Why Virtual Assistants Won’t Respond to Your RFP (and a FREE eBook to help you solve that problem)

True story:  My client’s friend Carol called me the other day.

Carol:  Hi Janine. Dr. Smith mentioned that you could help me find a virtual assistant. I need someone to handle my website.

Me:  Thank you for calling Carol. Let me ask you, did you submit an RFP (Request for Proposal) on Virtual Assistantville?

Carol: Yes, I did but only one virtual assistant replied.  I did not bother getting back to her because her proposal seemed confusing.

I asked for a copy of Carol’s RFP specs.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the problems I saw in Carol’s submission:

Title:  Virtual Assistant Wanted

Problem:  What type of virtual assistant did Carol desire? A Social Media Virtual Assistant? A Bookkeeper? A Graphics Designer?

It’s imperative to specifically state in the title exactly what type of virtual assistant a client is seeking. If she wanted the best possible candidates, Carol needed to narrow-down her needs starting with a well-crafted title to capture virtual assistants’ attention.

Using a vague title, ‘Virtual Assistant Wanted’ is like posting for a Repairman when what you really need is an Auto Mechanic.

Skills Required:  To “handle” her website

Problem: What does Carol mean by ‘handle’. Is she looking for someone to upgrade her WordPress website? Is she looking for someone to post to her blog? Is Carol seeking a virtual assistant to revamp her site entirely?

It is imperative to specifically state what needs to be done for the business owner. What goals does the client wish to achieve?  The client needs to describe the skills required and the timeline allotted to complete those goals.

Using vague work descriptions in the skills required section of an RFP is like casting a large-holed net and catching absolutely nothing. Carol needs to close the holes in her net by dialing in specifically on the virtual assistant skills she needs.

There are a number of other reasons why Carol was unable to secure any qualified virtual assistants for her opportunity. I suspect many virtual assistants passed over her RFP for the following additional reasons:

  • Carol omitted a personal aspect to her RFP such as describing the ‘type of personality’ she prefers to work with.
  • Carol was seeking an employee rather than a partner. She didn’t understand that a virtual assistant was a business owner.
  • Carol did not understand the true value that a virtual assistant brings to their business and therefore the budget she requested did not compensate qualified VAs properly.
  • Carol did not understand how long it takes to perform a service and was asking for 10 hours per month when the work she wants completed takes 20 hours per month.
  • Unsure of the candidates’ qualifications, Carol asked for free or trial work. No reputable business owner works for free (unless there are special circumstances).

rfp tipsIf you are looking for a qualified virtual assistant-partner to work with you, take a little extra time to write a well-crafted RFP.  You can save yourself a good deal of time not having to sort through ill-matched proposals.

To learn how to write the BEST RFP to draw in the BEST virtual assistants, enter your email address below to download a helpful (and free!) eBook called RFP Creative Writing Tips for Clients.


Ready to find a professional virtual assistant to help you grow YOUR business? Submit your RFP, for free, right here to our extensive network of virtual assistants.

About the author: Janine Gregor is the leading Request for Proposal (RFP) authority for virtual assistants asking, “How do I find clients?” She created a thriving business using RFPs and devised a unique proposal system for VAs who desire stability in their businesses.  As author of “The RFP Transformation“, Janine has been recognized and awarded for her contributions as a community leader in the virtual assistant industry.

Janine also offers coaching services to clients who need assistance with writing Request for Proposals. Stop by www.WinningRFP.com to learn more about working with Janine!

Virtual Assistant Information

The Virtual Assistant Information blog provides free information for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, executives and individuals interested in learning more about hiring and working with a virtual assistant. We’re part of Virtual Assistantville, a premium virtual assistant directory where you can find and hire a professional virtual assistant to help support your business.

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