How to test drive new clients

When a potential client hires you, it’s easy to get excited. It’s fun to work with new people on different projects. But don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you and blind you to possible problems.

Smart virtual assistants look at the first few weeks of working with a new client as a test drive period. It lets you and your client get to know each other. You learn about your client’s personality and how they organize their workflow. Your client learns what to expect from you and how you manage your tasks.

Start small.

Work with a new client on two or three small projects to see if they’re a good match for you. You don’t want to agree to work on an intense six-week long project only to discover on day two that your personality clashes with your client’s.

Opt for a contract.

No matter how well you think you’ll get along with a new client or how much you trust them, always have a contract in place. Your contract should cover the scope of your work, when payments are due, communication methods, and the cost of revisions if your client requests them.

A contract may not seem like a big deal right now. But contracts protect you and your client. They ensure that both of you understand the scope of your project and what happens if one party fails to do their part.

Send a welcome packet.

After the project has been discussed and a contract has been signed by both of you, it’s time to send out the welcome packet. This packet should include information on your work schedule, how to contact you during an emergency, and what security practices you use to protect client information.

You can write your own welcome packet. But if you don’t want to spend hours doing that, then sign up for the Star VA membership. As a member, you’ll have access to the New Client Welcome Templates. These templates make creating your own welcome packet simple and easy.

Get organized.

Use a project management system so you and your client stay organized. The advantage of using project software is that it can make tracking the project easier for you and your client. They also keep your inbox from being overrun with emails and make it easy to assign tasks within the projects.

Two popular project systems are Trello and Asana. Both have free and paid features so you can try them out. See which one works best for you and your client.

You should also create a special folder in DropBox for your client’s project. Use the ‘Shared’ folder option so your client can download the files whenever they like. If you or a client edits the files, the changes are automatically synced to DropBox. This means you and your client will always have access to the most recent version of the file and will make working with your client much easier.

These tips will help you and your client start off on the right foot.

Share Your Thoughts…

What’s your system for working with new clients? Do you do anything differently?

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