Around 3 years ago a friend from high school called to tell me she wanted to introduce me to someone she believed I could work with as a Virtual Assistant. Now, situations like these always made me nervous because I found myself scared of disappointing the person who introduced us if things eventually didn’t work out. It’s a fear stemming from back in the day when I was still trying to find my way around the VA industry and…OK it’s a long story for another day. So let’s focus people: High school friend introduced me to a prospect and I scheduled the call (with knees trembling😂).
A few days later we were on a discovery call and I must say, it’s probably one of the most memorable discovery calls I have ever had. This woman on the other end of the line was humble, energetic, loving, kind, respectful and filled with so much clarity of her vision. I vividly remember how warm she made me feel. I took that call in the evening, must’ve been around 8PM, and I went to bed smiling because I was ready to sign her up THAT DAY. The call had been scheduled to last just 30 minutes but went over 2 hours as we eagerly bounced ideas back and forth for her upcoming project she wanted me to help her with. I was beyond excited to get started after our very lengthy conversation.
Over the coming months, I found myself working with her and other remarkable people to bring to life her dream of touching the lives of young people through drama and song in the fight against drug and substance abuse. It was such an inspiring and transformational experience, not just for me, but also for nearly everyone who participated in this project. It’s also been one of the highlights of my VA journey.
Last week we reconnected after months of no contact and she sent me a voice note which brought back memories of that first time we talked back in 2017. Only that this time around she was saying, “I am so happy you are fully back at work – I have been waiting for YOU” And here I was thinking she probably moved on and found someone else. But no, she said she wanted to move forward with me. These are the most humbling moments of any virtual assistant am sure – to know that there are people who value what I do so much that they can confidently say, “I’m willing to wait for her” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my clients’ goals to be delayed – reason why I always try to give referrals whenever I can do so in confidence. It’s just that moments like these give validation that the work we do as VAs matters.
Throughout the week this got me thinking about the kind of experience I would want to give those I work with: clients, colleagues, other service providers. Have I been doing enough? How do I leave them feeling after each encounter with me? How can I continue to give them a positive memorable experience? I could write a book about the million and one ways I try to do this for my own clients. I just hope that I am not taking it too far 😂
Anyway, today I just want to encourage you to audit your professional relationships and see if there are ways you could improve them because you just don’t want customers for today, tomorrow or next month. You want clients who will be your partners for life. Those are the best. They will advocate for you more than you will ever do for yourself. When I hop on a discovery call with a prospective client I am not hoping to be done with them in the near future or by end of the contract date. Something in me always seems to see me working with them forever. Unconsciously, I already see myself as part of the team and don’t want to hold back brainstorming ideas and solutions to address whatever problems are presented – even if the prospect doesn’t eventually sign up. Sigh…you can call it my weakness which (almost always) has led to amazing relationships. This is the experience I want to leave them with.
Speaking of being memorable: A woman I respect A LOT, is conducting a Masterclass on Personal Branding on October 10th for African women leaders. Thembe Khumalo of Brandbuilder is my favorite voice of reason when it comes to being a memorable brand. She is very passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with African women and in the African context. So do yourself a favour, click on link below the video for more details about registration, sign up and elevate your brand going forward😉
Til next time…smile, be humble, be kind & be memorable😊