Are you an assumptive thinker?

Most of the time I’m pretty good at not making assumptions.  And just like everyone else, sometimes I think I know what’s going on and then learn that’s not the case.  Color me enlightened.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of my virtual assistants about a client, and I asked how everything was going and she said, “Great!”

Then, in parentheses, she added “assuming no news is good news…” I pondered more about this. How often do we presume everything is hunky dory when it isn’t? Are your clients happy? Does no news really mean good news?  How do you know?  Too often I see people complaining to everyone but the person they should be directing their issues to and instead gripe to everyone else in town.  Obviously, everyone else can’t fix the problem, so the issue goes unresolved and everyone involved is unhappy. Unfortunately I’ve seen this happen among my colleagues many times.

In the case of my team member and the client, everything was fabulous; however, that’s not always the case. You could lose a lot of business if you do a lot of presuming and assuming. You know how that saying goes.  When you assume, you make an…never mind.  If you don’t know, Google it.

In the virtual assistant business, presumptive thinking is especially dangerous on both the part of the VA and the client. If the client is unhappy with their services, it’s best they speak up so the virtual assistant can effectively change direction.  It’s also important to clarify any misconceptions before work begins so everything is done correctly the first time.

At the same time, if the assistant is unhappy with the way the client does things and fails to pipe up, the client is left spinning their wheels and wondering what he or she did wrong. Neither party can just assume they are wonderful and therefore don’t need to communicate their expectations or needs. There is no room for guessing, especially in the beginning. The foundation of the virtual assistant relationship is built on strong communication and mutual respect.

Both positive and negative communication is important, so if you’re unhappy, say so.  If everything is peachy, we want to hear that too. Feedback is critical in a virtual business relationship.

This is a concept small business owners deal with every day in one way or another. If your own customers don’t give you feedback, how will you know if your product or service is hitting the mark?  Without reviews, ratings, and opinions, you’re essentially swinging blindly. You’ll only know where the ball is landing if someone tells you (or screams “ouch!”).

The same goes for your virtual assistant. They’re providing a service and your feedback is very important — “This is marvelous work,” or “Hey, I’d really like to change this…” Our virtual assistants are flexible and amazing and they are most definitely not mind readers. So a little bit of communication goes a long way.

While we’re assuming, dear entrepreneur, I’m assuming you already have a virtual assistant. If you don’t, call me so we can fix that for you.

Until next time,