Personal Assistants are very well known for being the Gatekeeper and this means they can have a very strong impact as to whether or not a business owner or an executive will make use of your products or services.
Working in a corporate environment I recall a managing director of a corporate company saying to his graduate surveyors “The golden rule to getting connected with any member at executive board level was to get to know their personal assistants and to be friendly to them especially if you are just starting out and depending on your attitude toward them they can either be very helpful and useful to you or they can make things extremely difficult for you”.
As a gatekeeper I would make decisions based on which calls I would put through and which calls I would reject. I would go through the post and sift through relevant content and chuck out content which would be of no use. This means that making an impression with the personal assistant can get you in or keep you out.
There are a number of areas where a personal assistant or virtual assistant will be responsible for making the decision depending on their level of experience.
- Printers and graphic designers
- Web designers
- Travel agents
- Cleaning companies
- Mobile phone contracts
- Organising venues
- Courier companies
Other areas where they play a very important role is determining who they will recommend to a director or business owner when it comes to services required.
I had two guys who were starting a new business and needed to have a few things organised. They needed to have email access via web, PC, laptop and mobile phone. They required certain software packages for their laptops a new mobile phone contract, business cards printed and a brochure designed. I had all these things arranged for them. They did not care where or who I used as long as it was organised as they trusted me implicitly. I had access to credit card details in order to get the products and services they needed. To date they still don’t know which printer I used for their business cards and brochure. I manage their exchange server account which I chose. If they have any issue they just get on the phone or email me and I get it sorted.
There are times when my clients require copywrite services, caterers, photographers, graphic designers and many other types of services and they will always ask me to find and source the best quotes and the best people. Again there is a form of decision making which lies with me as a virtual assistant and former Personal Assistant. I base my decisions on quality, price, presentation, whether I have used them before, know them personally or have been recommended. I will then put together a short list of what I feel are the best options and submit this list, it will generally be only one or two people.
When you are finding ways to get companies to use your services the first point of contact may be to get to know the personal assistant or in some cases the virtual assistant.
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