Ask any VA to tell you what a new client consultation is for, and they’ll tell you it’s to help you better understand your client. And they’d be right – mostly.

A client consultation form is something that we usually fill out during a discovery call with a potential new client, to get to know more about them and their business. However, it’s also a form that we use, to assess whether we’re the best fit for that client – and if we’d be happy working with them, too!

Get to know about their business

As a basic focus, you need to know about their business. This starts with the basic contact information, but also, what is it they do and where are they based? How long have they been in business? Who do they work with and do they have a team? How about freelancers, outsourcers and employees – who do they use and how many do they have? What hours do they work and when are they open? What are their goals and ambitions for the business? What social media platforms do they use and what are their business standards and values etc?

The potential client – who are they?

It’s important that you also take this opportunity to get an insight into the potential client themselves. Why type of person are they? Find out a bit about their personal/home life, as this can give you valuable insight into what help they may need, as well as what’s important to them. Are they married and do they have children? What interests and hobbies do they have? Do they have pets? What about holidays and travelling – do they enjoy doing this and, if so, do they do it often? This isn’t just about knowing more about them – it’s also showing you how flexible they are (and may need you to be), how you can streamline things for them (such as holiday and travel bookings) and what’s their why for doing what they do (family, a better lifestyle or time with family etc0.

A client consultation shows their pain points

In the process of having a conversation about their work and personal life, you’ll become aware of where their pain points, sticking areas and areas that need work on, are. A client may initially come to you for one problem, but in the course of having a conversation with them and going through your consultation form, you may realise they have several. It could also be, they’re focusing on what they think is their biggest pain point, but you can see it’s actually a symptom of another.

The beauty of the initial consultation, is to for both of you to get clear on what they need help with, as well as how you can help them solve it.

Do you want to work with each other?

However, the client consultation form isn’t something that you just work through, firing questions at your client. It’s a conversation and, in the process of having that conversation, you’re both looking to answer this question – do you want to work with each other?

The VA/client relationship is one that needs to be built on trust, respect and likeability – and if you don’t like each other, that isn’t going to happen. In having a client consultation, you’re really asking yourself – can I work with this person? Am I the best fit for this client – and will I be able to bring value to this person’s business?

The client consultation form enables you BOTH to make the decision, as to whether to go ahead and work together, or find a VA that is better suited to that client and their needs.

What are your thoughts around the client consultation form? Do you have one that you send to your clients or do you get on the phone and have that conversation instead? Which do you prefer and why? Why not share your thoughts and opinions, in the comments box below!

Image courtesy of Jeanette Dietl/