Find out how to get into your groove and make sales calls from home even with the kids around.
In 2017, BBC News aired a live interview with Professor Robert Kelly speaking from his home office. That’s relatively unremarkable on its own. But when Kelly’s four-year-old wandered into the office, followed by his nine-month-old toddler, the interview became famous. The clip was on late-night television, it became a viral meme, and racked up tens of millions of views on YouTube.
Anyone who has made sales calls from home recognized that moment. You’re in the middle of a meaningful conversation, and the kids start dancing in the room above you, or they crank the television. They slam the door open and run screaming into your office. It’s not just the kids, either. Your dog may decide to defend your home from the mail carrier, and bark for three solid minutes until the coast is clear. Your spouse drops a glass in the kitchen, and it shatters. Your next-door neighbor decides that this is the right time to mow the lawn.
These are any number of interruptions and distractions you may face when you’re making sales calls from home. As frustrating as it may be, when we take a step back and look at the situation objectively, most of us have just as many distractions in the office. They’re different, of course. Like notes from coworkers, that loud salesperson on the phone nearby, and instant messages from your boss. Somehow, though, it feels different when those distractions happen at home. So what can you do?
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5 Ways to make sales calls from home with the kids there, too
Before we get into some ideas that will help you create a quieter, more professional space, let’s go over some of the realities of the situation. The first thing to understand is that you will be interrupted. Your kids may not come dancing into your home office with party lights and a DJ, but at some point, they will ask you what’s for lunch or if they can play video games. They’ll want to show you the cool picture they just drew.
You have a couple of options when this happens. You can take it in stride, apologize to the person you’re talking to, and explain calmly to your kids that you’re in a meeting, and you can help them in a few minutes. Or you can get angry, exasperatedly tell your kids that you are on the phone and that they need to stop interrupting you. Which one of these reactions would you want your customer or potential customer to hear?
When you remain calm and understanding, that tells the person you’re talking to that you would be easy to work with if problems come up or if there’s a need to renegotiate a deal. Alternatively, if you sound irritated, you give the impression that you might be difficult to work with if things don’t go as planned. That makes it pretty easy to decide which reaction to have when distractions arise.
The stress of making calls from home
It’s also not smart to ignore the stress of making sales calls from home. For many people, it’s not an ideal situation. It could be that your office closed temporarily for remodeling or a deep clean. It could be that almost every business in the country is on work-from-home mode due to a pandemic. Indeed, that’s a situation everyone can relate to now. The point is that there are many reasons you could be working from home, and even if you’re used to it, it can still be stressful.
There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that stress. In fact, that’s the first thing you need to do if you want to deal with it and make your sales calls as smooth as possible. We all have different, healthy ways to work through and reduce our stress: exercise, meditation, screaming into a pillow. Find your happy place and go there before you get on the phone.
Let’s look at some practical solutions, though. Because what this all comes down to is figuring out ways you can make sales calls from home with limited interruptions and distractions. So here we go:
1. Create your space
Whatever your home office looks like, make it your space. Whether it’s a seat at the kitchen table, a makeshift desk in your basement, or your balcony overlooking the San Diego Bay, gather everything you need and set yourself up for success. Keep your favorite coffee mug there, along with a bottle of water, your notepad, your computer, and your phone. Decorate the space if at all possible. A plant or two goes a long way in livening up a workspace.
2. Stick to a schedule
Keeping a regular schedule, as much as possible, is vital for making sales calls from home. Your kids know you are working, they know you’ll take a lunch break soon, and they know you stop working at the same time each day. Routine is good for you, too. It keeps you from slacking off or working late.
3. Use the right technology
The more organized you are, the more successful you are in sales. There’s no way around that. And one way to keep yourself organized no matter where you are working, is through the right dialing technology. A cloud-based system lets you work from anywhere while still giving you the capability to transfer calls, get help through whisper coaching, and maintain TCPA compliance.
4. Take regular breaks
Even a five-minute break every hour is helpful when you are working at home. It’s good for you to refresh yourself, but it is also a chance to do something quickly with the kids and buy some more time to make those calls. A fast game of tag or a few minutes to help them with a project is all it takes to make them feel good and to give you more space to continue working.
5. Give the kids a job
If all else fails, give your kids a job, and have them work with you. Give them “papers” to file, pens and pencils to organize, or a story to write.
Making sales calls from home, with kids at home, too, is not without challenges. The good news is that clients and customers can be very understanding if you tell them what’s going on. You might even find it helps your sales in some cases.
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