Dealing With The Absent-Minded Professor

For any kind of business relationship to work properly there has to be activity on both sides of the street. You, the virtual assistant, may have all your ducks in a row, be fully up-to-date when it comes to the latest tips, tricks and procedures and be completely confident in your ability to help this new client. However, whenever you do embark on a new relationship with a brand-new customer you never really know what type of personality they have and how this two-way relationship is going to work.

During your pre-contractual contacts with the client, which by definition are always relatively short-lived, you may form an opinion or a picture in your mind of this person, assuming that it is a virtual arrangement. Few virtual assistants after all have much face-to-face contact with a prospect or can get a real “feel” for their personality, nature and spirit. But you’re not likely to get a clear indication of how this will actually work until you start to get a real flow between you.

So what happens if you come across a client who is absent-minded? You know the type of person. They are generally very good-natured and willing to please but for some reason or another are not entirely focused. They tend to forget to follow through. You may be counting on them to provide you with data or information in order for you to complete your task of updating their social media presence on a daily basis. While you can create quite a lot of material without their input, you do have to get regular updates from them to ensure that the material you’re putting out is accurate, timely and pertinent.

This can be a frustrating relationship. You feel as if you have to work extra hard and spin your wheels to a certain extent. The secret here is to anticipate. While you can try and tell them to remember and to follow through on their side of the bargain, you may well need to insert an additional layer of follow-up on your side to get them to provide the necessary information. Schedule a message of some kind in advance of the time that you need their input. Send them an SMS message or an e-mail that you know will go to their personal accounts. Include a prompt of some kind that you know will motivate them, to get them to focus on the issue at hand.

It may help to schedule a call during which you can explain the nuances of what you’re trying to do. You don’t have to be too technical or to provide them with too much that may confuse them. Clearly explain why you need to have their input in a timely manner and then when they receive the SMS or the e-mail this will provide the spark that is needed.

The absent-minded client may appreciate your additional efforts here and in truth they are less likely to be critical, or to react in a negative fashion when you do push them to follow through on their end.

How much do you rely on your assistant to be that little voice in your head?