Collaboration … what do I mean by that? We all network don’t we? Yes of course we do, and we all network with other VA’s … yes of course we do. If you’re not, why not?
This week, I am going to share a recent collaboration with another VA and this is how it went.
A client is travelling a lot overseas and was looking for a variety of accommodation choices that matched their brief and strict criteria. Immediately I saw two issues from my point of view.
- I did not have time to spend searching tens of hotels, it would not be the best use of my time.
- I knew nothing about the hotel industry in the country he was heading to.
Time was an issue, the clock was ticking. I immediately said to my client “I have a suggestion, I do not think this will be the best use of my time, it will only take me too long.” I was upfront from the get-go. My suggestion was, find a VA in the relevant country who had the necessary skill set.
I simply put a message in a Google+ forum and asked if anyone was interested, to please send me a personal message. Within 24 hours I had received a few responses and there was one stand out. This particular VA loved the travel industry, she had worked previously in that same industry. That was easy; now I had to take my Australianism and turn it into Americanism for it to be translated back into Australianism … following me here? It is so important that things are not held up due to a communication misunderstanding.
The VA I had chosen to work with on this was an absolute professional, she knew her stuff and this guided me. This was the easy part, my client’s brief was very specific so it was only a matter of transferring the relevant requirements to my new collaborator. She had four days to come back with the results. Delivery was on time. She created a Google Docs spreadsheet, each column was specific criterion with the detail down the side and shared with myself and the client. I did not tell her how to set it out, but because our communication and criteria were precise, she used her experience in determining what would be the most effective way to communicate her findings.
My collaborator had delivered exactly what we wanted and presented it in a way that it was easy for us to interpret. However, as is always the case … wait there’s more. After choosing the hotels he needed in relevant cities, he then had a few more “what if” questions around specific areas. Instantly I went back to our VA, asked her if she was available for doing next steps for us within our new time frame. The result was three days later I was booking his hotel rooms all over the country.
I guess you are all wondering who this incredible VA is with the travel expertise? I’d like to introduce you to Lacey Ring-Verbik, of Imagine Virtual Assistant Service. Lacey is now my go to person in the States for all things travel related for any of my clients. I couldn’t recommend Lacey enough for her prompt action, attention to detail and professionalism. If you are wanting to collaborate with a VA whose expertise is travel, then contact Lacey.
Top 5 Takeouts
- Network and create relationships
- It’s okay to say you are not the right person for the task
- Create a criteria for the task required
- Communicate effectively, don’t use local slang words
As always, I’d love to read your comments, please leave one below.