Finding and Landing clients (good clients) can be challenging sometimes, so it stings a bit when a client decides to let you go.
But what is a virtual assistant or entrepreneur to do when they lose a client? These are my favourite tips on how to move forward in your business if/when that happens. 🙂
Psst – If you’re a new VA (or if you’re just looking for more tips), check out my post on how to find and book clients here.
1) Don’t Freak Out
I remember when I landed my first client. I’m pretty sure I had a heart attack, or at least something similar to that effect. I was terrified and nervous and filled with self doubt. But I painted on some confidence and did the job. And I actually did a pretty good job, though I’ve learned and improved SO much since then.
I also remember when I lost my first client, I think I moped for an entire day. But I’m relieved to say that I handle it a lot better now!
What I’ve realized is that most people have enough patience to not expect absolute perfection all the time. And most people really just want to work with someone who has good energy.
Even so, some people will want to part ways for some reason or another, and how you react says a lot about you.
Don’t freak out. Not externally (certainly not at the client) and not internally. Don’t beat yourself up about it and don’t despair. Of course it’s natural to feel frustrated, or even stressed if you were relying on that income. If you need to get it out of your system, give yourself five minutes to vent to a family member or friend (five minutes that’s it), then take a deep breath and proceed to the next step!
2) Learn What You Can
A client can choose to discontinue services for a variety of reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with asking what that reason is. Just politely mention that you’d like to improve your skills, and request honest feed back. If there is a lesson that needs to be learned, be thankful for the opportunity to learn it and the growth that will come with it.
In my experience, most clients have told me strait away what their reasons were. And in all honesty, chances are it probably has nothing to do with you.
For example, one client decided to leave because they needed to make some financial cutbacks in their business, and Pinterest services wasn’t at the top of their list of priorities. I can understand that. I totally get that they need to do what’s best for them and their business, and I would never give myself permission to judge someone on the business decisions they make.
There was another time a client let me go because they had found a VA who could manage all of their administrative needs, including Pinterest. The thing is, if someone drops me for someone else who can better give them what they need, then I wish them all the best. There are other people out there who need what I offer, and I don’t want anyone taking up their space anymore than I want to take up space in someone’s business who doesn’t truly need me.
And lastly, I’ve had clients just plain decide that they want to DIY their Pinterest account themselves. All the power to them! Again, I wish them well and I’m thankful for everything I was able to learn through that client.
3) Move On
First, if the working relationship ended on good terms (which hopefully it did), then go ahead and ask for a testimonial if you feel comfortable. I’ve even asked a former client if I cold take something positive they once said in an email, and post it on my website.
If the relationship did not end well, make sure you don’t waste the learning opportunity. I think it’s worth asking yourself these questions, “Did I fall for something scammy?” “Did I make my expectations clear?” “Did I stick to those expectations?” “Was I too lenient?” “Not lenient enough?” and probably the most important one “Did I listen to my instincts?”.
At the end of the day, some clients are just not good people to work with.
If you did make a mistake (everyone does from time to time), own up to it, apologize if you need to, and forgive yourself! You’re still capable and valuable. Maybe even more so now because of the added knowledge you’ve gained from your mistake. 🙂
Every singe client will teach you something, whether they stick with you for the long haul or they only need you for a month. Each experience is a chance for you to refine your skills.
Again, go visit this blog post for tips on how to find clients. I talk a lot about utilizing social media platforms that you’re probably already using – without spending money on ads! And if you’re a Pinterest VA like me ♥ check out this post for additional tips.