Virtual Assistants are the secret weapon in the business world, enhancing productivity, efficiency and time management. As a partner in your clients’ companies, you have the opportunity to be an integral member of their team, all from the luxury of your home office.
Don’t take this too lightly though!
There is a tremendous trust factor when being brought on as a remote professional. To arrive at this juncture, you must have instilled a level of professional expertise and confidence.
Consider it an honor.
You become a vested partner in someone else’s dream. Their business! Their livelihood to generate income and enjoy owning their own company. For some entrepreneurs partnering with a virtual assistant is unfamiliar territory and they may create mental roadblocks or perceived hurdles to prevent them from seeking assistance. It’s your job to lead them toward the safety and comfort of doing business with you.
Keep in mind that you are not the only virtual assistant on the market. From the overseas companies offering services at $5.00/hr, to the established virtual assistants and the fast gig economy on-demand companies, you must figure out how to differentiate yourself from the rest of the herd. What makes you so much better? Worthy of their business?
Building and earning their trust is a key foundational element for this virtual relationship. In operating a business, you want to be “THE ONE” customers and prospects call for assistance, products and services. It is a simple formula to generate strong community ties toward real business partnerships. The digital landscape lends itself to relationship building just as in any other type of networking environment. Clients are not dollar signs but real people with real needs and pain points. Demonstrate your expertise, gain trust and validate your ability to solve their most pressing problems.
Relationship Building Tips Quickie:
- Fulfill needs
- Value your customer
- Provide impeccable service
Relationships are like muscle tissue…. the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become. Ted Rubin
People buy from people – we know this. Nurturing these relationships requires you to relate to another individual; to engage in dialog, share ideas and have rich conversations without an ulterior motive as your frontline purpose.
“Too many business owners and sales people try to sell their product or service, neglecting the fact that their customer is a person. In fact, the customer is a person who has feelings, influences and a mind of their own. They want to be connected with, and to trust and believe the person from which they are buying.” Rebecca Wilson
These relationships are the cornerstone of your business. Cultivate, don’t automate or send robotic messages because your clients and prospects want to know they are valued, respected and you have their best interests at heart. In the “Little Teal Book of Trust” by Jeffrey Gitomer clearly and succinctly outlines what a customer wants and how to become their trusted advisor:
Relate to me. Know my needs and issues. Engage me by showing me other customers who are benefiting from doing business with you.
Prepare for me. Show me that you have done your homework about my situation, not just yours.
Don’t waste my time. Don’t ask me what you could have found out on your own.
Tell me the truth. Truth leads to trust. I need to trust you in order to have a relationship with you.
Tell me how I can use your product or service to build my business. I want to know how I can produce in my environment.
Tell me how I can profit from the relationship. I want to know how I can profit from buying. And I want to know that you know.
Show me the value, not just how it works. What are the elements of value attached to your product or service that relate to me?
Make it easy for me to do business with you.
Make service available when I need it.
Be friendly to me. If I’m going to establish a relationship with you, I want it to be a friendly one.
Respond quickly. If I call you, it’s because I need you, and I need a response now.
Deliver on time. When you tell me it’s going to be there, I expect it. And it helps reinforce my feeling that you can meet my expectations.
Have answers for me when I need them. I have questions about how your product works.
Stay in touch with me. Keep me informed on a proactive basis. Make your messages more about me than you.
Let me know when things or technologies change. Keep me informed about how I can stay ahead, even if it means buying more.
Keep your promises. If you tell me something will happen, make it happen.
Be a partner, not a vendor. Tell me how we will work together. And then prove it by your deeds.
Serve me. I need to feel that service after the sale is more important than the emotion leading up to the order.
These “wants” are simply human nature, not just to be used as a guidepost to service clients and prospects but how to relate to everyone. This is how we all want to be treated. My suggestion to you: print these out and keep them on your desk, with your computer, or anywhere that you will see them on a daily basis, as a reminder to be the BEST Virtual Assistant, the best human you can be.
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