Learn to make (mostly) distraction-free remote sales calls from home.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, American television gave us some remarkable science fiction. Shows like The Twilight Zone presented us with ordinary, everyday people thrust into unexpected and surreal situations. Episodes like “Two” take us to the end of WW III and the plight of the last two survivors. “Mirror Image” delves into parallel universes. And then we have the episode where a pandemic closes the world, and everyone works from home.
Okay, that last one isn’t a science fiction narrative, but it feels a bit like it. And while many of us are now adapting to working from home, making remote sales calls from home has its own set of challenges. It’s fair to say most people are forgiving of the occasional dog barking in the background or the screaming kids, but let’s be honest, it’s distracting. Even if the person you’re speaking with doesn’t mind, there’s a small part of our own brain that loses focus. That might not be a big deal when you’re talking about delivery dates or scheduling your next meeting, but it is a big deal when you’re trying to nail down the details of a contract or give highly detailed answers to questions.
Regardless of our situations, however, making remote sales calls from home is and will be part of our lives.
Even once we get back to the office, many businesses are finding value in having employees work from home. It lowers operating expenses, and many people are more focused and productive without the distractions of coworkers. The COVID-19 social restrictions may have many businesses switching to at least partially, if not wholly, remote.
Still, the fact remains that to conduct remote sales calls from home successfully, we need a strategy and the tools to make it happen.
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A foolproof strategy for making remote sales calls from home
If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to conduct remote sales calls from home, there are a few things you should know. To begin with, if you have pets, they will absolutely have something to say about you being on the phone. The dog will need to go out, and your cat will want dinner, even your goldfish might give you the stink eye.
What else? Your kids will get in an argument over who’s turn it is to take out the trash. Your upstairs neighbor will pull into the driveway with the radio blaring. Your job is to go with the flow. These things (or things like them) are going to happen. It’s okay. This is one of those times when we truly are all in this together. The person you’re calling is dealing with the same issues.
You can, however, take steps to limit these distractions.
Before you start making calls, take your dog on a long walk. That also happens to be good for you, so it’s a win-win. Tell anyone else in the house that you are going to be on the phone and ask for as much quiet as possible. Bribes aren’t out of the picture, here. The promise of a bowl of ice cream works wonders in keeping kids calm. A favorite movie works, too.
If you don’t have a home office, go into a room and close the door. Sit at a desk or table if you can, or stand at a dresser so you have a “desk” you can write on, put your computer on, or use to have easy access to notes and other information. Use earbuds or headphones to help reduce noise levels. In truth, you might find this arrangement gives you more privacy and quiet than an office setting.
So now you have a mostly quiet space. A desk of some sort. You’re ready to make your calls. Now here are the tools to help you succeed.
5 tools that will help you make the best remote sales calls from home (whether or not you have a home office)
1. Call Logic
Call Logic is and always has been remote-friendly. Since the software is cloud-based, you can log on from anywhere and start making calls. And you get the full suite of features, including a screen pop with client information, call recording, sales scripts, and reporting.
Zoom is big right now, but there’s a good reason for that. It’s one of the best video and web conferencing software options on the market. Their free plan is loaded with features, including unlimited 1 to 1 meetings, screen share, annotation, and a whiteboard.
It’s also the perfect tool for virtual demos or “in-person” meetings once you’ve made your sales calls and have reached the point where you need to interact visually.
Motil is a modular, portable privacy screen that gives you a professional backdrop for all those Zoom meetings. Don’t want your prospect to see your record collection in the background or your plant that you forgot to water for the last two months? Motil is your solution.
4. Sound machine
A sound machine, or white noise machine, will mask other noises in your home and give you a quieter environment. There is a wide variety of these on the market. Lectrofan is a classic, with ten fan sounds and ten variations of white noise. You can also opt for an Android or iOS app, or get a Google Chrome extension to play. If all else fails, you can play a 10-hour video of white noise on YouTube.
5. Phone stand
Unless you plan to spend a fortune with your chiropractor, you’ll want a phone stand for all those calls you’ll be making. Like sound machines, there are any number of these available. OMOTON has several models available, and they get good ratings. Depending on your phone, however, you could just as easily use a book holder or photo stand. The point is to be able to put your phone in a secure place, so you can talk hands-free without the worry of spilling water or knocking your phone onto the floor mid-conversation.
With the right strategy and the right tools, making remote sales calls from home isn’t as fraught with problems as you might think. You might even find that you are more productive and successful.
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