by Daniel Disney, LinkedIn & Social Selling Trainer
Over the coming weeks and months, a lot of salespeople all over the world will need to start working from home.
The Corona Virus is spreading fast and a lot of governments and businesses are enforcing social distancing and encouraging people to work from home if possible.
For some, this may be a dream come true! For others, this may be quite daunting.
Now I’m NOT going to focus on the virus in this blog, or anything doom and gloomy.
Instead, I want to try and help anyone working in sales who find themselves working from home. I’ve spent years in sales working from home and remotely and have managed hundreds of salespeople doing the same.
Here are 10 tips that I’ve found to be very helpful:
Tip 1) Structure Your Day As Best You Can
The better your plan for the day, the less likely you’ll be to get distracted and the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goals. Set a good clear plan for each day, breaking down each hour and each activity. Make sure you know what you need to do, but also what you need to ACHIEVE.
This is something that is valuable when you work in an office but even more valuable when you’re working from home and there are potentially a lot more potential distractions. Plan your day, set your goals and then work hard to achieve them!
Tip 2) Keep In Touch With Your Colleagues And Managers
Whether it’s during your scheduled breaks, or to ask for questions/offer support, it’s extremely beneficial to keep in touch with the people you work with. Firstly it’s good to make sure your manager is kept up to date with what you’re doing and achieving. Secondly, it’s good to just TALK to people! It can get very lonely working remotely, there’s no exciting office atmosphere, it’s just you and your laptop.
Set up regular team video calls or conference calls, arrange to speak to colleagues during breaks, utilize chat channels like Slack or Whatsapp and just keep in touch with people.
Tip 3) Use This Opportunity To Prove Yourself
When you work in sales and get the opportunity to work from home you have an opportunity to prove yourself. It is YOUR responsibility to show your managers that you’re able to work hard without them being there and you’re able to achieve results. This may help you work towards getting a promotion or a pay rise, in the long run, now is your chance to prove yourself!
Work hard and show your managers that you are working hard. Show them the activity and show them the results. You also have a chance to show how you can support your colleagues as well, so look for opportunities to help them when they’re working from home.
Tip 4) Take Regular Breaks & Try To Go For A Walk
It can get quite stuffy stuck in your home all day and night, so it’s really valuable to take regular breaks. If you can, go for a walk, even if it’s just in your garden or around a local park. Obviously, with the virus, it’s important to try to avoid other people, so if it’s not suitable to go outside try to find somewhere else you can do in your home for short breaks.
The best thing you can do is schedule break times so that you have them there in your daily plan at set times. It’s also to try and take the full time for each break, whether it’s 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour. Take a proper break to help your mind and body relax and recharge,
Tip 5) Set Ground Rules With People Who Share Your Home
This could be your family, loved ones, partner, children or people that you share your home with. It’s important that they understand that you have a job to do and to make sure they support you when you are working. You don’t want to have people constantly interrupting you or distracting you when you are trying to work or sell.
If you need to make cold calls or do video calls, make sure they know to give you space to do so and to respect you when you’re doing so. If you need to concentrate on work make sure everyone else understands that and appreciates that.
Tip 6) Create An Office Space That Motivates You
Find a space that you can make your own as your new work from home space if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, make sure it’s filled with things that motivate you to work. It could be some books, a plant, photos, anything that will help you get into the zone! Keep it clean, clear and tidy as well. A cluttered workspace can often distract you from your work.
This needs to be somewhere that you can work from and be as productive as possible. Some sales offices will have targets on the walls or motivational quotes, so creating your own versions of this can help. Print some motivational quotes, create a mini sales target leader-board, little things like this can help a lot.
Tip 7) Let Your Customers & Prospects See You At Home
This is a rare opportunity for a lot of salespeople to allow their prospects and customers to see their homes. Most of time during communications you’ll be at work in the office or perhaps in your car. If you’re working from home, when you do run or attend a video call you’ll be at your home, and this is a great opportunity for you to build your relationship with your prospects and customers.
Let them get to see you at home, see you working hard and get to know you outside of the office working environment. If you’re not making video calls, this could be a great opportunity to take a photo of you working from home and share it on LinkedIn. It will be a great way to grow your personal brand.
Tip 8) Enjoy The Perks Of Working From Home
It’s important to work hard when you’re working from home, but it’s also important to reward yourself and enjoy the perks of it as well (after you’ve worked hard!). That could include watching an episode on Netflix during your lunch break, taking your dogs for a walk during a break, make sure you enjoy it as well.
Hopefully, you’ll be working hard, and if you are then make sure you enjoy the fruits of your labor as well. Enjoy the little perks that will exist by working from home. Just make sure you earn them
Tip 9) Surround Yourself With Positivity
Not only is the media pushing a lot of negative content out there, but you’ll potentially be working in a totally different working environment, one that is the complete opposite of work, it’s home! It’s important to surround yourself with positivity, don’t let the news distract you, don’t keep checking Facebook, instead, listen to motivating podcasts, read motivating articles and blogs, watch motivational videos.
Working from home can be challenging, so it’s on you to create the right environment to succeed.
Tip 10) Look For Training Opportunities
Working in sales right now is challenging, and it’s going to be a tough few months ahead. This doesn’t mean stop trying, but it’s a good opportunity to be smart with your time. Now is the time prospect, look to talk to people and build pipeline. It’s also a great opportunity to do some training and learning.
Look for online training, look for webinars, consume online educational content so when this does pass, you’re ready to hit the ground running.
And there it is, 10 tips that will hopefully help you achieve more when working from home!
The next few months are going to be testing for everyone, if you are faced with working from home make sure you look for the opportunities and not the challenges. Make the most of it that you can, it’s a unique opportunity to potentially achieve more than normal.
Now is a great time for us all to come together and support each other.