How to Conduct Sales from Your Home Office
Do you typically work in an office space? Even if you have a cubicle, desk, or office in a space outside of your home, circumstances have opened up remote work for many. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. According to the results of a survey by FlexJobs, “65% of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace.”
Remote workers tend to take fewer sick days, and they’re generally more satisfied with their jobs because they don’t have to worry about commuting or how work may interfere with other obligations. If you’re struggling with how to conduct sales remotely, or setting up your space at home, let us help with the following tried-and-true strategies for working effectively from home.
Bring Professionalism Into Your Home
In the digital age, most people correspond by telephone, email, text, and chat, so there’s really no reason to meet a prospect in person unless you happen to catch him or her at an industry event, a networking get-together, or another local gathering. As a result, no one has to know that you’re working from home unless you want them to know.
The best way to create the illusion of working in a professional home office, even if you’re wearing your pajamas, is to use professional equipment. Make sure that your cell phone reception is strong so you’re not dropping calls; you may even want to consider getting a landline. In addition, invest in lightning-fast Wi-Fi, and get a high-quality webcam if you frequently take video calls or give multimedia sales presentations.
Really time take your time when making a video from home for work. Try this video tutorial to create a truly professional at-home video.
Finally, spend some money on decorating your office, even if your office space is just a small nook in a multipurpose room. You’ll want your surroundings to look professional and neat if you’re communicating via video feed.
Structure Your Day
Working from home does take some discipline, since you may feel tempted by all of your snacks and your Netflix queue.
However, you must stay focused and remember that you’re working, not lounging. If you struggle with setting boundaries between home and work, then you may want to change out of those pajamas and dress as if you’re going to work to get in the right mind-set. Next, you’ll want to establish a routine or block off a certain amount of time for work.
If you live with others, you may want to ask them to be your accountability partners and let them know that just because you’re home, that doesn’t mean you’re free to do non-work-related activities.
In addition to setting boundaries around when you do work, you’ll want to create boundaries around when you stop working, especially if you tend to be a workaholic or you’re the business owner. People who work from home sometimes have trouble shutting off their brains at the end of the workday, since the transition from work to home can be so short. Keep to normal work hours, and then set your email and phone to “do not disturb” after a certain time so you can relax and spend time with family and friends.
If possible, having your desk or workspace in an area where a door can be closed is a great way to add boundaries. Close the door on your workspace when you’re done, and make use of the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
A minimalist office could also be the key to maintaining a calm, neutral, and productive state of mind in your home office.
Succeed at Home with Sales
All of your normal principles apply when it comes to success with sales at home versus the office. But sometimes, the transition to working from home can hold unique challenges for a sales professional. Here are some tips specific to sales from home:
Keep Call Time Sacred and Uninterrupted
Whether you’re making cold calls or calling existing clients, it’s important to ensure that you’re as uninterrupted as best as possible. Frequent interruptions can come across as unprofessional because it seems as though you’re not devoted to taking care of the client.
Close your door, if you can. Try to schedule your meetings when kids may be napping. If you have two computer monitors, turn one of them off if you’re not directly referencing information. Silence your cell phone. Consider wearing headphones during the call — you’re less likely to be distracted by noises you hear in your home.
Know Your Workflow
Are you more effective when given a large block of time to get everything done, or do you do better when you can divide your work into smaller chunks, with mini breaks in between? Is there a time of day you are more productive: maybe you gain momentum early in the morning? Or do the systems not kick on until the afternoon?
Knowing your workflow helps you set not only your schedule but also your environment. Writing words by hand activates more regions of the brain than typing does.
Even though working from home makes everything digital, consider using a whiteboard to write down tasks, or repurpose an old school agenda notebook for notes or a calendar.
Schedule a Work Routine
Depending on your clientele, try to schedule calls during the times of day you know people are more likely to be available.
Also consider your daily routine: what are the best times for you to give undivided attention to a client?
Working Remotely or Remotely Working?
It’s easy to become distracted, disillusioned, or demotivated when working from home, but the above tactics can help you shift your mind, body, and workspace. Sales are about communication, so keep those channels open and you can succeed no matter where you are.