"You don't get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour. " ~ Jim Rohn

Your clients are the people who pay you money to do what you love. Without clients, you have no business. So you need to be really aware of valuing them in order maintain and build a successful business.

When nurturing a client relationship, whether it's in the beginning stages, or has existed for a long time, it's important to remember their value. When you first start working with someone there is a learning curve and communication is really key. After you have worked with them for a while, the comfort factor sets in and you may need to focus more on remembering that value.

So let's talk about a few things that you can do in both situations to remind yourself and your client about how important your relationship is:

Set boundaries, but focus on them. One of the things I hear new VAs say, 'I'll be working until one today, and then I have to take Joanie to a play date.' While it's important to set the boundaries for client communication, and to keep them aware of when you will be unavailable, it is not okay to tell them that your home life is taking precedence over your business. Your relationship with them is professional, and if you will be away from your office that's all they want to know. You need to let them know that you value them ... 'I will be away from my office this afternoon, but I'll take care of that first thing tomorrow morning.' is a much better way to state this, and it makes the client feel important while respecting your boundaries.

Be proactive in their business. Whatever it is you do for clients, be sure to always be proactive in your approach. The client decided to work with you for your expertise, so be sure to let them know that. If you sit back all the time and wait for them to ask you to do something, they will feel that they are carrying the load. One way to do this is to have a brief weekly production phone call, and to go over the plan for the coming week. Take charge of the call and let the client know what you need from them, and what you will do. Think ahead and help them to put big projects in perspective. By doing some of the thinking for them, you are placing tremendous value on them, because they will think of you as a partner, instead of as an employee.

Be grateful to them. This one is a pretty simple one, but is often overlooked. You may be grateful for them, but also be grateful to them. Thank them for working with you. Be sure that they know you appreciate their business. If there is something that they ask of you that is not within your scope of work, be sure to communicate effectively to them. If it's not within your service offerings, help them find someone who can do it for them. By respecting their needs and helping them to take care of them, you will build a valuable relationship.

These three ways to value your clients are so simple, and yet many people don't realize they are not doing them. By nurturing your relationships with your clients using these principles, you will make them feel valued in your business as well, and they will want to refer you to their colleagues when they need someone great to work with (everyone loves to gush about how great their VA is!). So not only will you build a long term relationship with your own client, but you will also gain referrals because your client will know that you will take care of their colleagues in the same way that you take care of them.

Look at yourself and your clients. Take the time to make sure that you are setting boundaries with your clients in mind. Help them with the thinking in their business. Say thank you! Pretty easy stuff.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at www.yourvamentor.com