The relationship between VA and client: how to get to know each other

A business relationship is no different to a personal relationship; they’re both built on a basis of trust. That trust can only be built if you spend time getting to know each other. It’s the same with the relationship between a VA and client: whether you’re a VA starting out with a new client or a business owner looking to work with a VA, you’ll want to establish a good working relationship – and that means taking time to know the person you’re working with.

In a larger business environment, the bonding process is naturally accomplished when you chat to the colleagues working with and around you. However, when you’re working virtually, it can be a bit more difficult to ascertain how exactly, you can get to the know a person you might never actually meet!

If you’re looking to build relationships virtually, here’s some pointers to make that bonding process an easier one.

#1: Communicate with each other

All relationships may be built on a basis of trust, but it’s communication that starts that trusting process. When you’re working virtually, the bulk of that communication needs to be scheduled in, in the form of monthly, bi-weekly or weekly meetings. Scheduling in a regular check-in with your VA or client, ensures you have the opportunity to find out requirements and needs, as well as difficulties and solutions. So, agree on a suitable timeframe for your meetings and remember, there’s no reason you can’t fire over a quick impromptu email every now and again, just to check everything is ok and thank them for their help.  Whether there should be a charge for these meetings should be agreed between you; personally in my own VA business – my clients got a 20 minutes catch up call per week to delegate work as part of their retainer package, but that was my choice to offer that to them.

#2: Be personable

Building relationships isn’t just about knowing them on a business level – it’s also about getting to know them as a person. Why would you want to do this? Well, no one wants to feel like a robot or a hidden cog in a bigger system; they want to feel appreciated and understood. What hobbies do they have? Do they have a favourite colour, pet or flower? What inspires them and makes them laugh? On the surface, these things aren’t relevant to the work they do for you. But what if you found they loved yellow roses and you are the client and your VA has recently completed a big promotion for you? Wouldn’t sending them a bunch of yellow roses or a card with yellow roses on, to thank them, just make their day? This is where social media can come in handy.

#3: Ask for feedback and advice

Finally, make sure you’re asking for feedback and advice – on a regular basis. This will help make you both feel like you’re part of the same team and also gives you time to nip any issues in the bud, before they become full-blown problems. Seeking feedback also helps you improve your own game, as it helps to clarify the areas where you’re currently shining – as well as those that need some TLC.  All feedback, positive or negative should be seen as useful feedback and since both the client and the VA are business owners, it should be a two flow!

By taking the time at the beginning of your working relationship, to get to know each other, you’ll ensure the relationship grows on an ongoing basis – leading to a profitable and mutually beneficial long-term friendship.

How do you build relationships with those around you? Do you consider the above steps important, or are there other factors you feel need to be included? Why not share your thoughts on relationship building, in the comments box below.

Image courtesy of Frank Boston/