#154: What to do so that you never have a client say “But I didn’t know that!”

Feb 26, 2023 | Working with Clients

This month we are breaking down the onboarding process into some easy steps. If you need to catch up, click on the links below in the resources area.

As we wrap up this series on creating your onboarding process, I wanted to show you how to solve the problem of the “but I didn’t know that-itis.” If you’ve worked with clients, you know what I’m talking about. It can come in the form of “I didn’t know you’d charge me for that? It only took a couple of minutes.” This can lead to animosity and perhaps an unpaid bill

Or maybe your client is working from a package and they ask for things that go waaayyyy beyond that package. This can lead to you working for just above minimum wage. 

Or they continue to contact you on evenings and weekends after you’ve told them that, hello, you don’t work evenings and weekends….This all boils down to just a few final steps that you NEED to do before you start working.

Today’s episode is What to do so you never have a client say, “But I didn’t know that!”

Welcome back to Systems Sunday. We are wrapping up our theme of simple and easy client onboarding. If you need to catch up, you click on the links below in the resources area.

I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

This month we’ve gone over lots of steps on how to create an onboarding process. Creating this process will save you loads of time with future clients. No more guessing what you need to do; you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips because you did the work upfront. Once the tough work is done, you won’t have to think about this process again unless you want to make changes (or if clients give you feedback that necessitates a change). Today’s episode is what to do so you never have a client say, “But I didn’t know that!”

Before you work with your new client, REVIEW all the paperwork. Is the contract signed? Did they sign off on the payment plan? Is there any other form in your Welcome Kit that hasn’t been returned? If so, follow up with your new client and explain how you need everything signed before you can start your sessions.

REVIEW all the financial papers. Have you received your first payment? What happens when a client pays late? Do you offer recurring payments or autopay? These are all sensible questions you need to explain to your clients, even if they don’t think to ask themselves.

REVIEW your business policies and your boundaries. Does your client understand when and how they are allowed to contact you? Have you come up with a preferred way of communication? For example, do they want a weekly team call, updates only on Monday with a Wednesday check-in? Do they send tasks via email or use a project management system?

If necessary, hold a meeting and go through every line of the contract together. It doesn’t have to take a long time but sometimes things are easier to understand when you’re going over it together and not using legal jargon. This way your client can never say, “You didn’t explain that to me,” or “I didn’t know.” That’s what contracts are for!

Now that you’ve reviewed everything, provide a proposed schedule of future work you’ll do together based upon your client’s goals and action plan. Keep track of the tasks in your chosen project management software along with deadlines. Give your client a tour of the software’s backend via Zoom or a recorded session so your client can have access whenever they need it. This is a collaborative effort so you’ll both need the most recent notes and action steps.

It’s finally time to get started with the fun stuff! Put on your cheerleader hat and get your client excited. Reiterate your excitement about working together, send a thank you note for choosing you, and bring that same excited energy to your work, your clients will love you!

If you enjoyed this episode and want more onboarding strategies, check out my Client Intake and Onboarding Growth and Profit Plan. These bite-sized trainings are perfect for giving you the “just in time” information you need for an effective client onboarding system.

You’ll discover:

  • How to stop winging it and what to do when clients push boundaries
  • A great system for a smooth client intake and setting up the client for success
  • Action sheets for new client intakes and new client setup systems

You can find the product below or head over to my VA Business Builder Boutique by clicking on Shop by Type in the menu bar and you’ll see a link for Growth and Profit Plans.

That’s all for now, have a great week!

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Check out this Growth & Profit Plan!

Growth & Profit Plan: Client Intake and Onboarding


Delighting your clients from the start means they’ll return and send referrals. Without a great intake system, you’ll end up recreating the wheel over and over again. #wasteoftimeandenergy

With this Client Intake and Onboarding Growth & Profit Plan, I’ll show you how to painlessly weed out those who can’t afford you, won’t do the work, or just aren’t the right match – before they even sign up. No more wasted phone calls – high five!

Here’s what you’ll discover in this lesson:

  • How to stop winging it when it comes to setting boundaries and what to do when clients push boundaries
  • A great system for a smooth client intake and setting up the client for success from the beginning that you can model
  • Action sheets for new client intakes and new client setup systems that you can use as a resource


The Client Intake & Onboarding Growth & Profit Plan includes:

  • Training video
  • Downloadable audio
  • Transcript
  • Slide deck
  • Sample workflow of a “New Client Setup” for products and services – your A-Z roadmap showing you “do this first, then do that”
  • Sample intake form for a coaching client
  • Sample intake form for a project client

PLEASE NOTE: Once you purchase, you will receive an email with your login/password to gain lifetime online access to your Client Intake and Onboarding training.

#154: What to do so that you never have a client say \
#154: What to do so that you never have a client say \


Ready to get the most out of your viewing time?

Pick a collection below to get actionable, momentum-building advice with what you need help with right now.


Setting rates, client boundaries, & onboarding systems


Social media, email marketing, automation, & funnels


Processes, planning tools, outsourcing, & scaling systems

Simple Systems for Virtual Assistants

Grow, market, organize, and scale your business with FREE simple systems!

With short actionable insights brought to you every week, Systems Sunday videos have earned its spot as *can’t miss* watching for thousands of results-driven virtual pros just like you.