Virtual assistants are in huge demand nowadays. In order to successfully manage their business, business owners should offload some of their tasks. This is where virtual assistants can be most helpful. VAs can assist you in some of the most time-consuming tasks such as bookkeeping, accounting, email management, marketing, and more.

The popularity of virtual assistants has surged in the last few years. The total number of secretaries and administrative assistants in the United States exceeded 3.7 million in 2018. Although the figure doesn’t refer to VAs in particular, it can give you an idea of how huge the demand for assistants can be. Hiring a virtual assistant can save businesses 78% of their operating costs.

With such a huge demand, virtual assistants should possess essential skills that they can market to their potential clients. Your knowledge of bookkeeping, report making, administrative skills, and others may not be enough to get hired by a potential client.

Learning essential VA skills can be daunting at first, especially if you are getting started as a virtual assistant. But your hard work can be your strong foundation and will help you develop the skills that you will need to grow as a virtual assistant. With that in mind, here are 7 of the most important skills you need to get hired by a potential client.

  1. Ability to Plan and Strategize

As a virtual assistant, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work that will come along the way. When you are loaded with tasks, the easiest way to reduce stress is to put some of your tasks aside. If you want to grow as a virtual assistant, it is important to develop planning and strategizing skills. This means looking ahead and anticipating challenges and opportunities that may come along the way.

  1. Prioritize Revenue Generating Tasks

If you are planning to run a VA business, set your sights on tasks that generate revenue; otherwise, your bottom will suffer greatly, or you may even go bankrupt. There are a lot of things that your virtual assistants can do, but not all of them deserve the same level of attention. VA tasks like organizing, social media, website redesign, and optimization are important, but they do not exactly generate revenue.

  1. Stop Multitasking and Start Batching

Most virtual assistants used to think that to get better at their jobs, they had to be good at managing multiple tasks simultaneously. Most of the time, they would find themselves juggling through different tasks every 5 – 10 minutes alternating between 2 – 3 projects. The problem with multitasking is that very little good comes from it and often results in lost productivity and frequent mistakes.

Instead of multitasking, learn how to focus on a single task as it often helps improve productivity. Once you’ve learned how to focus on a single task, maybe it’s time for you to practice batching. The concept is simple. Instead of switching between multiple tasks, try to complete as many of the same tasks in one sitting.

A good example of a task that can be batched is email management. Rather than open your G-Mail several times during your shift just to reply to emails, why not set aside 1 – 2 specific times each day for checking and replying to emails?

  1. Practice Effective Communication  

Communication is one of the most important virtual assistant skills. Whether it is conveying your thoughts to a potential client or negotiating payment terms, there is always room for improvement. As a virtual assistant, one of the most important things to keep in mind about communication is that 50% of it involves listening. By being a good listener, you will improve in sales, conflict resolution, and better in addressing the needs of your clients.

  1. Develop Your Sales Skills

At the end of the day, being a virtual assistant involves the business of sales. It does not matter if you are a VA specializing in real estate, WordPress, or social media. Remember, you are convincing a potential client to consider hiring your services. Being good in sales can be a scary proposition, especially if you hate sales as much as everyone else. To be good at sales, you only need these two:

Be yourself. Having a good personality and individual traits will make a huge difference in attracting clients. You may have different traits, but at the end of it all, it is your uniqueness that will attract clients.

Communicate your value. As a virtual assistant, you may be good at different things. Whether it is WordPress or social media, it is important to communicate it with your potential client. Audio, video, or written, stick to what works well for you.

  1. Acquire Basic Accounting Knowledge

Everyone dreads accounting tasks. The sad reality is that you need to do the things which you don’t enjoy at all. Basic accounting skills will prove beneficial to you, especially in determining which clients are most profitable and which project will generate the most revenue for you.

  1. Commit to Personal and Professional Development  

Improving your virtual assistant skills entails committing yourself to personal and professional development. As a virtual assistant, you need to develop the desire to improve and gain new knowledge continuously. You need to discover how you can become more valuable and profitable to your clients.

The virtual assistance industry is dynamic, so you need to keep up with the changes so you can become better at what you do.

Striving to become a better virtual assistant is your key to attracting clients to hire your services. It may prove difficult at first, but once you develop these essential skills, you can easily sell yourself to clients who may be requiring your services. 

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