July 9, 2020
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How important are the relationships with others? We can have good relationships most of the time, but it can also get complicated sometimes. And I don’t mean the personal ones but the business relationships. Every single one of us can have different values, backgrounds, and opinions. When it comes to working or collaborating with someone new, you might have to do some compromises to find the same ground rules that will work for both sides. As a VA, you can most likely choose who you want to work with, which is a huge advantage when finding new clients. Once you find the ‘right client’, you should build and maintain great relationships because it will both make you feel respected, heard but also appreciated. Here are 6 tips on how to maintain healthy and beneficial relationships with your business clients.
When someone says, communication is the key, believe them! Communication is the most important part when it comes to working with a client, and if it’s set on a good level, it can benefit both sides greatly.
I would recommend choosing one specific platform that you will use for the communication with your clients and agree to talk only on there. This way you will have most of the important information in one place, so if you need to find or check something, it will be much easier to find. Good communication and quick replies can save you a ton of time and stress when you need to clarify a task or need info to move on further with your work. So keep communicating with each other and don’t be scared to ask questions!
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is setting boundaries! Be clear right from the beginning, set expectations and goals on both sides, and make sure you stick to it! Discuss your time availability and what hours you’re available during the day, whether you work through the week or weekends, when and how the invoice needs to be paid, and other practicalities. However, be open to new suggestions or occasional changes if it’s reasonable.
By setting boundaries and following them, you show mutual respect, trust, but you’re also maintaining a good relationship with each other.
Keeping a positive attitude and having an open mind can really help with building great relationships with your clients! Working as a VA with a lot of responsibilities can be stressful and overwhelming at times, however, showing the positive face and your enthusiasm to the clients can make them enjoy working with you.
In case there is something not working, don’t get frustrated and keep an open mind. Change things up and make them work in a different way. Focus on a positive outlook instead of negatives or failures.
Don’t think of your client as a paycheck! Sure, they are paying for your work but if you show them, your collaboration is only about that one factor and you don’t care about their business, it will be a short-term gig, I can guarantee you. Showing people you care about them and their business and that you genuinely want to help them in a certain way with your services will benefit your mutual relationship and your motivation will be also higher. Be friendly, open, and transparent at all times, so they get to know you and how you operate. You also want to help people, ensure you are doing a great job, and bringing results because you enjoy working with them. So keep it authentic and don’t work with people whose mission/vision is not aligned with yours.
Mutual trust is a must-have in business relationships. You need to trust the person you are working with that they will stick to boundaries you set, they will provide all the necessary information needed for your work, and that they will pay on time and the right amount every month. They should trust you and what you do. That decisions you make are good for their business. That work you do will benefit them, and that you will work hard to ensure you’re doing your best with executing different tasks.
However, you need to get to know the person, so it’s not only the stranger behind the email but also the face you talk to. For example, they need to trust someone when sharing confidential information and building confidence that these pieces of information are safe with you and you won’t use them for anything else than work on their tasks. Without trust, it’s hard to connect with the person and be on the same page and to build a strong and lasting relationship. Although you will most likely know from the very early stages, whether or not you can trust the person.
This tip is connected with the importance of communication. Explain to your client what you are doing and why you’re doing it because they might not understand your expertise and therefore feel out of control even though you are working on their business. If there is a disconnect on projects, share knowledge, and find a solution on how to make it work for both sides.
When you have a client, you are expected to deliver results and reach the goals you set up to at the beginning. Although exceeding their expectations can help establish a great relationship even more. By reaching and delivering results, you are developing your reputation and a base of happy clients who can recommend you further. You can also use the positive results in your portfolio, so other potential clients can see the benefit of working with you.
By having a great relationship with your clients, both sides can benefit from it and you might even create friendships and long-lasting connections for more working opportunities.
Working with a client can be challenging but also a great learning curve. Establishing a strong lasting relationship can be very beneficial for you as a VA and also the client. However, keep in mind that to build and maintain great relationships, there needs to be some boundaries set straight from the beginning. This ensures you are on the same page with some basic conditions. You should also choose the best platform for communication and always talk about tasks or ideas that you are working on. By having good communication skills, you can avoid misunderstandings or show the client you are proactive and care about their opinion, too. Keep a positive attitude and make them see, you are trustworthy.
Another important tip was that building trust is crucial in working relationships and the client needs to feel comfortable enough to share their confidential information with you! Be transparent, open-minded, and keep it authentic. Only this way they will know that you are not thinking about them as a paycheck, but you actually care about them and their business. And at the end of the day, having a great relationship with your client is helping you to develop your reputation and happy clients will definitely recommend you further or take you in for other projects, too!
So, can you see why is the building and maintaining great relationships with clients so important?
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