Networking Means Talking to Potential Clients – Are You?

Getting Clients Quickly is One of the Biggest Struggles that VAs Face.

You spend your time marketing on social media, writing blog posts, and updating your website copy, and you wonder why people don’t call. But the reality is that to get clients, you need to talk to potential clients.

Are you doing that?

If you aren’t having at least 2 conversations every day with potential clients, there is room for improvement!

I know, it’s scary. You hate to sell yourself. But if you don’t sell yourself, how will people know you can help them?

Starting conversations with other business owners is one of the skills you need to develop and practice – so you can get better at it. That’s what gets you clients, online or offline.

Once you know what you should be talking about, things become so much easier.

Here’s an example: You are headed to a live networking event full of potential clients. You prepare your elevator speech and off you go. The first person you meet introduces themselves and then asks you what you do. You launch into a one-minute rehearsed elevator speech that they have to follow, and you don’t give them a chance to talk for a full minute. Then you get to the end of it and they say ‘Neat!’. Sound familiar?

It’s happened to me, so I know what it’s like.

Through much trial and error, I realized that while there is a place for an elevator speech, it’s not in an introduction to someone who doesn’t know you.

Here’s what I do instead …

I meet someone and they say ‘What do you do?’ and I say, ‘I’m a Virtual Assistant, what do you do?’. The ball is immediately back in their court, and then I am ready to ask them questions.

They tell me what they do ‘I’m a financial advisor.’

And then I am set to seed my services in the conversation.

I might ask them if they have an assistant already.
I might ask them what they need help within their business.
I might ask them if they are sending a newsletter or using social media, and what services they are using for these tasks.
I might ask them what they would love to have someone else do for them.

You get the idea. It becomes a conversation. And I’m in charge! I ask them questions and they answer. Simple. Just talk to them!

You don’t need to tell them what you do because you can ask questions to get the real information you need from them.

Networking is nothing more than a conversation – and the more naturally you can converse with someone, the more comfortable you will both feel.

The best networkers are the ones who can talk to anyone.

I know many VAs who get nervous because they think they will say the wrong thing. But how can you say the wrong thing when you just ask someone questions?

Once I started doing this I felt so much better in every situation. I got far more information from my prospects. I learned about their business so much faster. And I got more clients easily.

And here’s the most important part to remember: if you want them to work with you, then you have to make the conversation about them.

New VAs instinctively want to educate people on how using a VA can save them time and money – and they often try to do this in an introductory conversation. And while it is true that you can save them time and money because they don’t have to hire full-time help, it’s simply not the fastest way to get them to outsource their work to you.

Clients want to know two things:

1) What you can do for them (specifically), and
2) How much it will cost them

That’s all they want to know. They don’t actually care HOW you will do it.

So tell them!

Tracey D'Averio virtual assistant trainerTracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.