So how is working at home going for you?
Have you found a way to keep the dog from barking? How about the kids? And what about the gardener that blows every Tuesday?
Oh, and don’t forget to actually work! You remember, the prospecting calls you need to make, the demos you need to book, and the prospects you’re supposed to be following up with.
If you’re new to working from a home office, or if you don’t have a proper home office set up yet, then you know how challenging it can be to get into a rhythm, to remain productive, and to keep your attitude up.
I’ve had a home office for over 20 years and let me tell you—it took some getting used to at first. Luckily for you, I’ve boiled down the 5 most important routines I developed and still use to make me very productive working from home.
I encourage you to adapt and incorporate these secrets into your home routine as well:
Secret Number One: Establish a Daily Goal for Activity.
Just remember what’s crucially important in all of sales: You can’t write any business if you don’t have prospects and clients to pitch to.
And that means you have to put in the activity—the calls, the follow ups, the emails, etc., to set those demos/presentations.
And that means you need to have a daily goal for activity. Ask yourself:
1. How many dials do you need to make each and every day?
2. What is your contact rate goal—you know, the number of actual prospects you’re focused on connecting with in a day?
3. How many demos/presentations are you focused on getting in a day? In a week?
4. And how many demos are you focused on giving each day/week/month?
Not only do I have a daily goal, but I track my calls/contacts/demos each day. You should, too.
Secret Number Two: Make Your Prospecting Calls Early in the Day.
Let’s face it: Cold calling is hard. It’s easy to put off. Many things distract us when we’re in the office, but now there are a hundred more things at home that steal our focus.
That’s why I learned early on that if I get the hardest thing out of the way first, then each day will be successful no matter what.
But the key is to make this your number one priority before you move on to any other “non-essential” duties. By committing to the hardest—and most important—activity first, you’ll not only set up the demos and closes, but you’ll feel better about yourself as well.
Secret Number Three: Do Non-Essentials tasks at the End of Your Day.
I’ve got news for you: Sending that email after you get off the phone with a prospect isn’t an essential activity. They can wait a few hours…
Nothing steals your time or robs you of your momentum more than hanging up the phone with an interested prospect and then breaking your rhythm by stopping to send out an email to them.
Instead, jump back on the phone and keep dialing! Reach your goal first, and then you can comfortably (and without guilt) take time to send your emails.
The key is rhythm and momentum. Get it. Keep it. Power through.
Secret Number Four: Develop a Food Routine.
I know this might sound strange but planning what—and when—you’re going to eat is very important.
Now that you’re home, do you ever find yourself hanging out in your own kitchen or browsing your pantry?
And how about coffee or tea? Have you ever found yourself too caffeinated to sit at your desk?
Frequent breaks for snacks—especially bad ones to reward yourself after a good call before you send that email (see Secret Number Three above), also steal momentum and can turn into hour long, unplanned breaks.
Plus, when you’re at home, it’s easy to suddenly turn into a gourmet chef (as in: this is going to take the afternoon?).
Pack your lunch and snacks ahead of time, don’t binge the coffee, and follow your normal “work” meal routine.
Secret Number Five: Plan Your Day the Night Before.
Not planning your workday, the afternoon or night before is one of the biggest mistakes you can make—whether you work from home or in the office.
Before you call it a day, you need to gather and organize your leads; plan all your calls—your clients and/or prospects—know when your closes are and schedule prospecting calls up to and immediately after each one.
If you don’t do this, it’s easy to show up at your desk in the morning and watch that morning evaporate in a flurry of activity that results in—well, no results.
In conclusion: You can work at home successfully and productively, but you first must establish and stick to routines that support that.
Follow the five secrets above, and you’ll be well on your way to outperforming your competition.