Archive for July, 2010

How to Develop a Relationship of Trust With Your Cyber-Clientele

Posted on July 20, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Virtual Assistant |


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As a “Virtual” Assistant, I rarely have the opportunity to meet my clients in person so it’s vital that I do all I can to make a connection with them and that we develop a relationship of trust.  After all, most of my clients provide me with credit card and other confidential information related to their business.  Integrity and trust are among the most valued traits in developing a long-lasting relationship.  So how do my clients KNOW that my priorities are in alignment with their values?   I consistently demonstrate these traits in everything I do for them.

My clients are scattered throughout the country, in different time zones and they are extremely busy, so it’s rare that we have an opportunity to speak on the phone, let alone meet in person.  Our relationship is almost exclusively developed through email communication, so I have to do all I can to promote confidence as well as a sense of familiarity.

The issue of  “bridging the distance” is not exclusive to my business model.  In these technological times, Coaches and Consultants alike as well as many other professions work with clients whom they may never meet face-to-face.  I am pleased to share some examples of how I have been able to nurture my client relationships from afar:

  • Keep them updated regularly on all assignments, pending projects and reminders.  For example, “Do you want me to follow up with Mr. Smith on the proposal we sent him last week?”  To keep my updates brief and concise I use bullet points, e.g. “I have submitted your Press Release to the following outlets …”
  • Make them look good to THEIR clients.  I have clients who provide direct access between myself and their clients. Whether through email or on the phone I handle all communication using a professional yet friendly tone.  Often times I receive feedback from my clients such as “Mr. Jones sent me an email and commented on how helpful you were.”
  • Proofread for content.  Many of my clients have top-notch writing skills but they appreciate that when they ask me to proofread their work I check not only for edits in grammar, spelling and punctuation, I also read for content.  I often include my own redline suggestions to enhance their message and include comments such as “You may want to mention your upcoming event in this paragraph.”
  • Manage important correspondence appropriately. Although my clients trust in my abilities to communicate their message effectively, for more important/sensitive correspondence I send a draft to my client first so they have an opportunity to add or edit anything before I send it out.  Once approved, I copy or blind copy them on the final email.
  • Make it MY business to know THEIR business. Even if it doesn’t pertain directly to me, many of my clients copy me on all their email correspondence so that I am “in the loop”.  I keep a ‘tickler’ file on my desk so pending items won’t fall through the cracks.  Generally I hear “Thank you for reminding me.  I had forgotten about that.”  I also keep their business in the front of my mind and send articles or other items I think would be of interest or relevance to them.

Although your business model may not be the same as mine, I hope these examples have provided some helpful ideas for you to consider and that I have provoked you to think of ways you can enhance your own cyber-clientele relationships.  I would love to hear your feedback and ask that you send me some of your ideas that I can post on my blog.

*To receive a FREE copy of my Ebook, “Social Media Marketing Strategies”, use this link to subscribe to my mailing list: http://bit.ly/A0pq0Y.  

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