You do have a prospect list don’t you…?
And not just five or ten contacts from previous work, or through friends and family.
But a big list of businesses or individuals you’ve researched and collated to reach out and pitch your services to.
Well here are three reasons why that’s a mistake:
- You’re potentially missing out on being booked solid
- You may be working with clients that aren’t as compatible as they could be
- You could be losing out on charging higher rates
Admittedly this goes against the grain of people saying you should niche-down, think about your ideal client and find them, aka, having a small target list. And whilst I absolutely agree you should do that as well, but if you only niche-down, you’ll have a much harder time of building or growing your client base.
And, it may mean working with clients you don’t really like, or working on tasks you don’t really enjoy, or working for lower rates because you need the business.
So how does a big prospect list change all this?
1. It widens your reach.
By having, say 100 people on your contact list, you increase your chances of gaining a new client. It’s basic maths – increase the number of people you contact, increase your chances of one of them going ahead with a trial.
And a secondary benefit is that you’ll very likely increase your productivity.
With a large number of people to contact, you’ll need to work pretty effectively to get through it. So no more ‘just quickly checking Facebook’, or making another cuppa, or tidying your desk for the tenth time.
No more procrastination.
Widen your reach and become more productive. You’re taking control of your business.
2. You won’t come across as desperate.
When you only have a handful of people to contact, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. This creates stress. You’ll be contacting each person with an air of desperation – “if they say no, I’ve only got another five to contact. What if they all say no? What will I do then? This isn’t going to work. What was I thinking starting my own business!” …
Easy fix – formulate a large list.
You’ll automatically become more relaxed as you approach each business – if they say no, heck, you’ve got another 95 on your list. So what! Their loss.
3. You can become selective.
Perhaps you’re working with one or two clients you’d prefer not to be working with, for whatever reason – compatibility, tasks, communication, expectations. By creating a large prospect list and working your way through it, you may get to a position where you can choose who you want to work with, rather than having to hold on to any-old-client just to pay the bills.
Switch clients out. Hire an associate and let them take care of the clients you’d rather not work with.
Whichever way you work it, having the ability to be picky is so worth spending the time creating a big list.
4. Demand your worth.
So now you have businesses wanting to work with you and you’re working with businesses you enjoy, you may find that people follow up with you now they’re ready to work with a Virtual Assistant.
This happens regularly.
They may not have realised they needed support when you first contacted them, or perhaps they’ve simply mulled it over long enough to decide they’d like to give you a try. Whatever the reason, they’ll get in touch with the expectation that you’ll still have the capacity to provide their business support.
And you may not.
But this may be the perfect opportunity to increase your rates.
If you’d like to work with this business, and you’ve been wanting to increase your rates but haven’t felt secure enough to do so, or you’re a new VA charging lower rates to build your client base, do it now.
You’ve nothing to lose.
Your books are already full of clients you enjoy working with, so if someone else comes along on your higher rate, great. You can then work out how you accommodate the workload.
Creating a big prospect list can be hugely rewarding.
- It can help new VA’s build a client base
- And help established VA’s increase their income
So how big is your prospect list?