How Do You Overcome the “I Need a Person in the Office” Argument?

You don’t. 😉

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

That person wants and needs an employee. And that’s not what you are. You’re not a substitute employee.

Which is the second part of the problem. You are still thinking of yourself as—and trying to sell yourself in the context of being—an assistant.

Remember, when you are in business, for both legal and practical reasons, you are not anyone’s assistant.

I want to challenge you to think about what you do, what you are and what administrative support is, apart from and outside of the context of assistant.

When you do that, you realize that you are an independent professional (not an assistant) with a particular specialization and expertise to offer (administrative support) in the same way that an attorney is an expert in the law and an accountant is an expert in financial matters.

Once you raise your consciousness about that, you will begin to see and define your role differently, which will lead you to market differently, which will draw and attract an entirely different audience, one that’s not looking for temps or substitute employees, but an alternative to those things.

5 Responses

  1. Monica says:

    Danielle, it’s like you are reading my mind. I so needed this today! Thanks a bunch!

  2. Annette says:

    I totally agree…but tell me then…
    What project management system would you use so they always will know the status of what is being done? I have one client that worries ‘what happens if i am in accident or can’t be reached for several days…had this happen before where of course she was using an overseas company that just dropped of the face of the earth. What would you suggest?

  3. Lisa Kelly says:

    Thanks for articulating what I always felt in my heart, but never knew could be different – until finding your website that is! Ba Bye VA, hello admin consultant. New handle, new outlook!

  4. Hi Annette 🙂

    The answer to your question has more to do with going back to the foundations of your business and the policies, procedures and standards and boundaries you set up first.

    It’s also tough to answer that question in any kind of general way.

    I’m not going to be concerned so much with project management. I don’t allow clients to “manage” me or “police” my work. If they want an employee, they can go hire one. 😉

    One of the reasons this works in my practice is because I set those standards and expectations before we ever begin working together. I inform clients how things work in my practice, what they can expect and what they can’t, how we will be working together.

    Talking about the fact that life happens, that uncontrollable and unforeseen circumstances can and will occur, that there will be times when I am ill or go on vacation or whatever—that needs to be a component of your consultation conversation and/or new client orientation.

    I also devised what I call my 3/7 system around work and communication management and what that does is gives clients a framework for their expectations. So if I happen to be sick for a day or two, I have space around the work and no one sweating me about it.

    Also, as part of my standards, knowing that giving myself lots of space around the work is extremely important to our relationship and to the health and sustainability of my business, I do not do same-day work requests or “instant assistance.” I don’t work with clients like an assistant at all.

    The extent of our project management is email and Dropbox. That’s it.

    There’s a LOT more to this than I can relate or teach you about in blog comments. You should really check out my guide on Power Productivity & Biz Management for Admin Consultants. It tells you how you set up a more freedom-filled, flexible practice that also enables you to serve clients way better and how to avoid falling into the “assistant” trap that will keep you from earning better and growing your business.

  5. Jaynae says:

    Thanks great info to always remember.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like your photo to appear next to your post, be sure to get your gravatar here.

Please copy the string SoQgdH to the field below: