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How To Discuss Your Rates Without Scaring Potential Clients Away

When you’re trying to build your [tag]virtual assistant business[/tag], it’s tempting to consider gimmicks like free hours and rate discounts to lure potential clients. But is this really a good idea? Erin Blaskie, The VA Coach, says “absolutely not,” and offers some techniques to make selling yourself short unnecessary.

Her tips include:

1) Remove your rate structure from your website – Let clients contact you so that you can explain to them how they can benefit from your services. Once you’ve learned a bit about their needs and they’re convinced that you can help them reach their goals, you can confidently explain your pricing structure.

2) If you receive an e-mail asking “How much do you charge,” don’t respond with “$40 per hour” – Instead, respond with an e-mail requesting a phone consultation so that you can assess her/his needs. Also explain that each client’s needs are unique, and that to properly quote a rate, you will need more information.

Ms. Blaskie advises VAs to avoid discounting and to build their businesses through excellent work and word of mouth, thereby maintaining the value of the services rendered.

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  1. 3 Comment(s)

  2. By leighdu on Feb 17, 2009 | Reply

    The same applies to me as a freelance writer. It all depends on what needs to be written, how much research it will take, and the length. I never know exactly what I will charge, but I definitely never start out with a minimum fee either. Discussing matters over the phone is definitely the best way to handle it. Excellent advice!

  3. By jamesb on Feb 19, 2009 | Reply

    I think that the main problem which I am facing is that I am looking in the wrong places for jobs. It seems that many people are hiring virtual assistants from India for 2 or 4 dollars per hour. I simply can not afford to work at those rates. Each time that I quote a price I get laughed at and people are offering me less the minimum wage.

  4. By tongyun on Feb 20, 2009 | Reply

    One more thing that is important is to believe you are worth the price you are asking for. As a computer professional, when people ask me if I can work on their computers, I tell them straight-up that my hourly rate is $75 an hour with a one hour minimum. Know what you are worth and don’t be afraid to ask for the money. If you are good, price will become irrelevant.

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