Professional Development for VAs – Why You Should Do It

Posted by Webmaster - January 17, 2012 - Blog - No Comments

Are you doing enough to develop yourself as a virtual assistant? Professional development is a critical part of a VA’s long-term success.

Why should you develop new skills? Here are a few key reasons.

==> New Skills Means New Markets

There are some markets that you can tackle without any specific skills. On the other hand, there are many markets that do require specific skills if you want to enter them.

For example, if you want to enter the accounting industry and work with CFOs of mid-sized companies, you’re probably going to have to learn bookkeeping. At the very least, you’re going to need to be able to read financial statements, balance sheets and profit and loss statements.

Learning these skills will allow you to target a group of clients that you couldn’t target before.

==> Better Skills Means Better Service

Let’s say you just learned a new task management system that allows you to clear out all your requests faster. That means that all your clients will suddenly have all their requests fulfilled much faster than before.

Likewise, let’s say you learned how to use a new method of scheduling that helps people avoid scheduling conflicts and makes appointments easier to change. Again, this results in a direct benefit to your clients.

The better your professional skills, the better the service you’ll be able to provide your clients.

==> Develop Sales Skills

One area of professional development every virtual assistant should learn is sales skills.

Getting a new VA client ultimately comes down to whether or not you can sell them on the concept of you. Are you worth the investment? Why should they hire you over another VA? Why should they hire you over another assistant?

Being able to persuade someone else to hire you is the crux of learning sales. As a VA, the key is to learn a softer, relationship-based kind of sales rather than a hard sell approach. A good place to start is SPIN selling.

==> You Can Charge More Per Client

As you become more valuable as a VA, you’ll be able to charge more per client.

Think about it: who do you think could charge more? The VA who can do bookkeeping, manage calendars proficiently, screen phone calls, manage projects, properly delegate tasks and spot customer service blunders? Or someone who hasn’t developed any of those skills?

The former, naturally. If you have more skills, you’ll be able to ask more for your time and get what you ask for.

Developing yourself as a VA shouldn’t be an optional part of your career development. If you want to succeed in the long run, make sure you pay close attention to developing your skills as a VA.