Consultations with a potential client can feel like one of the scariest things you’ll do as a Virtual Assistant or Virtual Expert®. It can be tough to put yourself out there when the possibility of rejection lingers. Knowing how to prepare for your first meeting with a potential client as a Virtual Assistant can help you overcome some of those nerves.
A potential client consultation is as much for you as it is for the potential client. During a consultation, you’re focused on figuring out how, and, if, you can help the client achieve their goals. You’re also assessing if the client is a good fit for you.
Flipping your mindset from “what if they don’t like me” to “is this person someone I want to work with long-term” allows you to shed a lot of the anxiety you might feel before a consultation.
Just as it is anytime you meet someone new, nervousness is normal. Therefore, it’s important to find strategies that help you overcome your nerves so you appear confident, knowledgeable, and professional during a potential client consultation.
Find out as much about the potential client as you can. Look at their website. Sign up for any freebies, such as a newsletter, they have and read through them.
Follow them on social media. Connect with them on LinkedIn. The more you know about them and their business, the more prepared you’ll feel. That will help calm your nerves. It’ll impress your prospect. And this information will give you a good indication of whether this potential client is a good fit for you.
Go into the consultation with the mindset of figuring out what you can do to help. You’re simply trying to help. You don’t have the burden of making a sell.
During the consultation ask them questions that help you get a sense of what their goals are. Prepare some questions ahead of time that will allow you to figure out what it is they really want and if they’ll be a good fit for you.
Remember the consultation is relatively short. Normally 20 minutes. And you want to be respectful of their time and yours. So, you’re not preparing a grocery list of questions. It’s just a few to help you get a sense of the potential client’s needs and if you can help them.
Additionally, plan how you’ll start and end the conversation. Preparing ahead of time gives you something to fall back on when you get nervous. You know exactly what ground you need to cover with the potential client and how the conversation should go.
There’s some truth to the old adage that “practice makes perfect”. While your comfort level is more important than perfection, practicing helps calm those nerves during a potential client consultation.
Going through the conversation in your head—or out loud—helps keep you on the right track when you get anxious during the call.
Knowing how to start the conversation, what questions you need to ask, and how you’re going to end the conversation allows you to focus on listening to the potential client instead of your nerves.
Write out what you’re going to say. You want the conversation to flow naturally, but you also want to have those tools ready to fall back on if you get nervous or there’s an awkward silence during the conversation.
It’s important to be prepared and professional during the consultation, and it’s also essential to be yourself.
You don’t want to work with someone that you don’t connect with or who doesn’t respect what you do. Just relax, take a deep breath, and be yourself.
At the end of the day, there’s a myriad of reasons a potential client may not hire you. None of which have anything to do with you.
Therefore, you can let go of the anxiety, be prepared and professional, put your best foot forward, but know that if it doesn’t work out, then it wasn’t meant to be with that particular person.
There will be other clients who are great matches for you. Those are the clients you want, people you enjoy working with who value you and your services.
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