Ten Keys to Working Effectively in a Home Office

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Ten Keys to Working Effectively in a Home Office

There are many successful home business models ranging from total chaos to very structured. So there is no single recipe that must be followed to be successful. Many home businesses are started by refugees from corporate America who are used to the structure and socialization aspects of the corporation. For these owners, the following secrets will help provide the structure they may need when they first start.  

1. Negotiate an agreement with the other inhabitants and live up.
to that agreement. Frequently there is a re-entry problem with the other inhabitants. Your spouse may be used to being alone during the day, and may be unhappy with your increased presence. Have a kick-off meeting to negotiate an agreement that will avoid conflict.  

2. Set aside a separate area for the business.
If possible, dedicate a room or part of the basement to the business. This helps everyone feel that the home is still a home. It also provides a basis for a home office income tax deduction.  

3. Schedule separate blocks of work time and free time.
There can be many distractions during the day. It is helpful if you have a schedule for the day so you can minimize interruptions and distractions.

4. Start every work day at the scheduled time.
Form a habit of starting on time and keeping to the schedule. This makes it easier to minimize distractions.

5. Don't sleep late or watch daytime TV during work time.
It's tempting sometimes, but successful businesses are built on the days that you don't feel like it, not on the days that you do feel like it.  

6. Wear your work uniform when you are working.
When I started my consulting practice, I found it helpful to dress business casual (for men this is wearing a tie without a food stain). It made me feel more like I was supposed to be working.

7. Work on high value tasks during your peak productive hours.
Most people have specific part of the day that they are more productive. I find my optimum schedule is to start about one hour after sunrise, work continuously for four hours, then go out. I can work another two hours after I return. That six hour work schedule has consistently produced more work product than I used to produce in two days in the corporate environment.  

8. Accomplish your Single Daily Action before you finish the workday.
Have a Single Daily Action every day which is the most important action for that day. When you are starting your practice, this is likely to be marketing-related.

9. Build a supportive community and nurture it every day.
I think the chief complaint about home business is that it can get lonely and isolated. Make it a practice to talk to people every day, even when your focus is on completing an important project.

10. Manage your thoughts.
Sometimes it is easy to become discouraged and/or negative. Create a method of maintaining a realistic positive outlook and reenergizing yourself when the voice of your Evil Twin intrudes.








10 Myths About Selling

Are you anxious about selling yourself and your services because of a negative view of selling? Let's bust a few myths!

1. A salesperson can sell you something you don't want.

People buy to satisfy needs and wants. A salesperson may help a customer to identify their needs and wants but customers only buy when they believe the product or service they are offered will satisfy them. Selling is not about seducing or coercing the client into buying something for which they have no use or desire.

2. Successful salespeople use a lot of tricks and gimmicks.

Tricks and gimmicks are the tools of the old style salesperson. Today's buyers are too sophisticated to put up with these tactics. Tricks and gimmicks may still be used by some salespeople in some industries but these techniques are not the skills used by today's sales professional.

3. Successful salespeople are aggressive.

The best salespeople are not aggressive, by the usual definition of that word. They are self motivated, enthusiastic and personable. The irritating pushiness that the public tolerates as part of buying is the trademark of the untrained, unprofessional salesperson. Top salespeople in any field are sincere, knowledgeable, considerate, helpful and empathetic.

4. Great salespeople are born, not made.

Great salespeople are not born, they are trained. They resemble star athletes or entertainers in that they may have personality or physical traits which enhance their abilities. However desire, training, practice and experience will enable anyone to reach a successful level of sales performance.

5. Selling is something you do to people.

Selling is something you do with people, not something you do to them. A sales presentation is conversational in style. It should be comfortable, not confronting. The client needs information and looks to the salesperson for guidance and advice. The salesperson is helpful and supportive as the client considers the presentation and makes a decision.

6. Selling a professional service requires a compromise in ethics.

The salesperson is motivated only by a desire to satisfy their customer's needs and wants. Professionals always place their client's best interests ahead of their own. Trust is essential to a successful sales relationship and a professional never compromises his/her integrity to achieve success.

7. The public does not trust or like salespeople.

People do not like or trust poorly trained, poorly informed, ineffective 'salespeople'. They often share stories about unethical and pushy sales service, but in the next breath praise the experience of dealing with their stock broker, real estate agent, or car dealer. They say, "She's different, you can trust her." Today's consumer wants sales service they can trust and rely on, and they will remain loyal to salespeople who provide it.

8. To be effective in sales you must adopt a new personality.

The more open you are with your client, the more you reveal who you are, the less you try to role play an imagined sales personality, the more effective you will be. The more you share your values, feelings and experiences with your clients the more comfortable they become.

9. Marketing is replacing selling.

Selling is part of the marketing process. Sometimes, professionals use the term 'marketing' instead of selling, believing it is more acceptable. There is also a mistaken belief that marketing can replace selling and eliminate the need for direct, one-to-one customer contact. This may be true for some products or services where the salesperson acts simply as an order taker. For most products and services, however, selling is a necessary and valuable part of the marketing strategy.

10. All successful salespeople are hard closers.

Surveys show that today's top salespeople seldom spend much time on closing. Instead they focus on finding customer needs, demonstrating benefits and asking for customer feedback. The professional salesperson, after making sure his client has all the information needed to make a decision, simply asks if they would like to take the next step.


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