Davinci Virtual Blog



Get Meaningful Client Connections with Quick Conversation Tips

Small talk serves a great purpose. Good small talk helps create a deeper bond, especially in business settings. Unfortunately, no matter how seasoned of a conversationalist you are, sometimes business conversations can seem awkward or forced.

To help you out, here are five simple things you can do to get the conversation flowing and make a truly meaningful client connection:

1. Express curiosity

One of the simplest ways to make meaningful client connections is to express curiosity. Did they say something clever or interesting? Ask them to elaborate. Did they make a passing comment about their family or their plans for the weekend? Ask about the details. Asking good questions demonstrates that you are actively engaged in the conversation and deepens the bond between you and your client, even if it’s off topic, so don’t be afraid of asking questions that don’t pertain to business.


“Have any fun plans for the weekend?

“Oh, you have a dog? What’s his name?”

“How was your anniversary last week?”

2. Make it about them

Have you ever been trapped in a conversation with someone who centers the conversation on themselves? It isn’t pleasant in personal conversations, and conversations with clients are certainly no exception. Flattery is a useful conversation tool in business, so make sure that the conversation is about them. Show interest in their opinions and experiences by noticing things about them and making kind observations. Compliments and positive feedback encourage them to open up and trust you more in business.


“That’s a really good point, [their name].”

“You sound chipper today. Did you have a nice weekend?”

“What do you think about this? I really value your feedback.”

3. Do your research

Prior to meeting with a client, do your research. What is their job and at what company? Where are they based? This information can give you a lot of ideas to break the ice. If you know they are the owner of a business located in New York, you can ask how they got into their industry or about the range of their professional responsibilities. Or if you are looking for a more casual conversation, you could discuss current events in New York such as entertainment and well-known establishments. Just a little bit of background information gives way to a lot of topics.


“How long have you been at your company?”

“You live in Boston? How’s the snow over there? I hear it’s crazy.”

“Oh, you’re a [job title]. What kind of stuff do you do?”

4. Find commonalities

To establish more meaningful client connections and to make conversation easier long into the future, it is wise to search for commonalities. Did they just get back from a vacation? Ask if they like to travel. If travel is an interest of yours as well, you’ve found some common ground to draw on. Actively listen for hints on their hobbies and interests, including favorite sports teams, volunteer work, or just what they like to do during their off time.


“You like the Steelers? Me too! Did you see the game last week?”

“I’m glad to hear you had a nice time on your cruise. Do you like to travel?”

“I was just finished reading [book title/article/etc]. Have you read anything interesting lately?”

5. Don’t forget to listen

As we fret about awkward silences or unnatural conversation, we often forget to listen, which may be the more crucial part of creating meaningful client connections. Conversation is a two-way street, so be sure to listen for cues and try not to interrupt them. There are many things you can do to be an active listener on the job, such as adding short commentary to show you are listening and prompting them to continue. Even try referring to earlier statements in the conversation when possible to demonstrate your focus.


“Interesting. That’s a really good point.”

“That reminds me, earlier you said, ‘[X].’ How about [Y].”

“I agree with [restate what they said].”

Small talk is an inevitable part of business, but there are ways to master it and use it to your advantage. Next time you are meeting with a client, keep these tips handy and watch as you engage in a conversation that is sure to create a strong personal and professional bond.

For more advice on creating better client connections and other business solutions, subscribe to the Davinci Virtual blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


5 Reasons Why Many Small Business Startups Fail

In every industry, most small business startups fail, and no matter what we tell ourselves, it’s not simply because of bad luck.

Startups fail for a variety of reasons, but they are always attributed to specific miscalculations. When a small business fails, either right after take-off or farther along the company’s life-cycle, it’s likely because of one of these five reasons:


  1. Bad business model

Often, entrepreneurs are overly optimistic, and unfortunately, the “If we build it, they will come” mentality is not a sound business model. Acquiring customers takes time and strategic marketing. You may have a great product, site, or service, but without a great business model, it will not hold your small business afloat.

If you think acquiring a few new customers will equate to success, think again. It’s the first rule to starting a business, but one that entrepreneurs often forget. Acquiring new customers actually costs your business more money than retaining the customers you already have. To avoid business model failure, focus on the lifetime value of a customer more than customer acquisition.


  1. Mismanaging finances

Another common reason small businesses fail is financial mismanagement. If you pay little attention to your bottom line, you’re almost immediately doomed to fail. When you’re running a small business, it’s easy to miscalculate operating costs, initial startup costs, product pricing, and founder’s salaries.

To avoid this mistake, be sure to consult a talented accountant, create and maintain a very detailed outline of expenses, and secure a long-term plan to raise cash.

  1. Market issues

It is possible that you can do everything right, but your startup could still fail. The reason may be problems with the market. In many cases, it’s possible that the market timing is bad. Your product or service might be ahead of the market by several years and depend on the emergence of other products in order for it to gain traction.

Additionally, the market should be recognized as dynamic and ever-changing. Even if your product fits the market when you started, it’s possible for the winds to change. Prepare to continually adapt your strategy to stay relevant by thoroughly conducting market research before you begin, and again at least once a year afterwards.

  1. Product/market fit

It’s also possible that the problem lies with your product or service itself, either due to market need or a deeper strategic issue.

Product problems may be also be apparent if there is not enough value proposition. At that moment in time, buyers may not have a compelling enough reason to purchase your product. However, if you properly demonstrate your product’s value to meet a relevant want or need, you have the potential to succeed.

  1. Hiring the wrong people

Even when all other startup elements appear to be in line, many businesses fail because they didn’t hire the right people. Startup managers, in particular, have the tendency to take on too many tasks and responsibilities, preventing both themselves and their team from achieving long term growth.

Free up more of your time and help out your team by learning how to effectively delegate tasks. Even simpler administrative tasks that take up the bulk of a business owner’s day can be outsourced to live virtual receptionists. With virtual receptionist services, hours of your day spent performing duties like customer service, processing orders, or scheduling appointments can be freed up to focus on achieving business goals and providing direction and leadership for your team.

As you take these reasons into consideration, it is critical that you create a living business plan to outline specific steps you will take to achieve success 3-5 years ahead, including your market analysis, financial projections, and plans to raise additional funds. This will help you foresee any possible roadblocks and prevent your small business startup from going under.

To learn more secrets to operating a successful small business, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Dramatically Increase Sales Through Better Communication

78% of consumers have canceled a transaction or decided not to make an intended purchase because of a poor customer service experience. -American Express Survey, 2011

Running a small business or startup can be an exciting time for a motivated mobile entrepreneur. With a growing client base, new business opportunities, and a strengthening brand, it's important to keep your customer service consistent and responsive. Recent surveys have shown customer service and communication with current and prospective clients are hugely important when it comes to improving a small business' bottom line. Having a team of live receptionists to answer calls, process orders, provide client support, and help keep your communication with clients organized is one of the most cost-effective and immediate ways to elevate your customer service.

When asked, 67% of respondents to the American Express Survey claimed to have hung up the phone out of frustration for not reaching a real person. While clients understand that at times they may need to leave a voicemail or message, if you're consistently struggling to quickly answer phones, up to 2/3 of your clients will look elsewhere. Davinci live receptionist average an under two second answer time for all inbound calls.

In a 2009 study, a Gensys Global Survey found out that 78% of a happy customer experience is based on competent service reps. While, as the business owner, it would be ideal to speak to every client personally, a trained and always available live receptionist service can always be counted on to provide a happy customer experience for your clients. Based and completely staffed in the United States, Davinci's receptionists will be able to communicate clearly, quickly, and with a personalized touch to your clients.

Finally, Lee Resources found that 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with a company that has provided them with a negative customer service experience. Unless you're the only player in your industry, slow communication and non-personalized customer service will drive your clients to the competition.

To learn how to get your own team of virtual receptionists, please contact us at 888-863-3423 or visit us at www.davincivirtual.com.


How to Have a Desirable Work Life Balance While Running a Business

We live in a society that demands commitment to be successful, but putting in too many hours is actually detrimental to your health. Employees that work at least eleven hours a day have a higher risk of depression, cardiovascular issues, insomnia, and even early onset dementia.

It’s important to balance work and your life outside of it, not only for your sanity, but also to increase efficiency at work. But when you are the owner of a home-based business, sometimes it might seem impossible to separate your two lives when they share the same space.

With these work life balance tips, you can create a perfect balance between work and your personal life:

Dress for work

If you don’t treat your home-based business like a real workplace, then it’s not going to be a very productive space in which to work. While some business owners like to take advantage of working from home by staying in their pajamas all day, this may not be the best option for someone who wants to stay professional and efficient.

Make a point to dress for work every day. It will help you get in a work-driven mindset and act more professional. Even in a home-based business, you have to remember that you are in a work environment and you should dress accordingly. And of course, when you are done working for the day, those pajamas will offer far more comfort than if you had been lounging in them all day.

Create separate spaces

On the subject of work environments, you should create separate spaces for work and play. To create a more business-like environment, set aside an area in your home to serve as your office, and only perform work duties in that space. Similarly, establish at least one work-free space that is meant purely for entertainment, relaxation, and fun, and do not ever let work cross your established boundaries.

Change of scenery

It’s common for entrepreneurs who work from home to feel stir-crazy, so it’s important to occasionally get a change of scenery. Whether it is during work hours or your downtime, make a point to leave the house.

While working, schedule meetings at other locations, work from your favorite coffee shop, or rent a day office for a couple hours or a few days. Once you are done working for the day or the weekend, make plans that involve going somewhere else: see a movie, go to the park, or go to a restaurant with friends and family.

Learn to turn off work

This may be the most important thing, but also most challenging, that owners of home-based businesses must do. Create a schedule for yourself, starting work at one specific time and clocking out at another. Time outside of those designated hours should be spent doing anything but work.

This means you need to disconnect so that your business is out of sight. Refrain from responding to calls or emails. You could even use virtual receptionist services to assist you by answering calls with a personalized greeting and routing them to you when you are available during work hours so that you aren’t tempted to keep working. Live virtual receptionists come with other features, like voicemail management, so you can rest easy knowing that any calls you miss outside of work hours will be recorded, transcribed, and emailed to you so you can respond when you return to work.

Avoid overtime

When you create a schedule for yourself, stick to it and try to stay within a 7-8 hour workday. This will help you avoid burnout and leave more time for you to unwind and tend to other details of your life. Working overtime is associated with a lot of mental disorders, so it is important to limit your amount of overtime hours to maintain overall health and happiness.

With a few adjustments, an adamant schedule, and commitment to both work and your personal life, it’s possible to find a balance between work and your personal life, even when you work from home.

Contact us to learn more about how Davinci Virtual Receptionist Services can help you strike a work life balance today.


How to Cultivate Personality Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

There are several things you need to start a successful business: a great business plan, the necessary funds, and of course, the right personality.

Successful entrepreneurs’ personalities vary from one to another: they don’t all derive from the same mold. Looking closely, however, you’ll see that many successful entrepreneurs share a similar set of core personality traits. Developing the core traits of successful entrepreneurs will give you a greater potential to lead a prosperous business.


The first trait shouldn’t surprise you. To effectively make sales, pitches, and proposals, an entrepreneur must be overflowing with confidence. It is rare that you will find a successful entrepreneur mired in self-doubt. They believe in themselves, their employees, and their business’s purpose, and it is made very apparent in all of their encounters. This includes a penchant for conversation, strong belief in one’s self and their business, and a natural air of trustworthiness that encourages others to engage and invest in their company.


Most successful entrepreneurs didn’t prosper by playing by the rules. The best ideas are found by challenging the status quo. It takes a special personality to strategize and discover unique ways to start or grow a business, whether it’s with a daring new marketing plan or by reevaluating finances to reduce overhead. For example, while many businesses spend the majority of their budget on expensive office space, a non-conformist might suggest using virtual offices instead so that more of the company’s budget can be channeled toward refining and marketing their brand. Non-conformism paves the way for a lot of innovative ideas and business practices, so don’t be afraid to be different.


Entrepreneurs are actually more motivated by passion for their work than money. If every business owner was purely driven by financial gain, they would give up when the money wasn’t what they thought it would be. The truth is that starting a business requires endless patience, and without passion, you are more likely to feel defeated when your business underperforms in the beginning stages. Passion carries a business owner through the tough times, and that is an imperative trait if you wish to succeed.


A successful entrepreneur does not only need passion to stay motivated. They also must have the fighter’s instinct to get back up after they’re knocked down. Running a business has its ups and downs, but successful business owners know to keep fighting for a great business plan whether they see a lot of progress or not. Likewise, a true fighter can recognize when it is time to tap out. It’s known that some business ideas just don’t work out, and there is no shame in realizing that it’s time to pack it in and moving on to the next great thing.


Lastly, and perhaps one of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs, is that they are a visionary. They have a mind for the big picture and a way of communicating their vision of the future in a way that motivates and engages others. The broad view of a visionary allows a leader to make smart and effective business decisions, and they are constantly searching for ways to innovate. Like a captain overseeing a ship, a visionary leader inspires his crew and can prepare for whatever may occur on their business’s journey.

There are many personality traits of successful entrepreneurs, but with a winning attitude, strong leadership, and a thirst for change, you already possess the most essential tools necessary to start a lucrative business.

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