You know, we always see these articles constantly telling clients who want to get help from those of us in the administrative support business that they need to instruct us on this, tell us how to do that, yada yada yada… as if how the consultation will proceed, how our businesses and processes work, what we do and don’t do and how we do it are all up to them — like they were hiring an employee.
And all I can do is shake my head as I read these confounded articles and think:
“Um, no. That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works.”
First of all, clients aren’t (or at least shouldn’t be thinking they are) hiring a trained monkey.
Second of all, if a client is talking to anyone who doesn’t have the faintest idea of her own processes in her own business, that is not someone any client should be engaging with.
The client will be pulling her hair out before the month is out trying to elicit any form of independent thought or critical thinking from the person who is waiting to be told what to do every step of the way.
That’s no help to clients in the least little way.
Figuring it all out or having to tell you how to do everything isn’t a burden clients should need to bear.
That’s YOUR job as an independent administrative expert and business owner: to have your own consultation process that you lead clients through that works to elicit the information YOU need to form a picture of the client and their business, develop a plan of support, and guide, recommend and advise clients on where and how you can help them and the best place to start.
Of course, I should clarify that these articles are always written about “virtual assistants,” not Administrative Consultants.
That’s because people only understand the word “assistant” one way: employee.
So it’s no wonder they are confused.
But this is business — not employment — so they need to be disabused of the notion that they’re running things.
One way you do that is by not calling yourself an assistant in the first place.
They’re the client, not the dictator of how our businesses and processes work. It’s not up to them to tell you how things will proceed.
It’s their place to contact you to inquire whether you might be able to help them, and for you to inform them what the next step is in your process of finding that out and then leading them competently through your systems (as any independent business owner would).
Yet another example of why smart people in the administrative support business do not call themselves assistants. 😉