Finding and Keeping Clients

Discuss how and where to find clients as well as creating and maintaining exceptional client relationships, identifying ideal clients, and more.

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Old 05-13-2009
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New Client- ALREADY!!??
Uhhh..OK...so I said I would just jump in and put myself out there and now I've got interest..LOL...this is great..YES! But I'm kind of freaking out a bit...I was asked to explain my business a bit more and address fees and confidentiality....what do you think of my response???

Was it OK? Too much information for a first contact? Not enough? UGH!! LOL...I'm laughing over here because I'm so excited about the opportunity, but terrified in such a good way!!

"Thank you for your interest. Right now, I do currently work full-time for a distributor. I am looking to assist sales reps across the country on a part time basis until I have enough clients to make it a full time position for myself as a full time Virtual Assistant to the Ad Specialty industry. As far as confidentiality goes, I have not drawn up anything myself, but would gladly sign any agreement YOU feel comfortable with. I have no interest in doing sales myself, so your clients are yours to keep and I do not need to contact them directly for any reason.

I am attaching 2 presentations that I have done most recently, this is just an example of what I can offer. I can tweak it to be as you would like it to be for your own clients though.

Because I am doing this part time only right now, I am only offering quoting, presentation and product research services right now. In the future I will off order follow up and tracking, but can't do that and my full time job obviously. I will be working on lunch and after work hours for my projects. I can turn everything around for you in 24 hours or less depending on the items being quoted, quantities, etc. Above catalog pricing may take a little longer as you are aware.

My fees are $100 for the week of service- payment upfront, which will include 2-3 quotes per day (depending on the number of items being quoted and how you would like them sent back to you.) I can send Powerpoint Presentation style with images and pricing (you tell me the mark up) and then send you an email with factory and net pricing information for your records when the order comes through. Or I can send you a Word document that you can print out on your own letter head with just pricing and product information. I would use your ASI number to get pricing from factories so there should not be a conflict of interest between what I'm doing and my full time position here. Renewing my services weekly as needed would be ideal, but I can also do piece work charging $25.00 per hour, but I would need a $100.00 retainer prior to beginning services. Personal Check, Business Check or Money order is my preferred method of payment right now as I am going to be setting up credit card payments in the near future.

Since I am beginning this venture and looking to bring in clients right now, my pricing policies may change at a later date, but right now, I think this is fair. I know many sales reps who NEED assistance, but who can not afford to pay someone a full salary, so this is where I come in!

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

Thank you again for your interest!"
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Congratulations!

On your info to client, I would not include too much regarding your current position -- rather I would state that your business at this time is part-time providing XX number of hours per day and all requests will be completed within 24 or 48 hours (under promise & over deliver).

There are sample confidentialty documents in VAF and I would customize one for your business and send -- don't let the client create an agreement for your business.

The pricing I would also quote the amount by hours or by quote --- you could be swamped with quotes and this flat fee could work to your disadvantage.

That's my thoughts and good luck.
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Congrats!

I agree with Cindy, there is no need to give too many details regarding your current 'startup' state of your business or even the fact that you're still working full-time. By all means, let them know your availability but no need to give them all the details.

She is also right in not letting the client dictate the terms of the confidentiality agreement. This is your business, you should be dictating the terms of the agreements.

As far as giving too much information, I always lean towards what my Dad used to call 'overanswering' or as Cindy refers to as 'under promise & over deliver'. So, your response obviously shows a great deal of familiarity with the industry and I think that is great. It demonstrates to the potential client you know your stuff, so that is a definite plus!

Good luck, I hope this interest develops into your first client!
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Thank you so much for the input..I immediately started working up the Confidentiality Agreement, which I will send to her as a follow up. I think you're both right about leaving out current job and start up info as well. I am sure I will have plenty of chances to introduce myself again and again and make it better and better each time!!
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
You've already rec'd great feedback so far, just wanted to pop in with the link to the Document Library

I completely agree that ALL terms/agreements, etc. should come from your end. Agree as well that there is no need to explain to clients when you work and why.
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I am like 32 posts away from being able to access the document library...for now, I just used a free form I found on another thread that I can use for the agreement. Soon as I hit my 50 posts I'll be able to access the document library and really get my forms going!!


OH!! I just got PAID!! I just got my first client, did my first presentation and collected my first payment!! It was only $20, but she'll be using me as needed and I AM JUST SOOO EXCITED!!!!
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Congratulations on getting that first check! How exciting!! I remember when I got my first check - I wanted to frame it. BUT, had to pay bills and eat! So a photocopied it and hung that on the wall.

Carol
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Great job, I agree with everyone else do you own contract. I would not give a lot of information about you current full time job, just that your turnaround time is 24 hours.
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I'm a newbie so I hope my feedback is worth something
I agree on the feedback that was already given. In all, my impression is that you sound confident and knowledgeable. Congratulations!
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Old 05-13-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I am in agreement with the others also. I have a bad habit of giving too much info also. I get nervous! CONGRATS on your 1st client and paycheck! You are on your way.
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Old 05-14-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I did get a response to my email, she is going to think everything over and I did send a Confidentiality Agreement I drew up to her as well, just to go ahead and get that part out of the way. Hopefully this will develop into something great!

There is just so much to do, and I want to do it all right now!! Patience my child...LOL!!
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Old 05-17-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I agree with what everyone else said. Congrats on your first check and keep up with it! You sound like you are going to be just fine!
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Old 05-18-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I agree with everyone else, be careful about providing too much information. CONGRATULATIONS on that first check!
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Old 06-11-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I again agree with everyone else becareful not to give too much information way
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Old 06-11-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
Yay! You are on your way! See what a little faith and a whole lot of hard work get you?
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Old 07-10-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
When I read your statement about freaking out, I had to laugh to myself. I got a potential first client that I will meet with on Monday. She has asked for a proposal so just like you with your first client, excited but terrified, I am right in that boat.

I see that things does work out because you did get paid so congrats!

Pamela
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Old 07-10-2009
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I know this is a somewhat older post, but if I were you I would give some thought to having a fairly standard response you send everyone that asks about your business. You can personalize it based on the prompt for the request, too.
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Old 04-17-2010
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
How did you get your first client? Any words of wisdom?
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Old 02-10-2011
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Default Re: New Client- ALREADY!!??
I too saw that this is an old post, but I was drawn to the title because in the course of about a two-week period, I decided to become a VA and have my first client. I am so totally not prepared yet though! New client...ALREADY!!?? lol. I wish I could access the document library so I could get started on a welcome packet.
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