections in mind.
This allows you to assuage their fears right off the bat. This requires building a rapport with your client and really focusing on LISTENING FIRST. This tactic can take reluctant clients to paying clients in no time.
2. You Don’t Have Systems in Place for Follow-Up
Have a system in place for following up with a potential client. Don’t go dark on them after a pitch. One of your huge selling points as a VA is your ability to lighten the load of a business owner. Don’t make your pitch be one more thing they are expected to respond to – make it easy for them.
The likelihood of sending out mass cold pitches and just sitting back waiting for them to make the next move is a sure-fire way to make your Virtual Assistant career never grows.
According to sales training expert Renee Hribar, “the fortune is in the follow-up”. Showing your tenacity with a thoughtful and timely follow up is crucial.
Pro Tip – Always offer a free consultation, have deadline specific offers, and personalize your follow up. Make sure you enable your web and social media tools to schedule consultations with a click of a button. Make it beyond easy for your client to know how to reach you and take the next step in their process.
Consider sending a handwritten note and thank them for the conversation. Nothing sets you apart like a personal touch.
Taking time to make that client feel important and noticed is often the deciding factor when choosing whom to trust with their business.
90 Day VA walks you step-by-step in setting up a clean and efficient follow-up process and calls-to-action that makes you stand out.
3. You Didn’t Tailor Your Pitch to the Client
Sales is a two-way street. Having a one-sided conversation about what you bring to the table is never a good idea, plus it’s BORING. If you present a one-size-fits-all pitch all about what YOU offer, clients will be left a little puzzled.
They are looking for someone who can be their voice and their brand. Pitches that look like they came from a template reek of a person who does not understand their brand and is ineffective.
Personalize your pitch every time – leverage your pitch to demonstrate your solid understanding of the job specifics and how your skillset aligns with supporting them on their journey to success.
Pro Tip – create bespoke pitches presented in the client’s voice; embedding their values and persona into the discussion as well as their branding and visual identity.
Promote your unique ability to represent and replicate their voice as their Virtual Assistant. Clients need confidence that you can carry out their brand values and create relevant and cohesive content that will add value to their business.
4. You Do Not Have a Portfolio or Samples
Your client wants to know that you are more than just a laundry list of skills and that YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
If you want to land online clients, you have to provide them with testimonials and a solid portfolio. Tangible evidence of your work is the only way they will feel confident in entrusting you with their business. Your clients are busy, that’s why they need you; let your work speak for itself through a professional portfolio. If presented with a well-executed portfolio, clients will feel confident in taking the next step with you within minutes.
Pro Tip – create a digital portfolio and ensure your portfolio demonstrates your best work, not all of your work. Remember it’s a fluid document so keep it fresh and updated.
No sense in having your portfolio with blog articles from 4 years ago talking about things no one cares about anymore. Ensure your content reflects your savviness in all the current and in-demand skills.
5. You Never Actually Asked for the Business
When we are at the trigger point of the sales process with a potential client, it’s not uncommon to simply forget to ask for the business.
It sounds simple, but you will never land online clients without explicitly asking clients to take the next step with you. Always have a CALL-TO-ACTION.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m not a salesperson, I don’t want to seem too pushy. Remember, you have value and skills to offer this client so asking for the business is not pushy. If you don’t ask, someone else will. 99.9% of the hard work has been done already in your pitch, don’t leave it hanging without a specific call-to-action.
Pro Tip: Using Pocket Phrases and other assertive language is key to closing any deal. Rephrasing ‘I hope to see you again’… into ‘can we set up a consultation to talk about this further’ is a simple but powerful switch that can take things to the next level.
If you are serious about landing clients, then it’s time to be honest with yourself about which one (or combination of) these mistakes you are making. The sales process can be oh-so-awkward and out of your comfort zone, but courses like 90 Day VA know to turn out some of the most hirable professionals in the industry.
The course takes you step-by-step on how to make sure you turn every conversation into a paying client. We provide extensive skills training on some of the most in-demand roles.
Our VA’s leave the course with killer portfolios, sales process templates and strategies, and client-prospecting support specifically designed to get them working. If you are serious about working online and landing clients, check out our FREE workshop!
Madelyn Cowie is a Virtual Assistant here to relieve business owners of the nitty-gritty.
When she is not helping business owners create systems for scale and grow their following, she wears the “Weird Mom” hat proudly and books last-minute family adventures like a pro.
She is a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from content repurposing and social media management to blog writing and SEO Research.
For a full scope of her services to see how she can help you, check out her website here.