How working from home is shaping our lives

Not long ago, working from home was seen as an easy way to get some time off work or just procrastinate and having very little done. Although some businesses still see working from home with suspicion, others are embracing this trend, especially small businesses.

We know that there will always be the ones who will take advantage of it and not get the work done, but these people also exist in the office environment. Some people work better at home, some work better in the office. Simple as that.

Why are companies more open to this practice now? Well, consider the prices of rent of commercial offices. Not every company can afford it. Some new businesses just abolish physical offices altogether, hire their employees to work from their homes and adopt hot desking or office share for when the face-to-face meeting is needed. We have online systems that allow us to connect remotely, as long as we have wifi available – sometimes we can even work offline. We all have mobile phones or tablets, so our clients can reach us anytime.

How working from home can increase productivity? In a country like the UK, when you are allowed by law to take several sick paid days, it is much easier to simply not go to work if you aren’t feeling well. It’s not an excuse not to work. Commuting in a packed train or tube when you are not feeling your best can be a torture. When you finally get to the office, you are feeling even worse than when you woke up. If you are lucky, you might go through the day doing some bits and pieces of work, but not really focussing or giving 100% of you. And guess what? You probably spread the germs around the office and the domino effect will soon start, with other colleagues calling in sick too. The following day you will feel even worse and won’t be able to leave your bed. Now, if you have all the tools to work from home, you will make yourself a cup of tea, will stay in your pijamas, will reply to emails, make some phone calls, update your contact management account with all the info of previous meetings with clients, will rest a bit and recover so you can get to work the following day.

Working from home also save you time (and money) in commutes as well. Although some people manage to do some work on their way to the office, it is not always possible. The train might be packed and you will be squeezed against the door, you might drive to work which makes checking emails very dangerous (and illegal), you might be exhausted and half asleep. Some people can take over an hour to get to work, and once there, they will get breakfast, chat to colleagues, and so on, so a 9.30 becomes a 10am start. Imagine if you can get back 2 hours of your day?

Several people report being more productive and doing more follow ups and paperwork while at home, without interruptions of random phone calls, lengthy meetings or coffee breaks. Some companies have replaced desktop computers with tablets and laptops to give their employees they flexibility of working remotely when needed.

Another benefit of working from home is getting the work-life balance right. You can remove part of the modern day stress just by cutting down on the daily commute, for example. No more running to catch a train, being home on time to pick up the kids; an additional hour to prepare a nice meal, out your feet up and relax. Committed employees will not procrastinate while working from home; they will get the job done and then focus on their lives. They will be happier and,in return, work smarter.

The one simple trick that will improve your sales

This short blog article is when I tell you about the one simple trick that changed my sales mindset and significantly changed my business life and the way I think about sales in general.

It’s a simple trick once you know it, but it took me a while to fully realize its true transformational power. Once I did, I noticed that my sales improved, people started paying more attention to my sales pitches, they became more interested in the actual content and what I was really saying. More importantly, I realized I was closing more deals than before. Now thinking about it, it all seems so simple that I keep wondering how come I didn’t think about it earlier – my life in sales would have been so much easier.

You too can repeat this simple trick in your mind and it will definitely change the way you approach sales, ask for things, present your ideas and do business in general.

The simple trick is this:

No one cares about YOU, they care about THEMSELVES!

That’s it. Now go ahead, repeat it 3 times:

No one cares about YOU, they care about THEMSELVES!

No one cares about YOU, they care about THEMSELVES!

No one cares about YOU, they care about THEMSELVES!

It’s a simple thing but its implications are subtle and powerful. Too often, in sales, marketing, but also in real life, we’re too caught up in ourselves and in what we have to offer, our products, our services, the features, etc. It’s all about us, US, US and me, me ME.

Many sales reps have a pre-learned script that they go through and it’s about presenting the company, the product or the service as the best, as having X whistles and Y bells, as being used by so and so.

This is more evident in remote sales done by inside sales teams by phone or email. There, the sales reps really follow the same script, same templates and most templates are boring and talk about the company, products, services, features, etc. They don’t talk about one thing potential customers genuinely want to hear about: themselves and their own problems. So they switch off, either abruptly or they go on auto-pilot and stop listening.

So it’s important to remember customers have their own problems and they care about themselves. They want someone who understands their problems and cares about solving their problems. They’re not interested in someone who just wants to sell to them but rather someone who in the very least listens to their needs. Any solution provided, be it problems or services need to start with the customer problem and offer to solve it.

Say that once more:

Any solution provided, be it problems or services need to start with the customer problem and offer to solve it.

And now in bold:

Any solution provided, be it problems or services need to start with the customer problem and offer to solve it.

It doesn’t sound like a big realization. Pfff, I knew that! It’s so obvious. Well, of course everyone cares about themselves.

But the more you think about the implications of this one simple trick, the more you realize that you can win more, sell more, be more popular in general by simply changing the way you sell and the way you interact with prospects, existing customers or other human beings in general. Put yourselves in their shoes! Who are they? What are their problems? Their aspirations. Their needs. What actually makes them tick. What excites them. What drives them.

Create a real image of a potential customer. Give the image a name: Michael. Give it a job. A family. A house. A car. Picture him on a day in the office. Picture him on a day out. Think of him as a real person. Now ask this person all the questions above. He’ll tell you what he wants to hear.

Now go out and find a real Michael and sell to him by putting him first. Or her. And since you’ll have many more contacts, leads, prospects and customers as a result, you might as well try a really intuitive web based contact management system.