Last week, I spent some time doing some research to hire a Virtual Assistant to help me with some administrative tasks. You know, work smarter, not harder and farm out some of the tasks that another can do faster. So, what do I do when I need some help—like any good small business owner, I ask my network if they know anyone they’d recommend.
So I get a list of candidates and I start evaluating them based on what I see on their websites etc. One of the candidates I look at actually has a few of the services I’m looking for listed out on her website. She details a couple VA packages that sound exactly like what I’m looking for. On the contact form, I am very specific about what skills and tasks I’m looking for help with so they are prepared when we talk. I’m so excited—I think I found who I’m looking for!
The contact form goes through with a confirmation that I’ll be contacted within 48 hours. Hmmm. Seems a little long for my liking, especially from a VA, but I’m sure it won’t be 48 hours. At any rate, it wasn’t 48 hours and we set up an appointment to talk.
We start to discuss her experience and then we get into what I need help with. I ask questions about her packages and she begins to tell me that she doesn’t really sell those packages and that she’s really looking to work with clients who are interested in hiring a VA for a regular set of hours for a longer-term engagement.
Say what you really mean and what you really want. If you don’t really want to sell certain products or services, please don’t list them on your web site. If people call you about those products or services, they’re going to be disappointed and that’s going to create a bad experience immediately—and no opportunity for the future. I completely understand that businesses evolve and we get better and better at knowing how to sell our services and who to sell them to. And if your business has evolved, be sure to update your website and your marketing materials to reflect that evolution.
You can be very detailed in creating packages and listing out the services or you can be vague and use general skills. Regardless of the path you choose, just be sure that what you say sets the right expectations with a prospect.
And if someone calls you asking you about something you don’t do, help them anyway by giving them the name of a colleague (or even a competitor) that does what they’re looking for. The next time they need someone that does what you do, they’ll likely call you back.
Respect your time and your prospects time by saying what you really mean and keeping your website up to date. Have you experienced a similar disappointing situation?