Are you a reactive or proactive VA – and do you know the difference between the two? More to the point, does it make a difference to you and your working practices?

Clarifying the role your clients want you to fulfill is crucial, to both the success of your working relationship and the work you carry out. Why? Because if your client wants your input and advice, but doesn’t clarify this need to you, you run the danger of coming across as uninterested – whereas, if they’re not expecting feedback and suggestions from you, you could look pushy and opinionated when you give them!

What’s the difference?

A reactive VA is someone who is handed tasks and fulfills the work, within the allotted timescale and to the specifications given by the client. This means you need clear instructions, a definite deadline date and your role is simply to fulfill those needs.

A proactive VA on the other hand, will take a more active role. This means you use your initiative more and are free to make suggestions, especially if you can see a more efficient or effective way of getting a job done. You’re more interested in the company, as you have a more active role in both the overall success of the work you’ve been given and the company as a whole.

How to be more proactive

You can become more of a proactive VA by following these tips:

  • Give feedback – as it may be useful for future tasks
  • Keep your clients updated regularly – don’t leave them to chase you
  • Get to understand and know what’s important to your clients and their business success
  • Advise on what’s missing and needed on a project or task – make suggestions to help improve and streamline, if appropriate
  • Anticipate your client’s needs – for example, if you’ve been creating social media quotes and posts, ask if they need you to schedule them.

A more reactive VA will see past the to-do list and think what’s best for both their client and their client’s business.

Clarify it before you start work

Whatever type of VA you are; you need to check the parameters given to you by your individual clients.

There will be some clients who only want to pass over work and leave you to do as requested, whereas others would love to get your input and suggestions – it really does depend on the type of work they’re giving you and the level of authority they want you to have. Of course, there will be clients that want a mixture of the two but, it’s important that you clarify your position, prior to commencing the work.

Have you taken a more reactive or proactive VA role with your clients? If you’re currently a reactive VA, why not look to see if you can offer an even better service to your clients, by looking to change to a more proactive role? Why not share your tips for being more proactive, in the comments box below?

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