I’m in the middle of creating my new training program for virtual assistants named “Profitable Packages” and as I’m reaching out and doing promotion, I get responses, feedback, and stories. One of the stories really got to me so I thought I’d share…
The gist of the story was that a virtual assistant was interviewing for a virtual position with a “big name popular guru,” she said she did really well and got along great with the interviewer, who was also a virtual professional who works with many other high-end clients. When it was time to talk compensation, it took a turn for the worse.
Interviewer: “What are your rates?”
VA: “I do have some packages that I believe that will work great. Would you -“
Interviewer: “Sorry we don’t accept packages, I need to know your hourly rates.”
VA: “Umm, ok, my hourly rate is x per hour.”
(let’s say the amount quoted was over $30/hour)
Interview: “That’s not going to work. We can offer $15, maybe $20 an hour. You have to be crazy to think you are going to get more, that’s way too high of a rate. I don’t even pay my VAs that much.”
When I hear that this is happening, I get EXTREMELY upset. As in “send me her name so I can slap her” upset. (Just kidding, I wouldn’t hit anyone. Maybe.)
Now, when this would happen to me and it came time to start talking rates, I used to say something like “I am a little bit different in that I don’t charge by the hour because I’ve found that it benefits the client a lot more when we do it this way.” And a few would continue to push for an hourly rate. I knew right off the bat that these weren’t ideal clients for me so I would say, “If you are looking for someone to track their time and charge by the hour that’s not me. I have a lot of expertise and I’m very fast so it just doesn’t fit my business model. I don’t think it’s going to be a fit.” And then we’d end the conversation.
But more times than not, clients LOVE the package model because they see the value other than a warm body tracking their time and invoicing them.
There are always going to be clients who are stuck in their thinking. They may feel that, while they are business owners and are entitled to charge based on their expertise, VAs are just the support staff or the hired help.
Charge rates that are in line with what we are bringing to the table? That’s just crazytalk you say?
There is something fundamentally wrong with that and I want to be your advocate and be right here beside you when you make the decision to start charging what you are worth. There will be those who think it’s OK to make multiple six figures or even seven figures on the backs of VAs they hire on the cheap. That’s fine, it’s their business, it’s a global economy, totally get that.
But please don’t let that be you.
You deserve much, much better.
If they come at you making you feel like they are doing you a big favor by hiring you and that you really have some nerve asking for more than what they’d pay an employee, let them go. Because I’ll tell you something… even if you end up working for them, it’s always going to be about the money, it’s never going to be about the value. The minute you raise your rates, they’ll look for someone else.
If this happens to you, feel free to borrow this: “As I’ve demonstrated, my clients find tremendous value in what I bring to the table and how I contribute to the bottom line. I too am a business owner and we’ve discussed my packages, which are going to give you benefits and results that you are looking for. If you simply want someone who is going to take up your time and charge by the hour, or punch a time clock, that’s not me and this doesn’t sound like a fit. Thank you for your time and I wish you the best of luck.”
As you can see, I feel very strongly about this – nothing gets me more worked up than hearing from a VA in my community that is made to feel less than. I remember one time when I actually told a client “Do you know who I am? I am a freakin’ superstar and you’d be lucky to have me on your team.” It was then that I knew that I was never going to feel less than again and would never would have to deal with these types of clients. Ever.
Listen my VA sisters, I want you to STOP charging by the hour. STOP being a commodity. And STOP being made to feel like you have some nerve charging more than minimum wage. Sorry, but that’s their problem.
Want more information on packages? I’m doing a FREE Masterclass this week! Sign up here: http://profitablepackages.com/masterclass