Training your virtual assistant (VA) is essential for a productive and successful partnership. To successfully train your VA, you need to define your expectations, provide clear instructions, use the right tools, establish regular check-ins, and offer constructive feedback. By following these tips, you can build a strong working relationship with your VA and maximize your leverage for success.
MyOutDesk has been around for many years, working with successful Real Estate and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), providing value by matching them with highly talented Virtual Assistants. Throughout this time, we’ve heard it all—success stories and horror stories too. One crucial factor in all these stories we’ve heard is training.
Our most successful client and Virtual Assistant relationships share a crucial component; they took the time to train their Virtual Assistant.
We go to great lengths to ensure that each of our clients gets matched with their ideal Virtual Assistant. But each business has a unique setup that needs to be learned before they can hit the ground running. You have to take the time to ensure that your Virtual Assistant will be equipped to take over the tasks you are delegating. They need to be able to at least match your own ability to complete these tasks. Or, even better than you can in some cases.
Why is training crucial?
Training someone takes a lot of time and effort. If you have or are planning on hiring a Virtual Assistant, the odds are that you have precious little time already. However, look at it as an investment. By investing your time in training your Virtual Assistant well, you set them up for success. In return, your business benefits as well. Once you have done the work to ensure that your Virtual Assistant not only understands how your business works but also their place in it, you will both benefit in the long run.
Training also builds trust by establishing rapport and developing that relationship between you and your Virtual Assistant. For example, MyOutDesk’s Virtual Assistants are all from the Philippines. Filipinos are known to be hard-working individuals who are eager to please and to do a stellar job. Training will help boost that relationship and will enhance their loyalty to you and your business. This benefits you because they will start treating your business as their own and work as such.
Finally, remember that you hired a Virtual Assistant for a reason. Taking the time to train them will allow you to focus on your revenue-producing activities and grow your business. We’ve heard it said that if you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant. By giving your Virtual Assistant the time and guidance they need to fully understand the inner workings of your business, you are empowering them to provide real value. You are also empowering yourself to be confident that they can do the job well so you can focus on the things you need to do.
How to Train your Virtual Assistant
So, how do you train someone who is practically halfway across the world from you? Here are some of the best practices we’ve seen.
First, create task lists and guides on how to accomplish these tasks. Be very clear about your expectations and goals and make sure that your Virtual Assistant knows the why behind what they are doing.
Create step-by-step guides
Creating step-by-step guides can take some time but are an excellent resource for training your Virtual Assistant. Especially for lengthier tasks or tasks that have many different facets. By creating these, your Virtual Assistant will always have something to check their work against. This insures they are going about each task correctly, even when you are not physically available to confirm or remind them. If you hire someone to make calls, send over some call recordings of you or others in your team so they can hear how you talk to clients, handle objections, etc. Have your SOP (standard operating procedure) ready — you can read more about it here.
You can also use screen capture software to record yourself working on different tasks. Use this means to give instructions while going through the various processes they will need to handle. Better yet, you can have them on with you as you go through everything and record that video call so that they can go back and watch it again later. This is a crucial part of the training process and you can read more about our PLAY-PAUSE-DO method here.
Have them watch webinars/videos
These days you can find practically everything online, especially instructional and informational videos. There are so many tutorials on YouTube, and there are many free live or pre-recorded webinars that can be utilized in training your Virtual assistant. You can even ask them to do some research and send over what they have found to see if it is relevant to what you need them to learn! If you are going to have them use a specific tool or software, look at the FAQs and other resources they might have on their website and have your Virtual Assistant study those as well.
Have them read blogs/articles
Look for useful articles and blogs online that may help in the training process of your Virtual Assistant.
Finding them reading material and how-to guides can be beneficial. These can also always be something you return to when needed. You can ask them to discuss what they have learned with you or do a short write-up so you can gauge how much they have learned and what else you need to give them.
Sometimes, you may have a few high-level tasks that you need to execute well. You may want to consider purchasing training for these higher-level or more complicated tasks if you feel that the free materials available are insufficient.
Set-up practice sessions
If you have an ISA (Inside Sales Agent) or SDR (Sales Development Rep), or someone that handles calls for your business, set up mock calls with yourself and team members. So that your Virtual Assistant can practice your scripts in a safe space and can get immediate feedback.
Lastly, make sure to set up some sort of project management system where you and your Virtual Assistant can keep track of what they are learning, and what they have completed, and see if anything is lacking. This system can be helpful after their training as well.
Training takes time and patience, whether it’s an in-person hire or someone remote. But the results you get for taking the time to train your Virtual Assistant, the same way you would someone local, are invaluable. Our virtual assistants are thoroughly interviewed before we hire them, and they undergo a heavy vetting process before being placed with any of our clients. Our pool of available virtual professionals is experienced, talented, educated, and hungry for steady work. They have all the tools necessary to work remotely, including our own proprietary tracking software to ensure transparency and productivity. In short, you get a reliable and hardworking professional who can get working for you as quickly as you can train them, and at a fraction of the cost of someone local. It truly is a win/win for everyone.
We’ve been doing this for growing businesses just like yours for 15+ years and can proudly say we’re the biggest provider of virtual assistants on the planet. So if you have any questions at all, click the link below to request a Q&A session with one of our experts. We can discuss whatever you’d like, and then see if this time and money-saving model is a fit for your business.
(Related- Read about the 30x Rule HERE)