The Client / Virtual Assistant (VA) RelationshipWhile some Clients will be entirely comfortable passing along all manner of tasks to their VA, most will want to test the waters and ease into the relationship -- relinquishing less important tasks at first and adding more important ones as their trust and confidence in the relationship grows. When consulting to Clients, it is generally recommended a "phased" approach to partnering with a VA be used. That phasing in process might look something like this (any and all phases optional):
The first phase of the job description covers the “getting to know you” period in which the Client and VA are learning how the other works, thinks, reacts, and communicates.
During this phase of the relationship the job description will probably look very much like that of a clerical assistant – made up primarily of duties that are reactive in nature (e.g., maintaining mailing lists, ordering office supplies, sending mailings, etc.) and with low risk if the task is not completed to satisfaction.
The second begins when the Client has developed a solid level of trust and confidence in the VA and is comfortable with the virtual nature of the relationship.
During this phase of the relationship, duties that might be considered “secretarial” or “administrative” in nature are added -- equally split between reactive and proactive duties. (e.g., confirming appointments, writing ad copy, screening calls and email, etc.)
The final phase is where things really start rocking! At this point the Client and VA have developed a solid rapport -- each knowing how the other works, trusting each other, and communicating as though they share a roof… only better.
At this point in the relationship, the VA takes on the highly-proactive role of “Personal Executive Assistant” – managing the Client's daily schedule (“What’s on my calendar today, Jane?”), tracking sales cycle progress (“Where are we on the Jones closing?”), scheduling appointments, and more. In essence, the VA becomes the Client's "manager."
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