Client Liaison

As a Virtual Assistant I deal with clients daily, either via email, skype, cell, telephone or in person.
The way you interact with a client can make a difference on whether that client will give you the task/job or not.

Being a business owner of AMF Typing Services cc I engage with clients on an equal status. A lot of VAs are ex Secretaries or Personal Assistants and they are used to dealing with Bosses and it is often difficult for them to deal with a clients on the same level, as they think of that client still as a Boss which they are not.

Always be friendly and polite. Never sell a service that you cannot do 100%. Do not offer transcription if you do not know how to do this, as you will soon find yourself in a sticky situation when the work comes in and you cannot do it. Only offer the services that you have the most experience in and that you know you can complete.

I can now judge by the response of the client whether I will get the task or not. And when there is a task/job that I am interested in, I will tell the client I can do that task, give them a deadline when it can be done and talk with confidence about that task, within a few minutes that client will give me the task to do. I am very confident in my approach with clients but I was not always like this, my years of experience as a secretary has helped me a lot with dealing with clients today. I have got a lot of experience behind me of dealing with the best and worst of clients. I am patient, friendly and very convincing when I want to do a task for a client.

I deal with a lot of Virtual Assistants within the industry worldwide and client liaison is very important. The way you write your emails reflects on your company, the way you liaise with clients via skype and in person all makes a difference. With emails and sms’s I always sign off with my signature and contact details so any potential client will always know who I am and who I work for.

Be careful as you write up your website, as you need to make sure that website is drawing in clients or the right people who you want to liaise with, in your business. Make sure your written content, sounds right and looks right. Clients also judge you on what your website is saying to them.

First appearances and sounds always count when a VA is dealing with a potential client. I dress casual for work but when I meet a client I make sure I dress appropriately.

I am a business owner and I must come across as a business owner and know what I am talking/writing about to all potential clients.

© Copyright 2001 AMF Typing Services cc®, Ck2001/083866/23. All rights reserved.

VA Business Plan

I know its very daunting start out as a virtual assistant, in fact down right scary. There is so much to be done and that horrible business plan, do I really have to write one, I dont know how, or want to know how. But its got to be done. Its the backbone of your business, without a business plan many VA and small business companies will not last long. All business even that of a VA , must have structure and procedures. How else can you work. Your business plan is like a skeleton and the pieces must fit together to work and everything is connected to your backbone, your business plan. It should take about a week to pull it together, use a template from the internet as then the categories are there and its a case of just adding your information and customising the template into your working business plan.
There are specific categories to fill in, do not rush this, think of your information, think how you want to run your business, think of the procedures that you will do for every task and document them.  If you need a bit of help with this, don’t struggle, give me a shout and I will asisst.
A VA business with no structure or a clear plan is doomed. Your business plan will be a working document and will change lots especially over your first year as you settle into running your VA business.

Contratulations on first VA client

I would like to congratulate Celeste on getting her first VA contract.
I wish her luck with her new client and hope many more new clients will now come her way. Congratulations.

Céleste Schröder
Business Owner & Virtual Assistant
SCHRÖDER & ASSOCIATES CC
Suite 258, Private Bag X3, Northriding 2162
Tel : 011 794 1003 Cel: 082 764 9616 Fax : 086 612 7887
E-mail : sch.ass@telkomsa.net
Link to website: www.pa4you.co.za
Website: www.schroderandassociates.co.za
Skype: celeste_schroder
Delegate your Office Administration to SCHRÖDER & ASSOCIATES!

Tip of the day

Proof Read your work
No matter whether you are a transcriptionist, word processor, typist, virtual assistant or secretary make it part of your job to proof read all your work before sending it to the client, this is something that does not always get done and is very important, you can do a spell/grammar check but it does not pick up everything, its always good to have a good read through and spot check each word on completion of your documents.

Newbie VAs

As you start as a virtual assistant you need to think what are you going to offer clients. What are you skilled at doing, what do you like to do. The services you offer are very important. To get the type of work you would like, do target marketing it is often the way to go. If you are skilled in transcription then think what types of clients would produce transcription and dictation and market to those clients. The list is endless here.
I love to do typing and can type forever, so I look and market to the types of clients that I would get typing from.
Not every client will send you great work, some work can be boring and dull but that work still must be done if you take the work on. The client is dependent on you to complete their work. I dont mind what type of typing I get in, as long as it can be typed I will do the work, I love typing and its my niche service so I dont care if the work is boring after all it is a job and I will be paid for doing it so that to me is worthwhile and the client will be pleased with a job well done.
Everyone wants to do typing or transcription working from home well to do this you need to get out there and find this type of work, it will not fall into your lap.
As a virtual assistant you will need to have confidence in yourself to do the work and to deal and work with clients, you will need to be pro-active, assertive, get yourself out there, you cannot just sit back, you will never find clients that way, and they want find you.

To be a virtual assistant

As a newbie virtual assistant you need to be like a sponge and soak up as much information as you can that is out there.
After you have gone through the various steps to start up and are ready to get out there that is when your marketing, advertising and networking begins, this is an on going thing. A few weeks of marketing will not assist you, it is an ongoing process and that is one of the problems for VAs today. They do a bit of marketing and sit and wait, nothing will happen, but you will wait, you have to continually thoughout your virtual assistant business do marketing, it is non stop. You have to look for places to advertise in, look for places that there is no other VAs advertised that you could maybe be the first one there and I can tell you there is places out there as I am in many places and the only VA there, especially so in South Africa. Get your company onto VA directories around the world, there are many VA associations. Many offer free advertising in their directories, take advantage of this and advertise there. You need to be listed everywhere and anywhere. Use your internet skills to find directories, classified sections, site submissions etc.
I marketing a few times a week, and I do not need to, but I do it to show I am out there still in business.
Join VA forums worldwide, you will be amazed at what you can learn, attend seminars, webinars etc, established VA run these and give you loads of valuable information and a lot of the time these are offered for free.
Find a good established VA to mentor and assist you, just be careful and check that, that VA is qualified to assist first, check her service in the industry, her website/blog, company profile, ask questions to test her knowledge.
Save all information that you find as it will be very useful to you as you grow into being a virtual assistant.