Selling From Home

Selling from home - if you're in the selling profession you probably spend at least some time working from your home office.

I started thinking about this during my 4 mile bike ride this morning. I can't explain why I just started thinking about home offices. And then I started to think about what makes a good office set-up for professional salespeople?

What's the ideal environment when selling from home?

During my sales training programs I often ask salespeople how many days a week are they selling from home? You'd be amazed at the responses I've gotten. It runs the gamut from zero to three days a week. Different businesses have different requirements and protocols for their salespeople.

Whether you spend a half day a week or three days a week selling from your home office it's important that you set it up in a way that maximizes your productivity.

I remember years ago my first office was tucked into a corner of my one-bedroom apartment in New York City. The desk consisted of two 2-draw file cabinets with an old door placed over the file cabinets to serve as a desktop. Those were the days.

It scares me to think about all the selling tools I didn't have when I started my first sales job. Whether you're just starting out in the selling profession or are a seasoned sales veteran here's a list of things to consider for your home office.

First things first!

1. Ideally, you want to have a dedicated room for your office. I realize that's not always possible but it's always a practical idea.

2. A good size desk with a return for your computer. I think, the bigger the better. Remember, this will serve as command central for your business.

3. Good lighting is important especially if your work includes a lot of reading.

4. A desktop telephone and a headset. Wearing a headset enables you to become more animated and energetic on all important telephone calls. This can have a big impact on your selling results.

5. Color-coded filing system. Use red folders for high priorities, yellow folders for medium priorities, and use blue folders for low priorities. Use a desk organizer for these priorities folders.

6. A desktop computer with a flat-panel 19 inch screen is ideal for most applications.

7. You should also consider the following: a fax machine, a copier, a scanner, a printer, a color printer, and the postage meter if you do frequent mailings. You'd be amazed how much time you can waste going to and from the post office.

8. Since time is money I also suggest a clock and a timer to keep you on time.

9. You might also want to consider a video cam and a digital tape recorder. While you're at it a digital camera.

10. Within arms reach I also suggest having a dictionary and a thesaurus. Open the dictionary and cross out the following words - can't, impossible, hope, and discount. Tomorrow I'm flying to California. I'm not hoping the pilot can get me there, I'm expecting him to get me there - that's a big difference. And remember, when you're selling, you get what you expect!

11. Depending on how much time you spend selling from home and of course your budget, you should have a very comfortable chair.

12. A white board - the bigger the better. It's a great place to post your goals and your results. Written goals make things happen for salespeople, so why not put them up in neon lights so you can see them every working day.

13. The more time you spend selling from home the more important this is. Fill your office with things that inspire and motivate you. You'll find selling from home easier if you do!

14. You should also have a bookcase filled with inspirational, motivational, informational, and educational books. The size of your bookcase is a pretty good predictor of your selling success.

You should also buy a couple of big three ring binders. Buy a couple of reams of 3-hole copy paper. There's a lot of good information available as downloads that you can print and file in these binders.

Clutter affects creativity. Every three months toss away everything in your office that isn't essential for your home office productivity.

As time goes by continue to add things to your office that make you more comfortable and more productive.

Just don't get too comfortable in your office. Do everything you can to optimize your face-to-face selling time with your sales prospects and customers - that's where the real action is.

You'll make more money selling on the street than you will selling from home.

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