In your journey as an entrepreneur and business owner where you’ll need all the help, you can get as you attempt to grow your business and expand your client base. You’ll be dealing with new people, new employees, and even new suppliers. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the meetings, presentations, and preparations you need to do. At this point, you might be thinking of getting an assistant to help you with all your tasks. What you really need is the flexibility, skill, and versatility of a virtual assistant.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are independent contractors from mostly remote staffing agencies who provide administrative services to clients while they are operating outside of the client’s office. This is a form of remote job where you practically hire someone who can take on some of your administrative work even if they’re not physically present in the same office as you do. However, they have full access to all the necessary planning documents, calendars, and tools needed to complete the tasks you assigned to them.
How Can a Virtual Assistant Help You Close Deals?
Now that you have a better idea of what can happen when you hire a virtual assistant, you’ll soon realize how valuable their service is in helping you do your job as a business owner. It’s like having a right-hand man or woman that you can instruct with just a simple call, text, or email. They’re an all-around professional that have all the skills you expect from a full-time personal assistant, and they’re especially valuable when you need help closing deals. How exactly can they help you get the best deals from potential clients and suppliers? Here’s how:
1. They Can Do Research for You
When dealing with clients and potential suppliers, you need to have some knowledge of their background, how they operate, and basically who they are and what their role is in the industry. That’s quite a lot of research you need to do to prepare for a meeting with them. An outsourced administrative assistant has the time to do the background research necessary to ensure you know all the important details about who you’re meeting. They have the skills to do some digging and help you in your initial planning and analysis. Here’s how they can assist you and help you close a good deal with your clients:
- Market Research – An administrative virtual assistant can perform market research on your behalf. They can gather the data you need when you’re shopping around for companies that provide products and services closest to the ones you’re looking for.
- Background Research – When you’re looking for individual suppliers for your business, your assistant can do research on a particular supplier’s background, their competition, and whether they have a monopoly on their market. This piece of information can prove useful to you during the negotiation process.
- Client Recommendations – As part of the background research that they do, your virtual assistant can also ask around for any recommendations on a supplier’s past clients. This gives you an unbiased view of how smooth their service was and how they price their services and products, which will ultimately influence what you will be negotiating with them.
2. Preparing for Negotiations
Once you and your assistant have gathered all the data you need, it’s time to prepare for the negotiations. One essential part of virtual assistant services is to help you prepare when a negotiation is about to take place. Your assistant will make sure you have everything you need and that you are fully prepared for the negotiations. Some of the preparations you can do together include:
- Consolidating your goals to give you a clear visual guide of your objectives and what your priorities are.
- In every meeting, there will always be non-negotiables or details where you just can’t compromise on. You and your assistant can lay all these down by order of importance, which includes pricing, payment terms, delivery, and the standard of the product or service in question.
- Transcription is also a key strength of competent virtual assistants. They can type up your notes from the meeting and summarise critical points for you. This can come in handy, so you have a clear record of what was previously discussed.
3. Negotiation Time
During negotiations, your assistant won’t be present there with you. But all the materials you’ve prepared are with you, including all the research, paperwork, and notes you’ve compiled together with your virtual assistant. Remember to don’t be pressured into agreeing on a deal prematurely. Stick with your research and consider all possible factors before making a final decision. Lastly, don’t forget that both you and the supplier should be happy with whatever you’ve agreed upon, so you’ll both make an effort to make things work for the deal.
4. Closing the Deal
Once you’ve reached an agreement, the next step is to make things official. This involves drawing up contracts, which could take time and a lot of back and forth between the two parties. Your administrative virtual assistant is there to assist during this stage. They can arrange for an industry-approved legal representative to draw up a contract laying out the details of the negotiation. Your assistant can also:
Provide a different set of eyes to do some last-minute checks on the contract to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Ensure that the exit and dispute clauses are included, which could prove beneficial in the future in case one of you needs to back out of the deal.
Credit check your suppliers to ensure they have the necessary cash flow, especially if it is a long-term contract.
When hiring virtual assistants, it’s important to have a smooth working relationship with them, so it’s easier to relay instructions about certain tasks and setting expectations. Since you only communicate through virtual means, it can be hard to communicate every little detail you want to be done on a particular task. You can draft a written manual for your assistant to reduce the risk of misunderstandings, which can often occur in a remote working relationship.
Remember, you are delegating your own work to your assistant, which means you both need to stay on the same page. An excellent way to achieve this is by using a list-making tool like Trello so you can list all your pending tasks and how much progress you’ve made.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your day-to-day schedule and you need some assistance as you attempt to expand your business, hiring a virtual assistant could be a good fit for you. Virtual assistants are excellent all-around professionals that can easily fill in any administrative role or task you put them in. You never have to worry about not being able to catch up with your work as long as you have a virtual assistant helping you out.
CrewBloom is a remote staffing agency with a pool of talented individuals that can help you achieve your goals. From data entry and customer support to appointment setting, our CrewBloomers are highly skilled and always ready to be of service. If you need help from an outsourcing staffing firm, sign up with us and hire premium talent today.