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Michelle Downing

Test Drive Services: Need Advice~Direction~Suggestions~Recommendations

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Hello All!


I am a NEW VA with LOTS of valuable professional experience from my previous employment. I am confident in my value and those who know me also know my value. In NO way am I patting my own back and giving myself kudos, BUT rather it quite the opposite.


I have expressed interest from potential clients, but No clients as of yet. If I was looking for a VA, and not really knowing her potential, but like her experience and background I would be open to a "Test-Drive" prior to buying. I feel this is a WIN-Win for both of us. Benefits to the client are obvious. My benefit: it will put me on the VA map, its an opportunity to prove my value, it will create a valuable testimonial and in turn will attract others to pay for my services. I am sure there are lots of other benefits.



I want to offer a "Test-Drive" to a local small business owner but not sure how to propose it or create the details around the offer. So this is where I REALLY need your HELP by giving your advice, suggestions, recommendations and or Resources.


I would LOVE to hear about your experience with offering a "Test-Drive" to a potential client.


  • Should I offer my services to a potential client for FREE?
  • How long do I provide services for? 30-60-90 days?
  • What services do I offer? For example, do I do everything on their list or ask what their immediate needs are and provide services for the top 1-2 needs?
  • What are some examples of the dialogue between me and the potential client? In other words, I want the potential client to see the value and benefit of this offer.


Thanks so much in advance! I REALLY look forward to reading your replies!


Michelle Downing~Virtually Aligned Business Services


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Michelle, I did this in the beginning too and it worked beautifully for me turning a test-drive client into a full-time monthly client after the first month ;) I also did a ton of volunteer work (same idea) to gain work experience as a VA and word of mouth from that also brought me new clients.

There are so many ways to offer this and you'll have to find the one that you feel comfortable working with.

I've known many VAs (myself included) who in the beginning would give the first 2-5 hours for free for one month just to land that client. I honestly wouldn't do anything for free longer than one month or 5 hours but it's your business too, you are the boss/decision maker. In essence working pro-bono is a way to get testimonials and work experience as a VA under your belt plus hopefully instill trust with a client and starting a new long lasting relationship with them. ;)

Another option I've used is to give them huge discount on a monthly retainer of 10-20 hours for a probationary period of 3 months. After that is over they go up to regular rates (hopefully by then you've WOW'd them into not being able to live without your services).

Or if you don't want to discount your rates on your monthly retainers, throw in some weekly 1/2-1 hour strategy calls for free. After the probationary period time for these calls will be part of their package. This helps you get to know the client better too talking on phone with them.

As for what services to offer that is between you and your client as each client will have different needs. After talking on phone to them to discover their needs find out which ones will best give a better ROI and do those ones. Do tasks that will give the client immediate results. Leave the other ones for when you are working at your normal rate. That way you again WOW your client giving them instant gratifying results making you indispensable to them once the probationary or free period is over ;)

Dialogue will be different most likely for each client as everyone is unique. But feel free once you figure out details on what the client's needs are, whether you are doing free or probationary (plus how long), etc. to post those details here (it's private in the VAinsider area) and we can come up as a group some dialogue to possibly use with them :)

Hope that gets you started.

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Great tips tawnya, When I started out I did free web design and book formatting for one client and from there I got more clients because of word of mouth.


All the best

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