Dealing with Clients

Clients are all different, no two are the same.

I prefer working for men rather than women. I find that men are more easy going, with women I have found it can be a matter of control (not all women clients are like this, some women clients can be great). A man is more able to work with you whereas a woman wants to control what you do or try to. They like the idea of you being their assistant (Personal Assistant etc), we are not assistants, we are business owners. A VA is a business person and owns their own company and we are the one/s who sets out the rules of how the company works, structures, rates etc.

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If a client at the beginning is already looking like they could be a potential troublesome client, then you do not have to work with them, once they start they want stop and it will get worse as time goes by. Are these the types of clients you want in your business? That is the question you need to ask yourself. Have you the time to work with these types of clients, they are very exhausting and they make your job stressful, do we need that stress in today’s world. The great thing about being a VA is you choose who you would like to work with.

Decide your working hours and let your client know and make sure they know this is strictly how you work. Clients can expect you to work anytime they shout, which means late at night, weekends, public holidays. They don’t care, if they work these hours, they can and will expect you to work these hours. The first few times you allow them to call out of hours, they will continue, so start as you mean to go on and make sure they know there boundaries. Let them know how you want to be contacted, cell, phone, email, WhatsApp etc.

Client and VA, Dealing with Clients

If you work with clients in different time zone it becomes more important to let clients know your hours and what hours suit both of you for communication purposes. Working in South Africa and having clients in the USA and Australia can be a nightmare with timing calls etc.

On first meeting a client, don’t bring them to your home, meet them in a coffee shop. This gives you a chance to meet clients on neutral ground and for you to get a feel of what the client is like and whether you will fit well together while working.

It is also advisable to ask for a deposit for those first few tasks that you do for the client, this gives you a feel of how the client is with regards to payments. I have had many years’ worth of experience with dealing with clients, you get clients that will pay no matter what, you will get the clients who will query every little thing you do. Clients like to know what they are spending their money on and they want to know they are getting value for their money with your assistance. Some clients like you to use time tracking software, this is not a problem, there is free open source software available for you to track time and projects, do a quick Internet search or ask other VAs in your network.

Learn as much as you can about your client/s, ask questions about their company, getting to know them helps you while working with them, the more you know about what they do the more you can assist them in other ways within their businesses.

Do not become friends to your client, you are running a business so it is advisable to only have a business relationship. Friendship will get in the way, don’t let that happen. Stay business friendly.


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