5 Tips for Better Follow Up in Your VA Business

5 Tips for Better Follow Up in Your VA Business

Where are your clients coming from?

Are you getting great clients easily from the people you come into contact with on a regular basis?

Or are you struggling to find clients - and maybe even taking on clients that you don't really want to work with, just so you don't turn down the money?

If you aren't meeting enough business people, that should be your first step in trying to get new clients.

But if you are meeting business people and still not getting clients, your follow up procedure probably needs work.

How many sales conversations have you had this week? this month? this year?

The more people you talk to about your business, the more clients you will get. It's just a numbers game. Honest!

A recent Hubspot survey (and many others!) says that it takes 5 to 7 marketing touches to bring someone from a new prospect to a client.

Are you following up with people 5 to 7 times? Are you following up with some of them at all? For me, it's the statistic more than that 'marketing' piece that is important. You have to connect with most people more than once to get them to advance their relationship with you in order for them to start working with you.

Here are 5 steps to set up a follow up system that works to get you clients:

1. Create a master list, database or CRM.

Keeping everything in one place is the most important part of managing your follow up (other than doing that actual follow up, of course!) Set up something that works for you. For some people that's a notebook, for others (like me!) it's a Google Sheet, and even others use a database, CRM or app on their phone. The key is to work within your habits. A beautiful database that you never use is useless. Keep things simple to start with and find a way to use it every single day so that it becomes a simple habit.

2. Record every interaction.

When you connect with someone, you need to find that master list and update it. That's part of why it needs to be so accessible for you. If you don't keep things up to date, it will not be effective for you. I use a Google Sheet because I can access it from my PC and my phone and anywhere else online. So when I speak with someone I can update it with my most recent notes and it is always current. With the many ways we can connect with people these days, having a central place to record it all is essential.

3. Communicate with intent.

When you are looking for those 'touches', be sure that you have a reason to connect with someone. Creating the intent - the topic of conversation, if you will - is essential when you reach out to connect with them. Maybe you know of an event that is coming up that you want to tell them about, or an industry trend that you are reading about that you want to share, or maybe it's just a check in to ask how their business is going. But be sure you know what the intent of the communication is before you send it.

4. Schedule time to do it daily.

Daily follow up is really important. When you are talking to people every day about your business, you will end up with a lot of conversations going on at once. Of course that doesn't mean that you have to email or message or call everyone every day! But you should reach out to at least a couple a day. It makes the routine regular and helps you stay on top of all of the relationships you are building.

5. Ask for a sales conversation only when the time is right.

When you are prospecting and doing follow up, patience is a virtue. Don't connect with someone and right away ask them to talk to you about working together. You want to nurture the relationship with anyone you connect with. When the time is right, you can ask the prospect if they want to chat about you helping them. Or, if they aren't your ideal client, you might ask them for a referral. But always make sure it's time for that and not jump into it.

Following a few rules when you are doing your follow up helps you to keep organized, on top of things, and authentic in your relationship building.

Remember you are going to be in business for the long-term. Connecting with potential clients is about the long game. Treat your prospects well, keep in touch with them, and you will find that you will get clients more easily. And you'll probably even find the networking part FUN!

For some tips on how to manage your sales conversations once you get there, check out this free training video: The Sales Conversation. There are over 40 free training videos for VAs on my Youtube channel!

The Decision Making Process in the Human Brain

This is a guest post from Josh Wardini from 16 Best about how the decision making process affects how consumers shop. Though it is not specific to Virtual Assistants, I found the infographic very interesting and was amazed by many of the statistics (there are a lot in this infographic!!) and thought you might like to check it out too! Enjoy!

 

Shoppers Psychology Infographic 16 Best Josh Wardini

(Click the image or here to view the full amazing infographic!)

Shopping can be quite a psychological affair, whether we know it or not. Businesses, whether selling goods or services, have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to encouraging customers to make a purchase. Elements such as the color of wording on signs, the music that is playing, and the smell in the air can all have an influence on the shopping buying decisions.

Many people would assume there is a difference when it comes to the psychology of purchasing a service compared to the psychology of buying a product, but often this is not the case at all. For example, color can also be used when one sells services, as color increases brand recognition by 80%. Different colours have the power to change consumer behavior. Advertise a service in red, for example, and you could attract impulse shoppers, or use blue hues and shoppers on a budget may be interested.

The possibility of getting a discount is also a major influence for shoppers, and brands around the world have been using this strategy for years. A good example is Budget, a car rental company from New Jersey that utilizes a Best Price Guarantee to offer discounts to their clientele, and this tactic has proven very efficient at keeping customers, acquiring new ones and developing brand loyalty.

The wording used to advertise and describe a product can also affect consumer behaviour. 60 percent of customers are more likely to buy a product or service that has the word ‘guaranteed’ used to describe it. Additionally, 68% of consumers have also said that a stored signage reflects the quality of its products or services.

If consumers are buying online, then different things may affect the purchasing decision. Features that are likely to have an influence are discounts and offers, trustworthy reviews, a mobile friendly webpage, and the brand’s reputation as a whole, to name just a few.

Guest post by Josh Wardini: Josh Wardini, Editorial Contributor and Community Manager at 16best.net. With a preliminary background in communication and expertise in community development, Josh works day-to-day to reshape the human resource management of digitally based companies. When his focus trails outside of community engagement, Josh enjoys the indulgences of writing amidst the nature conservations of Portland, Oregon.

Why You Need a Niche Market

A niche market can be thought of as a narrowly defined group of potential customers - usually a portion of a larger target market. For example, a target market is working women, but a niche market is working women with kids at home, or working women in executive positions, or working women in the financial sector.

As a small business owner, you usually do not have the money, resources and time to market to a larger target market. You need to focus your marketing efforts on those people most likely to buy what you offer.

Think of narrowing your niche as simply positioning yourself more closely to the people or companies who could benefit most from your services.

Many of us like to believe that the number of people who want and need our product or service has no limit. Also, most of us truly want to help as many people as possible and so therefore believe we almost have an obligation to let everyone know about what we offer.

But the truth of the matter is if a small business tries to market to everyone, they'll eventually lose money and quite possibly go out of business.

I know it seems to go against common sense that we make more money and have more success when we limit the scope of who we market to. However, it is true and its been proven over and over again by very successful small businesses.

There are many reasons why it makes good business and marketing sense to have a niche market:

• you can focus your marketing efforts and not dilute them by trying to appeal to everyone

• it allows you to stand out as an expert in your niche which makes people come to you

• you attract significantly more business

• you have a natural competitive advantage because you can dominate your niche

• your marketing materials and communications are more targeted and therefore more effective

• people more easily refer business to you as they have a very clear idea of who you appeal to

• you can easily determine what opportunities to say yes to and which ones to pass on

• your creativity and strengths get to shine through

• makes it easy to find suitable strategic partners and joint ventures

• you spend less money on getting your message out there because you're not wasting time and resources on talking to people who aren't
interested in what you have

By taking the time (and the deep breath!) to narrow down your target group into a niche market that your company, products and services are best suited to serving, you'll be making a huge investment in a successful future.

You Need A Marketing Plan - Period!

All virtual assistants need a marketing plan! A marketing plan makes your marketing more effective which means your business is more successful.

Most VAs do not have marketing plans. This means that their marketing tends to be inconsistent, ineffective and inefficient.

Below are all the good reasons you need to have a marketing plan. As you read these reasons, you'll probably think to yourself, "I know this, this is common sense or I've heard this before".

And you're right, but I would like you to REALLY see yourself and your business enjoying these benefits and reaping these rewards of having a marketing plan – and implementing it.

1. Easy for you take action

A marketing plan makes it easier to do your marketing because it helps you market consistently. Anything we do on a regular basis becomes much simpler and faster to do. You also get into action because a plan will break your marketing tasks down into smaller steps or chunks. You feel less overwhelmed about tackling each task and therefore, can reduce your procrastination too!

2. Save you time and money

Taking the time to sit down and create a marketing plan will save you time and money in the long run. That's because you don't have to waste time scrambling around every time you try a new marketing activity – your marketing plan lays out the steps you need to take.

A plan also helps you be more focused which means you work smarter and faster. Being focused also means that you don't get distracted and waste time and money on tactics that seem like a good opportunity but don't really fit your marketing goals outlined in your marketing plan.

3. Help you keep customers

Because your plan keeps you focused and saves time, you don't have to sacrifice client relationships due to inability to make time to follow-up with customers or create new products and services that would appeal to your clients.

4. Bring in more prospects and clients

Having a marketing plan ensures that you constantly are attracting new leads and clients, because you're actually marketing your business! There is no way around it – marketing is how you grow your business.

5. Help you run a successful and profitable business

A marketing plan will give you time, money, freedom and focus – all necessary ingredients to a successful business. It will also save your sanity and reduce your stress – so you can enjoy your work and your business!