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Typing Tips: The discount shopper

If you aspire to be an excellent virtual assistant offering typing services, we’re running a series of tips on how to impress your clients.  Keep an eye out every Tuesday in the coming weeks!!!

  • The discount shopper

I’m sure you think I’m going to tell you to fire this client on the spot – surprisingly I’m not.  I’m going to ask you to weigh up how much hassle they are.  On the plus side:  You know their work, their accent, how to format everything and you don’t need to do any work to get them as a client.  You may well be getting a larger volume of work from them than from other clients.

On the negative side:   It’s less than your standard rate.  But your standard rate should have an element of prospecting worked into it – the element that pays for you to find and impress new clients, market your business and future-proof it.  Unless this client is actively stopping you from seeking out new, higher paying clients, keep them.

What you need to avoid is the discount costing you money though – make sure your “rock bottom rate” is still sustainable for you to outsource the work if necessary and make a small profit.

See also  Typing Tips: Quick Turnaround


  1. Heather Greig on 23 April, 2013 at 9:40 am

    If offering a discounted rate remember to clearly show it on your invoice!

    Make it very clear that it is a ‘Discounted Rate’ or an ‘Introductory Rate’ a ‘Volume Discount’ a Monthly Discount’ etc. This then leaves you room to raise it back to a more profitable level when the time is right.

  2. Kerry Field on 23 April, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Good point Caroline, yes we only offer discounted rates for bulk or pre-paid blocks of work as an incentive for the client and cash-flow benefit for ourselves. The plus side is that you have that regular client although at the reduced rate you know you are going to get a good volume to sustain overall.

    As I utilise the services of 15 other VAs on an regular basis I need to ensure it isn’t too low that I still have a tiny margin when outsourcing.

    Absolutely Heather I didn’t realise how important this was until recently when compiling contractor agreements the clients were reluctant to sign to a fixed fee for two years despite being a lot lower than new clients. I therefore had to advise them of the new fee rate that I was charging and the speed in which they have signed has been shocking!

    I am now from this month showing on the invoice the full amount and then adding the discounted rate so they can see the value of what they are getting.

    • Debby Marcy on 23 April, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Excellent points – and two good strategies for the letting the client know that they are getting a good deal but only for commitment. I really like the idea of showing the full amount on the invoice with the discounted rate so they can see what great value they are getting. Taking a leaf out of the big supermarket chains’ book – show the customer how much they have spent, and how much they have saved.

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