My best wishes to you and your family in these strange new times. I’m not going to dwell on the current situation any more than that, but I thought offering some practical help to the many people now working from home (some for the first time) with the schools closing from Monday might be useful.
I’ve made a video to accompany this If you’re a seasoned remote worker or sales contractor then please feel free to forward this email and the video link to anyone who you think might find it useful.
TOP TIPS FOR HOME WORKING IN SALES
Get technology in place that will enable you to work seamlessly.
You might find that home isn’t set up for a seamless transition from the office. If your mobile phone signal isn’t great, look at using VOIP systems such as JustCall which allow you to make and receive calls from your laptop. Another alternative is to get a Skype number and forward incoming calls to it.
Get a headset – it’s healthier to be able to move around while making and receiving calls, as well as possibly having to juggle things around the house or support children now at home.
If you need a printer, does yours talk to your work laptop? If not, get the support you need now. Even if you don’t think you need it to produce critical documents, the ability to print out notes, worksheets or screenshots can be useful.
Get a ream of paper and a couple of sets of spare ink cartridges delivered. Get anything else you need from the office or buy it for home.
Create a good environment for your calls.
This may be difficult for many, but if you haven’t got an existing study or home office try and set up somewhere that you can mark as your “office” – even if it’s just a corner of the kitchen table let people (especially children) know that that’s your working area and if they see you there you are “at work”.
If you’re lucky enough to have a study or office, operate a “closed-door” system. When you need to make prospecting calls or do anything else that requires your full focus, close the door.
Tell everyone else at home that door closed = only disturb in emergencies. When you’ve finished your focused task, open the door again.
Ensure you have a good CRM and Automated marketing system in place.
Systems like ActiveCampaign or InTouch are ideal to store records of calls and then automatically send nurturing emails to prospects who aren’t ready to buy right now.
Don’t take advantage of the current situation to send “covid spam”, but do explain what’s happening from your business’s point of view. Information like this can be useful, as well as keeping you in their mind for when they are ready.
Re-read through your opening scripts and calling frameworks.
Make any adjustments you need to in order to adapt them to the current situation.
Practice your new scripts, or keep practicing the old ones if they are still fit for purpose. Do it in the shower, in the car, while walking the dog (remember your social distancing). Record yourself saying the outline you have so that you get comfortable with it. Remember, scripts are only a bad thing when it sounds like you’re giving a scripted delivery!
If you don’t have scripts and frameworks in place, get them ready now!
Prepare and practice the objections that you ARE going to get.
Objections are common at the best of times. The best salespeople anticipate what they are likely to be and know how to deal with them.
The current situation will probably throw up some new ones. Think about this, list them out, and devise appropriate responses.
Be sensitive to the fact that some prospects may be understandably focused on things other than business at the moment, despite their organisation operating “as usual”. If you are able to recognise this, empathise, and offer to call them back at a later date you will earn a lot of goodwill compared to your competitors.
Be disciplined about the time slots you have.
This may be more difficult than it used to be if you are at home with the rest of your family. However, it’s even more important that you stick to your timetable. Reward yourself when you complete one of your blocked out tasks, and if you have children at home reward them for letting you get on with it undisturbed.
If your partner is also working from home, get your diaries out and share the planning. Make sure your prospecting hour doesn’t clash with their vital conference call if at all possible. Be fair to both of you, but also be prepared to be flexible if your partner’s diary has actions and times that can’t be moved.
Remember, you’re in it together!
Although it can be a massive upheaval at first, working from home can be the best of both worlds! With a good attitude and a little patience, you can have things running smoothly and you’ll enjoy some benefits, including:
- The shortest commute you’ve ever had!
- You’ll save a fortune on lunches, coffees and petrol.
- You will spend more time with your family, which is almost always a good thing, right?
- You can often get more done than in an office environment where there are work-related distractions. You may find you can finish earlier yet get the same amount done. Or, if you’re going for it, do the same hours and get more done!
These are just a few tips for successful selling from home. What are some of yours? What other resources have you come across that can help? I’d love to collect all of your ideas and help get them to others who may be struggling. You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can find me on the usual social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube – by searching for “jameswhitesales”.
Finally, look after your mental health. Talk to people, keep your social networks going by phone and video call, and keep your weekends work-free if that’s your usual pattern. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean work should take over home.
All the very best,