A likely scenario is you have been approached by a potential client, they found you online or via word of mouth. They tell you what they are seeking and then this is where your business savvy comes into play.
Start by asking yourself two questions.
- What does the client need?
- How does this fit my experience and expertise?
Research the client and the task they’re looking to have performed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it shows that you are keen and interested.
From your research and questions to the client you should be able to determine the time and energy requirements for the task, which will allow you to put together a proper quote.
Keep your quotes competitive
It’s a good idea to keep your rates competitive, but don’t price yourself low just to win a quote, you are defeating the purpose of going for the quote to begin with.
If you don’t know how to price a particular task, look at the websites of industries similar to you. See what they’re charging, do your homework. Many will list their hourly rate, but some will list prices based on the type of task.
If you are quoting on something new, check out VA forums or groups online. This is also a good way to gauge how many hours per week the proposed task will take as the client will expect an estimate regarding the amount of hours.
Show your experience
A good place to start is to add testimonials to your website. Ask your past and present clients to provide their thoughts on your work. Ask for specifics and stories. This can help sell your service to a potential new client.
Keep your website updated, you never know when a potential client will be doing research on you.
Your prospective client may want to have a phone call, Skype or Google Hangout, or even a face-to-face meeting if you are local to each other. It’s all about perception, make sure you look the part and that you can walk the walk and talk the talk.
Prepare yourself for this by reading 10 Interview Questions Virtual Assistants Should Know. The prospective client may not ask them exactly, but they will be wanting answers to very similar questions.
There is a saying in the business world that one day for you seems like a month while one day for your prospects and clients seems like a minute.
After providing a quote and having an initial discussion with a new prospect, give them a little time to get back to you, but don’t forget about them.
Give it a week and if you don’t hear anything then follow up!
Following up shows that you have a genuine interest. Clients often reach out to get numerous quotes on projects. When you follow up, it helps them narrow down the field, don’t be of any illusion that you are the only VA they have contacted. Perhaps you are and if that’s the case you need to put in just as much diligence to your follow up as you would with preparing your quote.
What to expect
Some clients will request or bargain for a lower quote so be prepared to justify your quote. Don’t let them bully you about price. You know what you’re worth, you are a business not an employee.
If they keep pushing for lower pricing, offer them a different package alternatives that would fit into their budget. This shows that you appreciate their budget, but that you can’t devalue your work. Suggest a different way of getting the job done after all, it is the outcome the client is seeking, they don’t care how it’s done, just so long as it is.
You are not an employee so you don’t have to accept any offer the client puts forward!
Having confidence in yourself and in your work is very important when quoting on a job.
As you go through the quoting process with more prospects you’ll gain confidence, you’ll improve and your business will grow and excel.
Top 5 takeouts to get you on your way to growing your VA business!
- Do your research, ask questions in forums and groups
- Know how much it costs you to do business
- Have an informative and active website
- Follow up on your quotes a week after sending
- Be emotionally strong and competitive; this is your livelihood!