Since beginning my VA business over a year ago, I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to search too hard to find new clients. I have clients who refer me regularly as well as non-clients who are aware of my skills and reputation as a VA. There have been a few times however, when someone was referred to me that I could not help. Mostly because the person who did the referring just assumed that I would be able to help but for one reason or another, it wasn’t a good fit. The following are some guidelines to follow before referring your VA (or a VA you know and trust) to your network.

How Well Do You Really Know the VA?
If it is your VA you are referring, then you probably know her work quite well and what she is capable of doing. You know her character, her level of professionalism and the kinds of people she enjoys working with. If the VA is not someone you work with but perhaps you’ve interacted with her personally or you’ve seen her name come up on more than one occasion, take a few minutes to find out more about her. You can do this quickly by checking out her website. Pay attention to her bio, her services offered and what her rates are. These are all very important when passing along referrals. You can also check out her Twitter or Facebook page and see how she interacts with others. Ask yourself if she is someone you would use as a VA before passing her name along to someone else.

What is Her Specialty?
Many VAs offer a broad spectrum of services while others specialize in certain areas. For example, I specialize in working with women entrepreneurs in the area of marketing. Do I have male clients? Yes. Do I offer other services besides marketing? Yes but these are my preference. I make my list of services readily available on my website so that anyone can see what I offer. Although I know how to do many more things that are not on the list, I choose not to list them there simply because I don’t enjoy doing them.

Make sure you know the types of people the VA prefers to work with as well as her services before referring her. You don’t have to memorize the entire list of services she offers but a general knowledge is helpful. Recently someone was referred to me by someone I know, trust and admire. I was excited about the referral but when I asked in more detail what the person was looking for, it turned out to be a lot of technical related projects which is not something I offer. Could I have learned the things that she needed done? Sure but it’s not work I enjoy doing and it isn’t fair to her to try and figure it out when she needs it done right away. I ended up turning the client away but it’s a situation that could have been prevented if the person who referred me had dug a little deeper.

Does She Want to Be Referred?
I know that sounds a little odd, I mean who wouldn’t want more business right? But the truth is, the VA might have all the clients she wants or needs, or she may only be doing this part time while she takes care of her children and doesn’t want to work any more hours than she already is. Whatever the reason whether she is your VA or not, contact her and ask if she is accepting new clients at this time because you would love to send people her way.

As a VA I can say that a referral is the highest compliment to me and my business. It means people like what I do and what I am about. By following the simple guidelines above you can refer your VA with confidence and she’ll appreciate the fact that you took the time to learn more before making the referral.

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