THE CHALLENGE OF WFH FOR SALESPEOPLE
If you are a salesperson who loved being on the sales floor, the team dynamic and buzz, the past year was probably a shock to the system working remotely.
But as salespeople we are resilient, rarely make excuses, and adapt fast.
However, in spite of our amazing attitude, we face big challenges to our performance levels and we need to set-up our home environment to be conducive to peak performance.
Every marginal gain you can engineer in your environment can compound to massive results.
If we can solve these challenges, the greater work-life balance, reduced commutes, increased family/partner time has tremendous benefits.
Whatever the future holds, whether you stay fully remote or not, most people will have the flexibility of where they work.
This is why setting-up your home environment for selling success is critical.
We have to perform at our peak every day. Each edge we can create in our environment stacked up can produce outsized gains in our results.
Challenges we face working from home
Space – Each of us has varying amounts of space at home, maybe we have a dedicated office room, maybe we are sharing space working with our partner, maybe our flatmates/kids need to use the room from time to time. Space issues are endless.
Distractions – Deliveries, TV, kids, too much sleeping, frequent visits to the fridge, freedom to have personal phone calls, too much tv and god forbid, daytime drinking. The list is endless.
Lack of motivation – maybe the office gave you that motivation, for some the signal that it’s game time is not there. The availability to sleep in later. Hard to nail down a routine. Easier to say I will do it later. Other responsibilities at home might seem more important.
Lack of relatedness – No physical proximity/connection to your team. You were motivated by competition. You can no longer recharge by being around your team. Not able to share your successes as easily. The moments that were created on the floor are no longer there.
These are just a few of the blockers and challenges that we face to build an environment set-up for performing at our peak.
Crafting the home workspace for selling success.
We need to be intentional and set up an environment at home designed for peak performance. Organizations spend thousands optimizing sales performance in the office, designing environments for success. How do we tackle this at our home workspace?
Reduce noise & distraction.
Let house members know your working hours – Many distractions created by others in the home would be avoided if people know that during these times you will be working.
Get noise-canceling headphones – Even the most minimal distraction can cost you 25 mins to get back to the task at hand.
Take the batteries out or hide the TV remote – Create extra steps for yourself to take in order to take action which would distract you.
Turn off personal app notifications – At work, you would be less inclined to open those messaging apps and social media on your phone, disable notifications during work hours.
Set-up the workspace far away from the kitchen if possible – The rule of thumb is to make distractions as difficult as possible to do and make good habits as easy to do. It’s easy to stroll in to the kitchen and start snacking which distracts you and can dampen energy levels.
Maintain energy levels
Set a strong routine – This is the first thing that is likely to slip when you are the master of how and when you work. Build a visual board at home with your schedule to make clear and obvious what your schedule is.
Some exercise as soon as you wake-up – Even if for a few minutes, the first thing to do is step into your workout clothes, start exercising and DO NOT judge yourself for how little you do. Just make it your routine as it will set you up for strong energy levels.
Create an energizer stack – Think of stacks like stages in a pipeline, the stack is a set of stages to run through to take you to a goal of achieving the desired state. i.e a pipeline to move you from feeling low on energy to higher energy levels.
My Energizer stack > Desired state = Energy levels higher & feel great!
Stage 1 – Drink one tall glass of water
Stage 2 – 10 mins walk or exercise
Stage 3 – Half a glass of fresh juice
Stage 4 – 1 min of fire breathing
To me, any state you are trying to achieve is just a pipeline of steps you need to take to get to the desired state. As salespeople we should be used to this, I even set-up my energizer stack like a pipeline on a visual board at home and move ‘ME’ along the stages.
Fluctuate your working position – Get an adjustable desk, varying the position that you work in will not only help your posture but also switch up the routine to create novelty.
Laptop at eye level – Bad posture is not just caused by poor alignment in the back, having to tilt your head down is unnatural and can cause neck and back issues. Make sure you get your laptop at eye level.
Invest in a great chair – Failing that, use back support behind you in your chair to keep you more upright.
Pre-selling preparation at home
Meditate before you sell – Why? When you are in a state of flow your prefrontal cortex quietens and the part of your brain associated with creativity, pattern recognition, time dilation, and focus gets activated.
So meditating before you start that sales session especially when you are at home will boost your performance levels.
Buy a meditation cushion as a trigger – Place this cushion near your workspace, easy to access. Having a special cushion for meditation is a signal/trigger that you are going to do this every day.
Show-up – whatever your pre-selling prep is, just show up, even 2 mins of meditation is better than none.
Post-selling preparation at home
Immediately reorganize your workspace at the end of the day – Get a specific routine to tidy your home workspace as good as external cleaners would at the office. When you enter that workspace tomorrow it should be pristine.
Get outside the moment selling stops– The moment you finish your sales day, go outside, celebrate your day. Create separation and an acknowledgment that the day is over and you are then getting ready to wind down.
Read and journal before sleep – Place your journal/book for learning by your bed so you can read or journal a small amount before bed. As always, just show up, one chapter is better than nothing.
Celebrate – There is nothing like celebrating success for confidence. When you are on the sales floor this will happen all the time and seeing others celebrate increases competition and reinforces the desire to succeed.
Create a reward system – I have a reward box full of the rewards that often would distract me from deep work, like social media, TV, a treat, personal phone calls. These are all listed on paper in a small jar.
Add blanks and forfeits to your rewards jar – When the reward is variable and involves loss, the dopamine hit from the anticipation of a reward is actually higher than the dopamine hit from receiving the reward. This is the driver of creating addictive habits.
Last and probably most important. Connection. We need to feel a part of something bigger, to share moments and to interact. We are social by nature and it’s the number one challenge with remote working.
Prospect Together – Set-up a group with colleagues/non-colleagues to prospect together. Whether it’s zoom, hangouts or whatever, the most important part is after the session to share the wins, challenges and moments that made you laugh. It will reinforce the good feelings of selling from home being enjoyable.
Without a doubt, we are going to be selling from home more often, sales performance is about stacking small incremental gains in your favour that end up compounding into outsized results.
So go and invest time in optimizing your home workspace for peak performance. If you need any help with this feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is anything I haven’t covered which you think would be beneficial to our sales community, please feel free to share with me, I would love to hear from you.