A lot of virtual assistants and clients would be amazed to know that they have entered into an agreement during a verbal discussion.
If during the discussion the virtual assistant has made an offer and the client has agreed then an agreement or contract has been formed.
A virtual assistant agreement or contract can be formed whether it is over the phone, by email or through social media. In other words an agreement or contract is formed when:
A contract or agreement can be made verbally, in writing through the post or electronically.
No particular form is required to constitute a contract (either an offer or acceptance).
In terms of a virtual assistant and client agreement, the virtual assistant is agreeing to do something and in return the client is agreeing to pay as per negotiated rate.
I have seen several so called “Virtual Assistant Template Agreements” circulating and available for download. These templates may meet the requirements of lawyers and other professionals, however, they aren’t particularly written in such a way to form a strong relationship with the new client.
In addition, agreements written overseas may not apply here in Australia.
Positive communication with your client from the very beginning is very important.
Clients will bond with you if you meet their needs and if the communication remains supportive and professional. After all, the client has made the decision to welcome the virtual assistant into their business.
It is therefore important that the virtual assistant recognises this and shows that they are trustworthy. A written agreement written in legalese and pointing out all that can go wrong is perhaps not the best start to creating a bond. Especially if you want the relationship to be long term.
A virtual assistant agreement is also an opportunity for the virtual assistant to educate the client on the best way to work together moving forward.
A lot of virtual assistants have restrictions on the hours that they will work, how they like to be contacted and even the best times that they are available for a discussion. A time when a toddler is running around is perhaps not the best time to discuss strategy with your client!
At the end of the day, if the agreement is not upheld for some reason, are you really going to pursue the client through the courts to uphold the written agreement?
The cost of the pursuit would be more than the actual contract was worth initially. In addition, this would cause a lot of stress whether you win or not.
A much better approach is to simplify and create a good experience for both the virtual assistant and client right from the beginning. Your aim is to build trust and respect as quickly as possible.
From my experience, the virtual assistant’s main aim in creating an agreement with their client is to:
In regards to the client, their main aim in hiring the virtual assistant is to:
So, if we take the results that both parties want to achieve from the above, we create a warm and friendly agreement that outlines how this will be achieved.
Adding a few options for ensuring that urgent matters can be dealt with to the mutual benefit of each also makes sense.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
It does sound simple and it can be simple.
An agreement can be as simple as a recording of the Skype conversation you had with the client where you go through your offer point by point and you agree on each. (search for mp3 skype recorder for a free tool).
Alternatively, it could be a confirmation email that you send to the client after your discussion and ask them to pay you a deposit to show their acceptance of the discussion.
It could also be a very professional “Client Welcome Pack” that also educates the client on how you like to work, what hours you are available, how they can handle emergencies and a confidentiality statement.
You could also add items that you find difficult to raise as a discussion point – for example, automatic rate increases in line with inflation or cpi.
If you are looking for a great welcome kit that meets all these requirements and more, I have put a special offer together for you below.
Reference: contract law
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