How to Target the Right Clients

A young PA agency is struggling to find the right balance between regular and ad hoc work. Ruth Badger looks at what services they offer and how this can be tailored to find the correct clients.


Transcript For Targeting The Right Clients For Your Business Video

Q: I provide small business and lifestyle administration support. So PA, I do pretty much whatever the client needs, ranging from booking a flight to organising a hospital appointment. I've only recently set up, in October of last year, and I charge on an hourly basis. And clients, sort of, come and go. But, sort of, to keep my income consistent for the five days a week, I'm struggling to, sort of, get that opportunity to go and find another client.

A: Okay, what you need to do is, I mean all of this is really relevant to how you sell and what you sell. Because, to give you an idea, if you rang me after this session and said: 'Ruth, you said you haven't got a PA,' and I'd say: 'Yep, do you know what, I'll outsource my PA-ing', then I say to you: 'So, what can you do?', you've just put me straight off. What I need, I'm not interested in any of the other customers, I need to know that when I need you, you are there. Because what you want is, you want your regular, and then you want bitty work, and actually PA-ing is not bitty. Because actually a PA is not just someone who organises flights and does that.

So I think the first thing you need to do before you go out and sell, is actually define the services of what it is you provide.

Admin in a small business isn't normally front-end; it's usually back-end, okay? So if you're talking to me about PA-ing, that to me is an overall thing. But I know from my experience of working with small businesses, that actually their issues are: invoicing, chasing invoicing, paperwork, database, getting the back-end sorted. And this is the key thing about understanding who you're trying to sell to.

If you sat down and said: 'I'm a small business owner, Ruth who does your invoicing? Who does your chasing? Who chases your leads when you're not there?' Because otherwise, when you're working out who you're selling to, you're going to jump up.

You're not going to go for that single one-man-band. You're going to go for the small business owner like James, and probably like Matt, who has got, getting to about 20-25 staff, because that's when they lose the plot, and that's when all of a sudden they're going: 'I've grown, and actually what I did was start my business over there, and now I'm not doing what I enjoy anymore, and I'm un-organised and I'm this, and I'm this and I'm this' and actually that's when that PA role, that's when their brain goes: 'I need a PA'.

People like James and Matt will either go and me, and say: 'Oh, I want a PA, but I want you full-time, but I want to pay you part-time. You know, I want you when I want you, not when you...'

And if I'm a one-man-band and you say: 'Well, I'll tell you what then, every Thursday to Friday, I'll come in and I'll do all your invoicing, chase all your diary, chase all your monies, do all your bank recs, you know, bit of accounting' (which is part of PA-ing as well), that's what fits perfectly in the SME market.

If you want to sell your services, you need to clarify what they are first.

Q: Yeah, I really found it useful. I did, sort of, look at how I can actually improve and go to the next level and I think I need to go away and have a think about what I'm doing.

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