I received a really juicy question from a reader the other day that I wanted to share.
“Do you have a list of applications that are usually used as a VA? I’m constantly thinking and visualizing how great my business will be, but I find myself getting discouraged when I think of questions potential clients may ask, that I have no clue how to answer or explain, like how I would check their email, get into programs they use in their office, or take calls for them from home.” – R.B.
There are 3 parts to this reader question that I want to address:
- How to deal with difficult client questions the right way
- What clients look for in a VA (it may not be what you think)
- Programs you want to be familiar with as a VA
That’s why I decided to make my answer a 3 part series. You can find last week’s post “How to Deal with Difficult Client Questions the Right Way” here.
Today I want to talk about what clients look for in a VA when they hire. It might actually surprise you!
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WHAT CLIENTS ARE LOOKING FOR IN A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
First, let’s address the reader’s question:
“Do you have a list of applications that are usually used as a VA?”
To be honest, this is tough to nail down because it depends on the type of VA you are. And it also depends on your client and what they use.
There are so many different types of programs, tools, and software out there; to know them all would be impossible. On top of that, some of these programs are really expensive, making it difficult for you to sign up and learn on your own.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Figure out your niche. Once you know the type of services you want to offer to clients, you can research the types of programs commonly used in your niche.
- Figure out your ideal client. What type of programs does he or she use?
- Research programs you want to learn more about.
Just know that unless you’re an expert at a particular niche, for instance, Pinterest management, logo design, web design, etc., most clients are willing to train you.
Most clients are aware that a VA may not know all the programs that they use in their business. And because of that, they are usually looking for someone who has certain traits, rather that software knowledge.
Which leads me to what clients are looking for when hiring a virtual assistant.
It’s not necessarily how much a VA knows, but the traits they have.
Clients want VA’s that are organized, clear communicators, not afraid to ask questions, and detail oriented. They want someone they can trust with their sensitive information and that will treat their business like it’s their own. They also want someone who is willing to figure things out on their own and be constantly learning.
A willingness to take initiative is another trait that will set yourself apart from other VA’s.
Business owners want someone on their team that will go beyond the scope of a project and offer solutions or ways to improve it without being asked. For instance, offering to document business procedures to make things more efficient will score you major brownie points.
A VA that cares about her clients and her clients’ success is a valuable VA.
Also think about your ideal clients. Would they be willing to train you? Do they prefer to work with someone who may not know a specific program, but is an amazing person who does great work? Those are the clients you want to find.
If you run across a prospective client that doesn’t want to train you, so be it. They’re not your ideal client or who you want to work with anyways.
Now, there are some exceptions to this.
For instance, when I wanted to switch from Ontraport to ConvertKit, I hired a ConvertKit specialist to do it for me. I knew that it was a tricky task, hence me not doing it myself, and that I needed someone who was familiar with migrating over to ConvertKit.
But when I hired my virtual assistant McKella, she wasn’t even a VA. I asked if she’d be willing to help me do certain tasks in my business and I trained her on the programs she didn’t know. I met her online a couple years prior and I basically loved her energy and writing skills. That’s it!
What it all comes down to is:
- You need to be aware of the programs commonly used in your niche
- It’s impossible to know all the programs, software, and tools a client uses
- A client is usually willing to train the right VA, regardless of the VA’s software knowledge
- Most clients look for a VA that is honest, takes initiative, and is detail oriented
Now that I’ve convinced you that you don’t need to know it all or have answers to everything, I want to talk about a few basic programs you might want to be familiar with.