Dear Gritty VA:
I’m sitting here waiting for a local client to show up in my office to pick up their "rush" job that they wanted me to drop everything for yesterday. I worked on this project for them until well past midnight. They said they would be here to collect my work at a certain time; I’ve been waiting now for over three hours with no sign of them, much less a phone call. I’m fuming! And this isn’t the first time this has happened. How should I handle this? –NT
What I don’t understand is why Virtual Assistants seem to think "local" must equate with "non-virtual."
Why treat local clients differently than you would clients in any other part of the world? It shouldn’t matter where the clients operate, or how you initially met them. ALL of your business should be done virtually if you want to manage it efficiently and have more time available for billable work.
I wouldn’t allow client’s to come to my home or office to drop off or pick up documents; I certainly wouldn’t allow them to continue to disrespect and abuse my time. Remember, we train people how to treat us.
Here’s what I would do: I would be very direct, and let this client know that you have an expectation that your time is to be respected. I would further resolve to discontinue this ill-conceived idea of having a public office open to local clients.
Draft a letter to your local clients and let them know that you’re implementing new efficiencies in your business that ultimately allow you to serve them better. Indicate that you are discontinuing the policy of office pickups and drop-offs, and that anything that can’t be sent back and forth electronically in some way, may be couriered (or mailed, or whatever) to and from your office.
Trust me, you and your business will benefit greatly by nipping this practice in the bud.