Five key questions to ask when on a discovery call with a potential VA
by Courtney Evans Murdock, Founder of CLEM VA.
Virtual Assistants have been on the scene for a while now.
Sourcing support online has boomed since COVID-19. Becoming a VA is now a sought-after career due to its flexibility and earning potential.
Companies of all sizes have found themselves looking to work with virtual assistants, from one-man-bands to SMEs with 25+ strong teams. But if it’s your first time working with a VA, how do you know if they are the right fit for you? Finding the person who ‘gets’ you, your business vision, and can support you with your goals is crucial.
Here are five key questions you should always ask during a discovery call with a potential VA:
“Tell me about you?”
Due to the broad nature of being a VA, we can have many different skills! From Automations expert Anna to Copywriter Charlie, many VAs can offer more than admin support. Take the time to research potential VAs who are on paper, in line with your needs, and then use the discovery call as a way to get to know them, and find out if they’ll fit in with you, your business vision, and be supportive to your goals.
“This is my budget, is this in line with your rates?”
Be open about your budget.
In my opinion, a professional VA should ask what your budget and expectations are and be open and honest if they can achieve the workload within that budget.
Many VAs work on a monthly retainer basis, as well as offering ad-hoc hours for tasks. Ensuring you’re on the same page when it comes to how many hours your budget will cover will help to manage expectations on both sides.
“What’s your preferred way of working?”
Hiring anybody on a freelance basis is different to recruiting somebody internally.
A VA is a business owner in their own right and will have their own preferred ways of
working, whether that’s the processes they use, their working hours, communication methods, and many other elements. Many freelancers choose to be self-employed due to the fact they like to be their own boss! Of course, clients are the priority, but it’s always best to discuss things like:
● Hours/days available to work and be contacted
● Onboarding processes
● How payment/invoicing will work
● Best channel to communicate (emails, WhatsApp, phone calls)
● Notice required and turnaround times
Similar to budget, you want to make sure your business goals are achieved and that hiring a VA makes your business work BETTER. So it’s best to chat about the above points first to avoid any awkward conversations once the work has started.
“What platforms/tools do you use?”
Do you have any already established platforms you are using, or do you want support from your VA to set some up?
What programs will your VA need to use in order to complete delegated tasks?
Ideally they will have experience using the same tools and platforms that you already have implemented. However, if not, are you able to provide training? Or are they quick learners, with relevant experience on a similar platform?
“Have you done anything similar to this task before?”
Asking for examples, case studies and testimonials is the best way to know whether or not your potential VA is the right fit. If your VA has been offering these services for a while, either as an employee or working for themselves, hopefully they'll have some examples of the work they’ve done and any reviews/testimonials.
LinkedIn can be a good place to see any feedback from current/previous colleagues and employers. Also many people have reviews and testimonials on their socials and websites.
Ready to start searching for a VA?
Hopefully this list has been helpful and that you feel more confident knowing what to ask when interviewing a VA. And remember, VAs want to know exactly what is required from them. Ambiguity when it comes to exactly what is required, from either side can be disastrous. So ask the questions.
CLEM VA has various packages to support small businesses and freelancers.
Whether you need content creation, inbox management, newsletter building, blog writing, canva design + more!
EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in finding out more.