When I coach VAs, one of the most frequent questions I get is:
I finally landed a prospective client call! How do I put my best foot forward and try to win their business?
Ohmigosh, I know, I’ve been there. The first calls I had were disasters and I screwed up a lot. But slowly, over time, I learned tips and tricks that helped me get people calling me back, or even better, signing up to work with me. Of course, it helped that as I obtained more clients, I also got more relaxed on calls and therefore they flowed better.
But how can you get that “flow-like” feeling when you’re not relaxed? When you are, in fact, very nervous?
Here are my tips that I’ve learned that can help you be more confident on the phone.
- Research their company as much as possible. This seems like a given – but I’m talking about thorough research. Go outside of their bio and “about” page on the webpage. Research their LinkedIn profile, company social media accounts, news articles (if there are any), anything and everything that you can. Understand what they do back to front. Why? Well, that leads to point numero duo…
- When you understand what they do, try to think of ways you can help. If they have already told you why they need a VA, think of other things you could help with outside of what they want. Be proactive. This is why it’s helpful to look at a holistic view of their company. When you point out other tasks you can do, that speaks well to how you will be working with them.
- Start off the conversation with some light talk: how are they today, weather (where are they located? Look up their weather prior to the phone call and talk about where you are and how lucky/unlucky you are), and perhaps little activities you’re doing in your life (for instance, right now, I chat with people about how we’re working on potty training my daughter. Even if they don’t have kids, it’s a funny conversation starter). If you find out some interesting tidbits about them in your research – bring it up! Sometimes people are embarrassed to do this as they see it as “stalking”, but au contraire my friend – in this instance, it’s a good thing because it shows you did your research.
- Then move into a sentence similar to: “I love that you reached out to mm [name]. I see that you’re a [profession]. I’ve researched your company online but do you mind telling me a bit about what you do in your own words, and where you think you might need assistance?”
- Write down every pain point they bring up. It’s great to repeat it back to them at the end of the conversation so that you both understand what they are looking for. You can also follow up with an email after you get off the phone; having a lot of notes helps make that email robust and helps them see that you are diligent and a good listener.
- Don’t talk about yourself and your business until they ask you. Just listen and be warm and inviting in your conversation. It’s always best to listen first and then provide solutions later. They will eventually ask about pricing, how you operate, contracts, how you expect payment, etc., but you should never start the conversation with that. It’s always better to hook a prospective client in with your personality and the solutions you can provide prior to talking price. On a subconscious level this works because they will be chatting with you as a potential teammate and seeing what it would be like to work with you. Having a conversation about pricing first is more likely to throw them off.
- SMILE on the phone, people can tell the difference. 🙂 As a Virtual Assistant, you may be the face and voice to their own clients and usually clients will want someone upbeat and friendly.
First phone calls can be scary – I still get nervous at times, especially if it’s a big client. But as long as you can get a flow going within the conversation, generally it will turn out to your advantage.
If you are thinking of becoming a Virtual Assistant and would like to know how – check me out at www.YourVACoach.com or shoot me a message on LinkedIn. Hope this helps!