You wake up one morning and eagerly check your emails. Has that client got back to you yet – the one you met last week who you REALLY want to work with?
Yes! You feel a surge of excitement as you click open the email. To your dismay, it looks like this client wants you to do something you’re not comfortable or familiar with. It could be redesigning a website, setting up a database, creating a flyer – whatever it is, it’s out of your comfort zone. What to do?
I was asked about this recently:
“How often are you asked to do things beyond your skillset? And, in those situations, how do you handle it? Do you tell them that, though you can’t do the work yourself, you can outsource it to someone who can?”
There are a number of options:
- Pretend you can do the work, take ages doing it, endure a few sleepless nights, do a bad job and lose the client and possibly your reputation!
- Be upfront with the client. Say it’s not within your skillset but that:
- You can refer it to someone you know who can. This is why it’s a good idea to network with other Virtual Assistants from the start and not view them as competitors! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll ‘lose’ that client completely. Make it clear that you’re keen to help in other areas and reiterate your skills.
- You can outsource it to one of your team (if you’re that far down the track)
- You’re willing to learn on your time or at a greatly reduced rate. This depends on your relationship with the client. This would obviously be more conducive to a good long-term relationship where you and the client are growing together. It also depends on whether you want to develop this particular skill (you may not!) and how urgent the project is!
Sooner or later, there’s a good chance that you’ll come across this situation – most people do. Don’t worry too much about it or let it get you down – you always have options. Focus on what you CAN do. And if the project sounded really interesting – make a commitment to learn that skill for the future.