What Happens When You Assume The Worst

I was asking around for referrals for a social media VA for a client and got a thoughtful suggestion from a social media connection.

When I clicked on her site, I was unimpressed, but she came so highly recommended I figured I’d at least initiate contact to see what happened.

In her first note to me, she—let’s call her “Ada”—explained that she would develop a strategy, lay out the details and then find someone to implement. And she closed with “I don’t work for $25 an hour”…so be sure your client is ready to pay my premium price.

Alrighty then.

Let’s break that down.

First: she assumed we didn’t already have a strategy.

Second: she assumed we didn’t want her to implement, but wanted to hire her—someone we didn’t know—to find that person.

Third: she assumed we were looking for the cheapest option.

In short, she assumed the worst. On every single point of our interaction.

And just to make it interesting, before I responded to the first missive, she sent me a second suggesting that if this wasn’t how I liked to work we should stop the “discussion” now because we wouldn’t like working with each other.

Obviously there is a big neon sign over her head saying “turn around and run like hell”, and yet her worries were so comically extreme that it got me thinking.

What happens when any of our intake mechanisms are broken—warped by even just one bad experience?

And does that thinking somehow seep into how we experience new clients and vice versa?

The best part of this business is attracting, meeting and serving your sweet-spot clients. That’s the only way we get to do our magic, to transform the work and/or lives of our best audience.

So literally every single thing we do in that intake creates an impression.

Is yours designed to pull in your sweet-spot?

In Ada’s case, I get that she wanted to target high-end clients—we had a match there.

But no high-end clients I know respond well to “I don’t work for $25 an hour”. It’s aggressive, focuses on her rate vs. their outcomes and just comes across as surly. Not exactly the attitude you want in someone you’ll trust with all your passwords.


The moral of the story is this: you can’t let one bad experience warp how you see your worth OR your dream clients.

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