Day 6 of WFH.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I’ve largely WFH the last 20 years since starting my company in 2000.
It can be incredibly isolating to work on your own. Since salespeople tend to be social animals this can be a hard period. The initial transition period is usually not so bad. It’s the 3rd and 4th weeks when reality starts to set in. This will especially be true today as it’s impossible for any company leader to provide an accurate picture of when your isolation will end.
Remember, it’s very possible that most of you won’t be going back to your offices and sales floors for a couple of months at least. You have to adapt to a new reality. And, this experience is going to feel very different to you than just WFH on a Friday every week.
Based on my personal experience, here are a few of my suggestions for sellers who are now forced to indefinitely WFH:
If you’re working remotely for an extended time period, you have to start acting like you’re your own boss. It’s not enough to know that you’re being held accountable by your actual boss because they have insight into all of your activities. It’s too easy to let your discipline slip if you’re not actually in the office day after day. Take ownership of your performance. Instead of working your account list, imagine that you are the founder/CEO of a company with just one employee: you. In that scenario, what sense of urgency would you have around your daily sales activities? How would you prioritize your activities?
It’s essential that you communicate openly and clearly with customers. We’re all in this together. Everyone is aware that this is a tough time. So, it’s important to keep in mind that your future relationship with your buyers may very well depend on their perception of your motivations during this time. Are you calling them to serve or to sell?
Take nothing for granted now. Don’t assume anything. When in doubt, ASK. What are the concerns that are top of mind for your buyers at this time? How will talking with you address those? Your starting position of every sales interaction should be ‘What’s the fastest way that I can be of service to you at this time?’
Report to work at the same time you would if you were in the office. If you’re making calls by 8 in the office, then my best sales call advice is to start your calls at 8 while you’re WFH.
Don’t sit at your desk all day. Get up and move around every 30 or 60 mins. Just like you would at the office. Set timers or alerts on your phone or watch to remind you. Chances are good that your spouse, partner or roommates are also WFH. Get up and check in with them.
Don’t let the relationships you’ve built with your peers suffer. Slack or message co-workers daily. Check in. See how they’re doing. Share something personal. For instance, talk about how you’re handling the stress of the situation.
You have to keep up your physical fitness to maintain your mental sharpness. Even if you’re stuck indoors. If you’re sheltering in place, you can probably still go out for a solo run or a bike ride. If not, get an exercise app like Peleton to guide you through workouts at home. Or use this simple 9 Minute Workout.
You’re not going to have a commute for a while. So, how are you going to put your former commute time to use? (Don’t turn on the TV.) If you’re already using that time in a car/subway/bus/train to listen to podcasts (like mine) or audio books, then Bravo! Make sure to set aside that same time to keep listening.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.