can salespeople sell when they work from home?

YES. They can. As long as they have the tools, the mindset and the motivation to do so.

Our work and habits have definitely been shocked by COVID-19 but many of the changes that have occured in our daily working life is somehow old news.

Social media and technology have been influencing our work for some years now and salespeople in specific should have already been adjusting to the new way of selling using technology.

The use of technology and the technical skills needed to perform your work via technology is one thing. The mindset to perform the sales cycle using technology is the main thing that sales managers should work with their teams in order to inspire them to join this journey.

What salespeople typically love about their work? Contact with clients! Working in sales without having face to face contact with clients is a challenge for the majority of salespeople. How can they approach clients? How can they use all the sales techniques they have been trained in to gain the client? Are the body language tips or the negotiations practices applied via skype, google hangouts or telephone?
 
As long as the communication is “live”, language skills, body language and tone of voice are still the most important communication skills needed for a successful sales approach. 

some extra tips that will enhance your presence during a video & create a comfortable working space;

  • Ensure there is enough light in the room so that you are visible to the person on the other side.
  • Check your internet connection & technical equipment before the meeting so that everything work well. Technical issues usually create extra stress during a video call! These are  things we can control so let’s take care of it!
  • Mute all other open applications on your PC ( the “peep” noise of your messenger may be irritating ;)
  • Mute your microphone when there are many people in the meeting to avoid unnecessary noise.
  • Stop moving! The fact that you are on a video call and not face to face,doesn’t mean the other person cannot see you. Sometimes we seem to forget that and we lay back, move back and forth, stand up without realising that we are still visible.

And if you thought that video is a challenge, I want to hear what you have to say for telephone meetings where voice & use of language is the only communication tool you have.

A successful sales person should have been mastering their voice already. Of course, as long as we have face to face communication, we tend to suboptimize the importance of voice & language used during our communication with clients.

some extra tips below for voice communication:

  • Make sure there is no extra noise in the room.
  • Dress up & prepare yourself in a way that will boost your morale..yes the person on the other side of the line CAN TELL! 
  • Sit straight on your chair & breath normally since the voice reflects our total body posture.
  • Practice your story in front of the mirror to make sure your articulation is clear and that you convey your message concretely.
  • Take 5 minutes before your call to practice yoga breaths (you won’t believe the results!)

You can see that the skills needed for a sales person to perform their job are the same. What is further needed is the change mindset to understand that we can adjust to constant changes and make the most out of it for us as individuals and professionals. This is to a big extent a challenge for leaders and sales managers who need to drive this change and lead by example.

This is a topic coming to a next post.

 

about the author

Ioanna Kounoupi - Commercial Manager, HR Consultancy Services Manager

Ioanna currently holds the role of Commercial & HR Consultancy Manager at Randstad Hellas. She has been with Randstad for the last 12 years and has more than 15 years of experience in Greek and multinational companies. Ioanna is responsible for the commercial team and the HR Consultancy department. Her main focus lies in designing & implementing talent acquisition strategies and business outsourcing designing, implementing programs in career transition, outplacement services & assessment centres. Ioanna has extended experience in recruitment, change and risk management, talent acquisition programs, organisational development consulting, sales management in services, industrial, banking and FMCG sectors. She is a member of the "Learning Mentors" network of Bodossaki Foundation supporting on a volunteer basis NGOs in several HR & organisation projects. Ioanna holds a Diploma in Coaching & Organizational Development, an MSc in Human Resources by Athens University of Economics & Business & a BA in French Literature by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Ioanna is certified in assessment tools provided by Kenexa and Evalion as well as in The Preventing Burnout Test© - PBT©.

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