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I’m often chatting with potential clients who are looking for a VA for the first time.
There are things they don’t ask (that they really need to know) or they ask me what else they need to know. So, here’s a few of the top questions you NEED to ask a Virtual Assistant before contracting with them.
1. What are your rates?
This seems like an obvious one, but I find it often gets overlooked in the work/options/availability talk. Don’t forget to ask! And remember, sometimes there are limited-time discounts that you should be aware of.
2. What are your billing/payment policies?
This ties into the rates question. Ask about billing dates, late payments, unfinished work, etc. You want to know this before you sign a contract.
3. Why are you interested in working with me/my company?
Some Virtual Assistants are just in it for the money or the flexible schedule. That may not be what’s in your best interest. If you are talking with someone and they care about you and your company, you can tell. Often during initial consultations, I’ll give appropriate advice right of the bat. My ultimate goal is to help other companies. I want to see you succeed. If I work with you and you get better, that means I’m doing my job successfully. Mission accomplished.
4. What is your level of experience?
This is important to know. While Virtual Assistants don’t typically give a resume, they can tell you their experience, length of administrative experience, job background, and even work sample. If you’re going to hire someone, make sure they have the necessary experience for your needs.
5. Will you be handling my projects or do you contract out the work?
This is a big question. You want to know who’s doing the work. Many companies, including Laura’s VA Services contracts work out. We individually match our clients with our Virtual Assistants to provide exceptional service and a great working relationship and schedule a meeting prior to work to ensure a good match. However, you do need to know the qualifications of who will be handling your projects. Be sure to ask!
6. Do you guarantee your work? What if I’m not satisfied?
There always needs to be some form of guarantee available. There are times when you want something different than was was presented to you. Or perhaps the quality is lower than your expectations. Minor changes, spelling, grammar, formatting should all be guaranteed, but what about bigger changes? Find out what is covered.
7. How do you communicate with your clients?
There are many communication options available in the virtual world. Skype, email, texting, phone, fax. Find out what is preferred and if it’s something you’re willing to use as well – make sure you come to an agreement on what will be used for communication – as well as response times from both you and your virtual assistant.
8. What are your business hours?
Some Virtual Assistants start out to have flexibility in their home life. That may mean entire days off or only evening work. While often, work can be done outside typical business hours, you want to make sure you’re able to reach your Virtual Assistant during your business day if needed.
9. What projects do you most enjoy? What do you avoid?
This is a great question. Favorite projects are likely done well and first. If your projects are things the Virtual Assistant enjoys, you’re more likely to get positive results. On the other hand, if you have projects your VA tends to avoid, it’s could become a difficult situation to ensure deadlines are met and quality is at a level acceptable to you. Keep this in mind for future projects as well.
10. How do you stay up-to-date on new technology, software and resources?
New technology, tools, and resources are becoming available on a daily basis. Sometimes the best tool last year is no longer the best option for you. So, how is your VA going to help you and your company stay current? He/she needs to know what’s out there for their use as well as for yours. Find out what they do to stay up-to-date.