Shaping the Relationship with Your Words

I never use the word “outsource” or “delegate,” and I don’t let clients use that kind of terminology with me either.

They aren’t delegating or outsourcing to me any more than they “delegate or “outsource” to their attorney or accountant or designer, etc.

I’m not their lackey. I’m a professional they engage so that they can benefit from my valuable expertise (in our case as Administrative Consultants, that is the expertise of administrative support).

We work together collaboratively (together being the operative word here) on administrative work and goals they have entrusted to me.

This kind of languaging changes the flavor of the relationship in the way I need for clients to see and understand it: as their business peer, administrative expert and trusted advisor.

Clients come to you with varying degrees of understanding about what you do, how you work together, and what the nature of your relationship will be.

Many may not have the faintest idea about what we do.

Others might have some vague notion that it’s like having an employee only you work from home for them (which would be wrong).

Others may have read an article filled with all kinds of misinformation and come to the table with the wrong preconceived ideas and expectations entirely.

This is why it’s always your job to educate and inform clients when they come to your website in the way you need them to be, so they have an accurate understanding about these things and approach you with the appropriate mindset and manner.

This makes for far more ideal client candidates and getting and working with those clients much easier.

The words you use are setting perceptions and expectations in clients, painting a picture for them of how to understand the relationship.

How are you educating yours?

8 Responses

  1. PN Lewis says:

    Well thought of and said Danielle! I do believe it is hard for clients or even bosses to see an administrative person as a true professional!! And we are truly professionals! Therefore word choice is essential!!!!

  2. Exactly! Always love your comments, PN. Thanks 🙂

  3. Meta Mueller says:

    Excellent point made here. I think I need to check my site and be sure I’m taking this advice! Thank you!

  4. Excellent, Meta! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I like this; made me think. Thank you!

  6. Wonderful! Thanks for commenting, Sidel 🙂

  7. PN Lewis says:

    Thank you Danielle!! Your comments and articles are greatly appreciated too!!!

  8. Thank you, Danielle, for helping me to find the right words. I’ve struggled for a long time with the VA term since I do so much more for my clients. Love everything on your site.

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