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Building your Virtual Assistant Business with the Right First Impression

Preparing your home-based business for a disaster is just as important as writing a business plan.† Here are some tips to make it easy.

Whether just starting a virtual assistant business or have been in business for years, it's important to always remember that the initial impression you leave with potential clients is critical. Often it can be the determining factor in whether you get the client or not.

The key is portraying confidence, whether it's corresponding back to an e-mail, on the phone, or in person. You need to reassure these clients that if they trust you with their work, you won't let them down.† In fact, they'll be amazed just how good of a job you do!†

With your VA business you will either be responding to a client via e-mail, phone, or in person.† Here are a few tips for each:

E-mail -- Keep your reply short and to the point.† No client wants to read through paragraphs of text to get to the bottom line.† Be friendly, yet professional.† Provide all the needed information they requested and any other information you believe would be relevant.† Use a signature line that provides all your contact information.

Phone - Always answer the phone in a professional, cheerful manner.† I use Caller ID so that I know who's calling before I pick up the phone.† This enables me advance notice of what demeanor I need.† Don't talk excessively.† Keep in mind that most clients are busy and appreciate short, to-the-point conversations.† Always have the information you need to relay to a client at hand.† Be firm on your rates and business practices.† Don't sound hurried.† If you are working on a deadline, let your answering machine get it and call them back when you are more relaxed.††

In Person - Dress the part.†† Not only does this make you feel more confident, but it conveys to them that they are dealing with a fellow professional.† Be enthusiastic about your business and let them know that you want their business.†† Show interest and knowledge of† their business.† Have the right tools with you and close at hand.† You don't want to have to look for a pen or your business cards.†† Have something for them to keep describing your business such as a portfolio.† This enables them to remember you after the appointment and also gives them an additional opportunity to check out the services you offer.

The ability to create a good first impression is a valuable asset for a virtual assistant and one that enables a business to grow.† However, another valuable asset is being able to learn from your mistakes.† After the interview if it didn't go well analyze what you could do better the next time and then do it.†† Mastering these first impressions can take some timeFeature Articles, but the reward is a thriving business that you can be proud of.

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Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant the Series Workbook, and Virtual Assistant - The Series: Working Virtually, A Guide to Working Remotely as an Employee.† For complete information on starting your own VA business, stop by†† Article is free to be reprinted as long as the authorís bio remains intact.

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