Recently, I was having a strategy call with one of my private clients who was in the throes of a rather large and annoying systems migration from Clickfunnels to Ontraport so she could finally kick her amazing online program into more effective and streamlined sales growth.
She has one of The Virtual Hub’s best Virtual Assistants – Level 2 Ontraport-trained and just an all-round whizz of a guy with systems and all that techie stuff that drives the rest of us nuts.
I was really surprised when she finally confessed to me, somewhat sheepishly, that it was not quite going so well the whole virtual assistant thing. While unfortunate, this is a common problem we see a lot of clients suffer from — clients not seeing the results they envisioned when they hire a virtual assistant, and they end up throwing their hands in the air and giving up rather than pushing through to make it work.
On asking a few probing questions and bringing her virtual assistant into the discussion, I quickly realised where the root of the issue really lay.
Even though she had gotten the best virtual assistant for herself and her business, the client was being too nice and finding it difficult to give effective feedback and express what she really thought and needed for the direction she wanted.
The virtual assistant was so desperate to show he could take it all on and handle it all himself without bothering her too much as he knew she was very busy both in business and personal matters, that he often improvised to get things done. The improvs, while showing good initiative, were not what she wanted at all, but there was no way he would have known there were issues in his work unless the client explicitly told him what they were.
A silent degeneration of the relationship and the output to the point of client and VA frustration and disappointment with each other.
You see, when there are no clear lines of communication between the client and the virtual assistant, expectations tend to get lost in the ether. Even if initial goals were set previously at the beginning of the relationship, lack of communication could cause confusion and misunderstanding. No matter how capable a virtual assistant is in working independently and carrying out various tasks, without the client’s proper direction, regular check-ins, and objective feedback, a VA could end up missing prioritized tasks and not meeting the client’s expectations, especially if these expectations weren’t expressed clearly during the process. One setback could be easy to overlook, sure, but if they are repeated enough times, they could cause a rift in the professional relationship and lead to its gradual breakdown.
What if just 10 minutes per day could transform your business completely?
I suggested a daily, non-negotiable, 10-minute huddle together with a clear agenda to communicate more effectively together to get results.
What do I mean by a clear agenda?
Not a ‘chat’ basically! A chat is very different to a huddle. A huddle is a fast meeting designed to get straight to the projects and deal with information gaps, needs for extra help and questions.
What can you talk about in a 10-minute huddle?
You may think that 10 minutes is too short of a time to cover important things, but if done daily, it could address potential problems and provide the direction a task or a project needs.
Short daily huddles are great opportunities for a client and a virtual assistant to let each other know where things stand and what other tasks are currently on their list. It’s also during these quick meetings that the client can reiterate to the VA what sort of outcomes he or she expects from the tasks. When expectations are explicitly verbalized, the chances of the VA making mistakes are slim, and they are able to prioritize the right tasks and complete them on time.
In addition to helping set expectations, huddles also give clarity to both parties. The client can provide the VA feedback on the work being done. The virtual assistant can also let the client know what obstacles they may be experiencing or what sort of help they may need in accomplishing a task, and the client, in turn, can give guidance on how to proceed. This allows for more collaboration between the client and the virtual assistant, making the work process more efficient.
Daily huddles can be a powerful tool in driving a business forward because they give clients and their virtual teams a chance to catch up, get updates, and address potential problems without spending too much time on long, drawn-out meetings. Only important urgent things are discussed and goals are reached faster.
The client has since then adopted the practice of daily huddles with her virtual assistant, and we just received a glowing thank you message from her saying how this one simple daily commitment has transformed things so dramatically that she can’t believe it.
Her program revamp gathered massive momentum after that and quickly got to market looking fantastic and all nice, neat, and fully streamlined in ONE system – Ontraport. Ontraport is a great automated engine for marketing campaigns that integrates emails, landing pages, e-commerce, membership sites, and other systems into your CRM, making your marketing efforts more seamless because you only have to access one program instead of multiple tools.
When you hire a virtual assistant who has knowledge of Ontraport like our client did, your business processes can become easier to manage.
No longer trying to juggle 10 different systems and programs, both the client and her VA were able to get on with driving sales into the program. And because of their daily huddles, she was able to trust in her VA that the systems were working, monitored, and maintained, and the web traffic and social media train were kept pumping and effective while she went out doing speaking gigs, telesummits, and PR.
Sales are rolling in, and both the client and her virtual assistant are high fiving each other, feeling accomplished and jointly supported. With an effective communication practice in place, clients and virtual assistants can expect better outcomes and for the processes in the business to run smoother and more efficiently.
Why communication is key
COMMUNICATION is one of the biggest challenges we see at The Virtual Hub.
Oftentimes, clients make assumptions when they decide to hire a virtual assistant for their business. They have this general idea that the best virtual assistant would be able to carry out anything they are assigned to do. This is where proper communication between the client and the VA becomes essential. Since working with a remote staff is different from working with a locally-sourced employee, setting the right channels to communicate is even more imperative to ensure that no problems in the business and the relationship arise.
In our three-part special, we highlight the importance of communication in virtual teams, going over topics such as understanding the differences between communication styles and what works best for you, giving and receiving effective feedback, and dealing with tough conversations. If you’re looking for answers for your communication issues with your virtual staff, then this may be right up your alley, so check it out and you can get the insight and clarity you need.
Also, make sure to give our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants a read if you’re interested in learning more about all the things that a virtual assistant can do for you and your business. This is the best guide that you can find on the internet which gives you all the details on how a virtual assistant works, what they do, who hires them, how to hire one, and many more.