Around a month ago I gained a new client – she is in a different country to me and working in an area that interested me. I’d been engaged to manage her email lists, monitor her website and eventually set up her shopping cart with a well known shopping cart system online.
However, two things worked against us. My daughter’s wedding took place shortly after we had connected and I had several days when I was unavailable online – she had been informed but it was very early in our new relationship and didn’t help instill confidence in my abilities. The other is that we both have very different workstyles. She was looking for someone who would just run with the information she’d given, whereas I felt there wasn’t sufficient information provided and I kept going back with questions – I wanted to ensure that I was proceeding in the manner she wanted and as I don’t yet know or understand her likes, dislikes, patterns of behaviour, I am reluctant to just go ahead and do something without checking that it was the right thing. There is, after all, a period of time for learning and discovering how a client wants things done.
So, we agreed to part ways – I would have liked to continued for another month or so but I guess she felt she didn’t have time for me to get fully on board. A shame really because it might cause her view of VAs and how they operate to be warped – or perhaps her expectations were just unrealistic. I don’t know her very well and don’t know anyone else who knows her, so hard to determine.
The purpose of this post is for you to realise that not all clients will work out. Some get very impatient and expect a magic wand to be waved but aren’t prepared to spend time to allow you to get fully on track with their work. Some just don’t understand what can and can’t be done. I had one client for several years and when I suggested he get a computer so he could do some of the basic stuff he immediately thought that he’d lose me because he’d be doing all his own work. I smiled and told him ‘no, but it might help you to realise that I can’t wave a wand to make something happen magically – you will develop a greater appreciation for what can and can’t be done’. I knew this client quite well and what I’d told him turned out to be true.
We can’t be everything to all clients and need to accept that there will be some we lose along the way because timing was wrong, because workstyles are different or because expectations couldn’t be met for whatever reason. If this was my first client it would dishearten me and make me wonder if I’m doing the right thing – building a VA business, but fortunately she isn’t and while I’m saddened I didn’t get to prove myself and my abilities to her, I am comforted with knowing I have several other clients who do appreciate what I do for them and they keep coming back. KMT