Are you looking for long term clients? Most of us are, but how do you keep clients for the long haul?
I think you are going to love this interview today, with my peer and friend Hallie Agostinelli. Our experiences are so similar, and they possibly mirror many of your experiences as well.
Hallie Agostinelli is the founder of Virtual Matters, a company serving the online business community through remote assistance. She is also the co-founder of Launch Leaders Academy where she mentors and trains other virtual assistants on how to build a solid, profitable VA business.
Prior to starting her own business, Hallie had over 30 years in the traditional workforce, including powerhouse companies Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and BNI, a global networking organization. She credits her love for extreme client care to her first job with Marriott Hotels & Resorts.
Hallie is talking about the special ingredient that makes her shine and stand out to her clients. She has expanded out of one-to-one client care and has built an educational company in which she is teaching others to do what she has done successfully.
As she has expanded, she has taken a good look at herself to figure out what makes her different. This meant that she reached out to several of her clients who provided her with referrals again and again.
They told her that she goes beyond the checklist.
As a Director of Operations (DOO), this is the key to recurring revenue and not having to spend more and more money on marketing. Today’s episode will show you how to keep clients for life and how to go beyond that checklist.
Halie is a dear friend and a peer in this space and I am so excited to have my community learn from her. Many of you are on the same journey, turning your service provider business into learning and opportunity, and leading the way for other people.
How Did You Get To This Place?
- Everywhere she worked, she had excelled and advanced faster than expected
- During COVID, she started as a VA with one client, as a side job
- Saw the opportunity to expand, and within one year she went from one part time client to a multiple six-figure business specializing in launch support
- Had a client tell her that she just does “more,” meaning, she goes beyond the checklist
- Ex: giving strategy or advice above and beyond the scope of work
- She came up with a list of ways she could go above and beyond, in order to set herself apart
- She never finished college, and carried the embarrassment of that
- We think we need to have all of these qualifications to be successful, but she realized that her competence was more valuable
“I am the best #2 you could ever want in an organization, and when I realized that, it didn’t matter what degree I had.” – Hallie Agostinelli
- Empathy is her superpower. She feels the clients work is her work and she is invested in their outcomes and success
- Empathy can be learned, but there is a balance; you can’t take things too personally
- Ownership: if someone is unhappy with you,you can vent for 1 minute… and then move on and figure out your part in the solution
- Angling for a better way: figuring out what systems could be done differently or better
- She takes the ego out of the process and is always looking for a better solution
- Hustle is looked at as negative, but she is not afraid of hard work
- There is a hustle needed to accomplish a particular level of service
- The little bit of extra time put in keeps clients coming back
- Ask yourself “What else does this need to take it to the next level?”
“A high performing Director of Operations does everything they can in the first 30 days to create 2-way communication.” – Natalie Gingrich
“It doesn’t matter how long something takes, it needs to be done the right way.” – HallieAgostinelli
- Be a good human: remember that you are interacting with other humans
- Have concern, communicate in a cooperative and supportive way, be kind
- Give grace and be honest; establish a great relationship in which you take the work seriously and honor each other
- It is evident when people are not a good fit; pay attention to red flags and realize it’s okay not to enter into a relationship with just anyone
Connect with Hallie
As operators, one of our key roles is to keep the ship sailing for the businesses we support, and a core component of that is to document systems and processes. Our visionary CEOs that we support don’t have the interest in doing this themselves, but they know it has to get done… which is where you come in.
There are lots of ways to document processes, but I want to share with you a powerful tool that I’ve used that I think you are going to love, called Sweet Process. It allows you to create systems and processes and then turn them into step-by-step instructions or a checklist. It also allows you to have a centralized place for anyone on your team to access your procedures and processes at any time.
The best way to know if Sweet Process works for you is to start using it! Access this for 28 days free of charge!
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