I was leaving my home office the other day on my way to see one a client and I started thinking about how long it has been since I worked in a corporate office. Almost 10 years…While I do miss the interaction and camaraderie that you build with your team on a daily basis, I am a lot more productive working out of my home. This got me thinking on America’s office environment and whether it is the most productive way for a sales rep to perform their job. In the end my job is to keep existing clients happy, get new clients, and hit my sales number. So, why do we commute to the office, fetch our voicemail, say hi to our coworkers only to leave by mid morning to go out and see our customers? What if we did all of this from home and got in front of our customers an hour earlier. I believe this would have a dramatic impact on our sales results. A lot of what we do at the office doesn’t move the sale forward but instead it takes us away from our customers.
Typical time wasters? (Hey Boss, not mine these are survey results)
- Socialize with co-workers
- Water cooler or coffee breaks
- Shop online
- Online games
- Pay bills online
- Personal calls or emails
- Are present to show face (I’m here so I must be working)
I challenge everyone reading this post to track what they do in the office over the next week and see how much time is wasted. Its one thing to act busy but another to be busy, and being busy will increase your take home pay.
I challenge you to convince your boss that being able to go straight to the customer will save you time and earn everyone more income. I think the biggest obstacle is trust, if you can build a trusting relationship with your manager and the results follow they will allow more flexibility into your schedule. Of course there are times you will need to be in the office for meetings etc, but try to minimize this habit to when it is necessary.
What GREAT sales reps spend time on:
- Belly to Belly with their customer
- Doing product demonstrations with clients
- Reading blogs, journals, and articles on your industry
- Putting together proposals or bids
- Practicing your sales presentations
- Prospecting for new clients
- Following up with clients to move the sales forward
- Taking care and listening to your existing customers to make sure they know more about you than just your name and that they can call you with anything. If you can’t help them, be the rep that knows someone who can, they will continue to call you for problems you wouldn’t think of.
Let me know your thoughts below on adapting to a more flexible (home based) work schedule.