For Virtual Assistants – 5 Tips to Fine-Tuning Your Client Consultation Calls

Recently, I have ‘been on’ a few back-to-back consultations with potential clients. Each conversation had to be fine-tuned on the spot depending upon the clients’ expertise with working with a VA and in regard to his/her use of the internet. Since consults are not ‘one size fits all’ this post can help VAs to customize the conversation to achieve maximum results.

*note RFP used herein is a Request for Proposal. This is the form that potential clients complete with information regarding their virtual assistant needs.
*Letter of Intent is the reply letter a VA writes in response to the RFP.

1) Research, Research And More Research – If there is any tidbit of information you will take away from this post this will be it: Research the client’s website and business as much as possible before dialing the phone. I suggest going one step further and research as much as possible before hitting the send button to reply to the initial RFP itself. Although each Letter of Intent should be customized to the client’s requirements, take more time than usual to know the client because you may not have much time to do the research between the time you hit send and the time the client replies back to your customized letter of intent. I have been in close-timing situations and have had mere minutes to vamp-up my research before I called the client back. Being prepared ahead of time will thwart being caught off-guard because you may need to book an immediate consult. It happens.

2) Be Careful How You Phrase Your Opinions – Before making the consult call (and creating the Letter of Intent), make a list of what you think can be improved on the website or blog but do not come forward right away with a critique while on the phone with the potential client. Wait until the client asks for your opinion and phrase your critique as such, “If your website heading is decreased in size you can offer more information about your business above the page fold” or “If you add your social marketing badges to your home page, you can increase your membership”. Making suggestions as opposed to saying, “The header is too big” or “The web page is messy” may make for bad vibes during the consult. Diplomacy is key.

3) If the client indicates that they do not know how to do something while you explain what services you can provide, offer to show them how to do it. You may think that offering to train a client, for example how to post a blog will take away work from you; I actually believe that this leads to more work, which is what we all really want as virtual assistants. I believe in offering to share my knowledge with a client for three reasons: First, you will get paid for training; Second, once you spend more time teaching the client a task, this helps to build a relationship and solidifies you as the expert and, Three, these tasks lead to more work because then you can make suggestions as to how the task can be fine-tuned. The latter is much easier to do when you have built a rapport with the client.

4) During the consultation call, be keen and listen to the client as they speak. Clues to how much expertise they have will be apparent just by listening. It can be embarrassing for the VA to review services the client is already familiar with. In fact it is a waste of time. Some clients know what ftp might be, while others have no idea. Do not assume a client knows the entire internet ‘lingo’ so it pays to be clear during conversation without being too ‘techie’. It is easier to consult with client who has already worked with a VA so be sure you know this information in advance.

5) If the client is seeking to replace their VA, it pays to know why but never be intrusive by asking outright. Most clients will say if they are replacing their VA upfront. Use that information to your advantage. For example, if the client states, “My VA does not know how to post a blog”, that would be your cue to indicate this is a service you offer (if you do, of course). But do not ask why the VA is being replaced. Only use the information if offered to indicate what you can offer to fill that hole.

Finally, evaluate each consultation call immediately after hanging up. What could you have done better? What did you do well that you can use for the next call? Consultations calls can improve over time.

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

Too often than not, when someone is trying to start out with ecommerce, they will go it alone. While this can be beneficial as it requires the individual to learn quickly about what they are getting into, it can also be detrimental. One of the main reasons is that someone who has never been involved with ecommerce will undoubtedly make mistakes relating to how they conduct ecommerce business. They will commit errors because they will not have the experience they need to avoid those mistakes. This is why many get help with ecommerce in the form of an ecommerce consultant.

An ecommerce consultant is someone who comes to you and helps you manage your business successfully. There are several advantages to having an ecommerce consultant:

1. They have the experience to help you avoid the mistakes you would have made if you went it alone.
2. They know how to make your ecommerce site successful because they have helped others become successful. Therefore, they know what it takes to be successful.
3. They will be able to help you navigate the tricky waters of being an ecommerce site owner.
4. They will know how to market your ecommerce site to drive in traffic so that you can bring in a profit almost immediately.
5. They will know what you need to do to save time and make your business the most successful through efficiency.

An ecommerce consultant will cost you money, and that is what deters many ecommerce site owners. They do not want to spend that extra money because they worry they will get little from it. This is the wrong way to look at things. You have to spend money to make money and you can make money by getting an ecommerce consultant. An ecommerce consultant will save you time because they can help you avoid the mistakes that new ecommerce site owners always seem to make. That saved time leaves more room for profit and that helps you make money simply by spending a bit extra to get an ecommerce consultant.

You can usually find an ecommerce consultant on the internet, where there are many firms that offer ecommerce consulting to new ecommerce owners. The price you pay for an ecommerce consultant is also going to differ. Those with more experience are going to cost more than those with less experience. Which one you get depends on how much you can afford but generally you want to get someone who has a lot of experience.

For more information on starting up an online store, you can visit, where there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you get going with your store.

What a Life Sciences Consulting Firm Can Offer Your Business

Oftentimes, one of the hardest tasks for a pharmaceutical or life sciences firm to achieve is not necessarily starting a successful business, but maintaining a successful business. This is mainly because the life sciences market is extremely competitive, and so much depends on the efficient use of resources, as well as staying current with the newest technologies and methods of production. For a smaller pharmaceutical company, this task can be even more daunting, as budget and staff constraints are often limited, affecting everything from timing, to regulation compliance.

Fortunately, for smaller pharmaceutical companies, the appearance of more and more life sciences consulting firms has made it possible for smaller firms to improve their competitive advantages, as well as give larger companies clearer strategies to follow for success. These firms can help your business to not only stay competitive, and stay in the market, but also give your company its best chance to succeed and grow.

Each life sciences consulting firm is different and can offer your company different services. The first step is to clearly determine what you feel your company’s needs are, and where your company needs improvement and expertise. Through this assessment you will be able to determine what consulting services your company needs, and form a basis from which to work from. There are a number of consulting services your company may not even be aware of which can drastically improve your business. Here are a few examples of what a life sciences consulting firm can do for your business.

A life sciences consulting firm can save your company time and money by helping to speed up the rate it takes to conduct clinical trials, monitoring, research, as well as any other application process. They can also provide you with a specialized staff that may have expertise in areas in which your company is lacking. They can also find experts in almost any field of biotechnology, to share their knowledge and experience with your company. Most importantly, they can teach the staff you already have in place, to do things better, faster, and more efficiently, not to mention, familiarize your company with the newest methods and technologies, to help you keep a competitive advantage.

A top-notch life sciences consulting firm will help give your pharmaceutical company the flexibility it needs to adapt to current trends and changes taking place within the industry, as well as save your company time and money in the process. They will help your company to better understand all the procedures and regulations, and give your firm clear answers to help guide you along your process development.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention as the original source.)

What Can an Image Consultant Do For You?

What an image consultant can do for you is vast and varied. The very word image has a lot to contribute to the way a business or an individual is portrayed to the world. Because people usually form an impression within the first few minutes it is critical to seize that moment and be viewed in the right light. People have so much information to process and so your first impression in these few minutes is often your only opportunity. If you do pass on a sub-optimal image you will have to do considerable damage control to rectify your impression.

Questions like how do I create a professional image, how can I improve my presentation skills, how can I handle my staff, how can I create a corporate identity are well within the capabilities of an image consultant. Image consultants are well trained to identify problems and provide practical solutions according to each situation. They can be responsible in creating the right image with your business, staff, dress codes, staff empowerment etc.

Your focus may be to feel more in control over how you present yourself in general. Many of us don’t feel confident about our image. We would like to know what kind of insight an image consultant can provide in selecting the best colors that complement us, types of clothing for our body type, appropriate makeup, as well as etiquette tips and awareness of body language.

No celebrity takes decisions by themselves with regard to their appearance and body language. It is critical to present the right image when meeting their fans and the media. Although you may not need an image consultant by your side as frequently as a celebrity might, a few consultations can give you some wonderful insights and tools to make those key changes that will have far reaching implications.

An image consultant has a wide range of clients from pharmaceutical companies, property management groups, insurance groups, financial consultants, accounting firms, retail stores, oil companies, software companies and the general public too.

At a time when opportunities are limited, getting noticed in a positive way couldn’t be more important.

Fashion Image Consultants For Men

When a man seeks out the services of a fashion image consultant he begins a journey of self discovery.

“A man’s elegance stems from his knowledge of clothes, of how to wear, buy and care for them. It is this awareness that others notice about him: he is no self-aggrandising dandy but a man whose confidence is perfectly balanced by the beauty and suitability of the clothing he wears. We step back and admire the eloquent nonchalance of one who knows the rules and has successfully and joyfully mastered them.” Richard Martin,Curator of the Costume Institute, Metropoliatan Museum of Art.
This journey will alter the way he thinks about himself and how he looks at clothes well into the future. The expert advice of a trained professional will make shopping easier and dressing for any occasion more successful. Many men are initially stunned by how much they don’t know and how much they have to learn because good grooming goes way beyond choosing a tie and buying a suit.

A fashion image consultation for men should include many things:

· Body Analysis. This allows a man to develop an awareness of his silhouette, vertical proportions and positive or negative features. This information determines the styles and lengths of garments that enhance and flatter him.

· Line, Design and Colour Principles. This is the theory that underpins so much of the art of good dressing. Few people are trained in these principles and consequently make poor choices regularly when shopping for clothes. If they have an instinctive notion that what they have bought isn’t flattering, they rarely know why and so consistently repeat the mistake.

· Garment Selection. Using the information gleaned from the body analysis, he should receive a comprehensive list of clothing styles that will help him look his best on any occasion.

· Accessory Knowledge. This is an invaluable element of the consultation because accessorising appropriately is very important to a man’s visual image. It is this aspect of a man’s wardrobe that enables him to express his individuality and style personality.

· Wardrobe Organisation. This part of the consultation trains the male in the art of pulling many disparate elements together to create a winning outfit. It is an essential skill for minimising duplication and maximising cost effectiveness.

· Style Personality. Every man has one, and it comes from his life’s experiences, vocation, education, life style, interests and physical attributes.

Many men may think that seeking the services of a fashion image consultant is an exercise in vanity and self aggrandisement. And perhaps for a few it is. Clothes and personal grooming is only one facet of a man’s life, knowing how to maintain perspective and balance is essential. However, there is plenty to learn and much to be gained by investing in the services of a fashion image consultant. After all, when a man knows that he looks good it raises his self esteem and self confidence. He will attract positive attention and positive people. He will dramatically increase his visual credibility and create opportunities in all areas of his life.

Consultant Companies – How to Setup in Four Amazing Steps?

What if you discovered some basic secrets to setup your own consultant company and earn amazing income out of it?

Do you want to know the steps that you can follow for setting up profitable internet consultant company starting today?

The aim of this article is to make sure that you learn some basic tips and apply in your system to establish successful consultant company on internet.

Here are 4 surefire steps to get you started right from today…

Step 1 – Research niche.

Step 2 – Setup top quality services.

Step 3 – Strong marketing.

Step 4 – Expand knowledge.

Here are step by step details that you can apply in your consultant business quickly and easily…

Step 1 – Research niche.

First of all you should research a profitable niche to start your own consulting service quickly.

Make sure that you choose the niche in which you are highly interested.

You should visit forums on internet and this will help you out in selecting your niche.

Step 2 – Setup top quality services.

Once you select your business niche now it’s time to setup quality services to attract more clients to join your company.

Make sure that your consultation service is very easy and simple for your clients to understand.

Step 3 – Strong marketing.

It’s important that you do aggressive marketing of your business in order to achieve huge success out of it.

You can use various marketing techniques like article marketing, forum marketing, blogging, search engine optimization to attract more people towards your consulting company.

Step 4 – Expand knowledge.

You need to expand your knowledge on regular basis to declare yourself as an expert in your niche.

Attend all the seminars related to your niche and learn new things to grow your consulting business at rapid speed. It is important that you get started today using the information displayed in this article.

The Three Biggest Benefits to Using Marketing Consultants For Your Web Marketing Platform

Many companies assume that advertising online is all about placing a few ads, writing a few articles and making a really nice website. However, there is a lot more to it than this. In fact, because the Internet is constantly changing and progressing every single second of every single day, it’s important that you not only keep up with the trends, but predict what’s coming in the future.

This is why more and more companies are going to Internet marketing consultants for the help they need. They have the expertise and the comprehensive understanding on the World Wide Web so you don’t have to waste time, money and effort trying to master the art of Internet marketing. With marketing consultants, you can lean on them for all things Internet and worry about the rest of your company.

Below we have highlighted three of the biggest benefits to using marketing consultants and how this can save you money and expand your company’s profit.

High Leverage with Low Overheads

Think about this: when you place an ad in a newspaper, it will most likely be seen my thousands, most of which will not be in your niche market. After all, men, women, teenagers, mothers, business people and everyone else read the paper. However, for a lower cost, you could place your website at the top of Google and it will be seen by millions of people on a permanent basis. Furthermore, it will be seen by those who actually searched for something relevant to your site and, thus, they are in your niche market.

Advertising on the net is a lot cheaper (and even free) than traditional billboards, sales letters, etc. In fact, to send an email newsletter to millions of recipients, it’s free. There are no print costs, no delivery fees and no hidden overhead costs. This is the same when it comes to ad copy, banner ads and various other promotions on the net. Because it is all done in cyber space, the overhead costs are incredibly low.

Results Guaranteed

Although it may not be possible to predict the exact outcome of your web marketing strategy, it is possible to tweak and test the results to see what works for your company. When it comes to conventional advertising such as television ads and billboards, it can be hard to know if they are actually working. With a/b split tests and ecommerce software, you can see where the prospects are coming from and why. Then you can tweak your platform to continue these great results.

Professional Service

Another great thing about working with marketing consultants is that you are getting an outsider point of view on what your company needs. This is great for connecting with the niche market and general public. Furthermore, marketing consultants specialise in all things web marketing including article writing, PPC placement, affiliate marketing and everything else. Instead of using a generalized marketing service, Internet marketing consultants have the know-how, and the credentials to actually help you.

The Need For Behavioral Consultation

Teaching is one of the noblest professions in itself. But it is also extremely challenging. Every new day brings a new surprise. Interacting and educating children is not easy. And on many occasions, you come across children with developmental disorders. Children who are not able to do complete justice to their abilities. Children who cannot function to their optimum in class. The child might seem like every other normal child but may have deep rooted traces of a mental disability or a developmental disorder lurking within him/her. It is here that behavioral consultation can prove to be helpful.

Behavioral consultation is a service offered by qualified psychiatrists and therapists who offer analysis, support and solutions to help schools working with children presenting challenging behavior.

Who is a behavioral consultant?

A behavioral consultant is a professional who has a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis or in any closely related discipline like psychology, special education, human development. They have necessary expertise in implementing behavioral analysis for people with Mental Retardation or Developmental Disabilities.

There are certain ethical principles set in this regard by the American Psychological Association and each behavioral consultant is expected to follow them. One of the most important clauses states that a professional should only offer such services for he/she has appropriate training. They offer multiple services like assessment of basic language and learning skills, scales of independent behavior, functional assessments, enhancing learning, training and support for caretakers and teaching staff.

How behavioral consultation can help

A behavioral consultant can step in from the moment you identify problematic behavior in a child. He/she will then conduct a complete functional assessment of the problem behavior to identify the exact cause. Then, an intervention plan will be chalked out based on the functional analysis. This plan will help the person develop necessary and useful skills.

There are many other services also offered by behavioral consultants and services vary from one organization to the other.

Why Business Consulting Is So Important

There are talented and learned people who run and work in consulting firms who make it their business to help others understand what they need to do to make better profits. This is especially true nowadays since there are so many means of conducting a business and the internet even lets us sell our products online to a global market!

Both well-established and new businesses just starting out have a lot to learn from consulting firms. They may know much about their own businesses and how to run them, but they need to know a lot more about the other aspects of the market in order to become completely successful. A fresh look/start from a third party without emotions tied into the business is always beneficial.

Learning new ways of marketing your product and selling it to your customers and advertising it to gain more customers is important for all business people. Consulting agencies analyze the market and devise the kind of plans that will help with growth, especially with the fierce competition nowadays. It may even be necessary to change or add in new goals to make the business more efficient.

There are many ways that a business consultant can help you learn more. First of all, they can help you find out what market you are in and who you need to sell to, in other words, who your target market is. They can help survey potential customers and find out what they want and what they would buy, so that you can find a way to gain the most number of customers for your businesses.

It is also important for your business itself to be analyzed well. Your strengths and weaknesses need to be known so that your strengths can be improved and your weaknesses can be turned into strengths because no one is perfect. Also, you need to know what opportunities you have as a business owner, and which ones would be the best to take advantage of to further the business as a whole.

Your brand needs to be well known so that your potential customers will find out more about you and figure out whether or not to do business with you. In order to do this, you need to market well and market in places that potential and current customers and clients would be able to see the advertisements. You can market online as well as in your area to broaden your customers globally!

Even the best businesses sometimes need a consult in order to make them better and adapt with the times. A corporation that does not adapt will not be able to sell to the modern market, no matter how good their product is. So if you have a business, old or new, it is a good idea to find a business consulting firm you trust.

Is $500 A Lot to Spend on SEO Consultation?

SEO consultations can really help you get your e-commerce business started in the right direction. Even though normally SEO consultants charge around $80-250 per hour, some established authorities charge around $800 per hour. Does that sound like you are wasting your money on them? Not really.

SEO consultations, like everything else, are vastly different from one another. A person who charges $80 might not be that experienced in this field or he might just want to take small projects. A person charging above $500 per hour is most likely to be more visible in the industry and for that reason he can help you more. If you are a corporation or someone who is managing a very large website, you should consider going with the “big SEO consultants”.

The point I am trying to make is that if you can get to know that your SEO consultant knows what he is talking about, getting into a consultation with him is a no-brainer. Sure, you might have to pay a huge price for it upfront, but that will save you a lot of hassle down the road.

Most SEO consultants can reduce your curve by over a year! Is that worth paying $500 for? I would think so.

In the end, it really boils down to what you are consulting about, what your goals are and how much can you spend on pre-marketing.

All the clients I have consulted with have been really happy with the consultation, because it gave them direct and quick answers to their questions.