Prialto virtual assistant Louie Ramos shares advice on ways to get things done.
In a previous post we spoke with Prialto Virtual Assistant Louie Ramos for her thoughts on what makes a top-notch virtual assistant. During that conversation we were happy to hear Louie’s tips on productivity tools and techniques she’s gleaned from her time working with Prialto clients. It’s about increasing speed, productivity and efficiency. Here are some of those tips.
Louie single out Salesforce.com for CRM, which she describes as “user friendly,” saying that once you’re familiarized with the platform, it “works just like your normal social media network — like Facebook.”
Part of Louie’s work also involves putting together and mailing lead-generation email campaigns. Louie enters potential leads into Salesforce, then uses Salesforce ready-made templates, which she says are more personalized, shorter, and to the point than other sales-generation marketing emails. (See also, “Write Persuasive Sales Emails that Really Work Using the Six U's.”)
2. Knowledge tools
For Louie, Evernote is a standout that she describes as an easy-to-use and invaluable part of her successful project management, “because you can see all the boards and cards,” she says. Evernote offers a very visual representation of workflow and projects, giving the user a scannable snapshot of priorities.
Louie says that for each of her clients, she maintains an Evernote notebook organized by date, with assigned tasks prioritized accordingly. She adds, “I don’t delete them, I just add…a page or note for the next date,” giving her a continual record of accountability and task completion. (Also see, “Become an Evernote Power User with These Four Best Practices.”)
3. Travel booking
While Louie does check rates on third-party travel sites, such as Travelocity and Expedia, she says she usually opts to use the airline’s or hotel’s direct websites because “With third-party websites, once it’s booked, it’s booked.” Going direct allows for much-needed flexibility should there be last-minute changes or cancelations and refunds.
4. Restaurant reservations
For convenience, Louie recommends OpenTable, because, “They’re really good at customer service,” she says. “And if you end up with any last-minute changes, OpenTable doesn’t have any penalty fees.” Louie also recommends that if OpenTable is not an option, she chooses to book directly with the restaurant by calling on the phone (not reserving online) for more direct, immediate communication.
Today there are so many tools that seem to get better, faster, and more intuitive every day. Yet email is still a critical part of Louie’s tool repertoire. It is frequently the catalyst for scheduling, meetings, information sharing, customer leads, and more.
Louie’s first tip that she needs to begin the meeting the process of setting up a meeting is when she is cc’d by her customer. However, the down side of email is, of course, that things can get buried. To combat this requires making sure to flow information into tools like Evernote and SalesForce as soon as it’s received.
6. Conferencing tools
When scheduling meetings, Louie must first understand how each person will be able to attend—via phone? Skype? WebEx or another video-conferencing tool?
While she can support whatever platform a client uses, she also notes that many companies are transitioning to Zoom, because “its user interface is easy to use.” She helps members set up meeting IDs and makes any customizations necessary, so her members can focus on the meeting, not technology. (See also, “3 Reasons Why Zoom Provides the Best Video Conferencing Software.”)
Being a top-performing virtual assistant means thoroughly understanding your client’s unique preferences and idiosyncrasies. But it’s also about having your own favorite go-to tools at the ready, so you are always at your most efficient.