I have said many times on my YouTube videos and in my written articles: You should always adapt your pitch to the environment. Right now, times are challenging, and there is no hierarchy. Everyone is equal, and everyone is working against the same conditions. For some working from home is a comfort zone, and they have it mastered from structure to timings. For most, however, working from home is entirely new and difficult. Why? It’s because your brain associates home with, family, rest and comfy PJs. People everywhere regardless how much they love their job, are currently fighting the instinct to sit down with a bowl of snacks and catch up on their favourite TV shows, put the washing on and cut the grass. So for someone who has worked from home for nearly 20 years, I want to share with you what I think are the top 5 things to help you to adapt to the working in this crisis and make sure you are successful and get the best return from your hard-earned efforts;
Don't check the time. One of the most challenging things about working from home is guilt. You feel guilty for not helping out, you can feel guilty for not putting things away that are out and most of all you feel guilty for locking yourself away for hours having taken over a room in the house. It doesn't have to be like that. When you start to contact people and make appointments to call back, make them so that you can start to chunk up your time on each activity but time these activity chunks to work around your family. When you set out your schedule, you can make it flexible through the week, depending on what you have to do to relieve the stress of balancing time. For example; calls while teenagers are all still asleep. Work when kids are doing lessons. Exercise with family. Etc. You get the picture. Also, don't be afraid to ask your prospects if they can be contacted at a non-traditional time. You might find it works better for them too. Remember, everyone is in the same position right now.
Adapt your value proposition. Once you have set your objectives and think about your pitch. Remember I talked before about value proposition. This is what you can put across when given the cue to do so. Your cue, of course, would be when a customer asks you what do you do? Or what is your offering about? Your cue is not when they say "hello". Remember if your timing is wrong, your value proposition won't mean anything. You want to be engaged in a conversation about them first confirming everything you think you know from your research and learning more from the person about where they are currently. Then at the right moment, you can explain what your offering is, but it must be reflective of what's going on right now. For example, a financial advisor should be discussing how they can translate all the government information and sift out the relevant information for the prospect now to ensure the prospect gets the right claims in on early relieving them of the stress. An estate agent might discuss how people can make improvements to their home while they are in lockdown to maximise the value when the markets back on track. The latter is about building relationships the former about selling. Both are reflective of the environment. Both take into consideration the timing of their offering; both show financial and emotional value to the prospect.
Empathy. This follows on nicely from the last. Point 3 is about making your words count. This one is about the delivery of your words. A great message delivered badly is not a valuable one so take note of your tone. Do what you need to, to ensure that your own stress level is managed. People need an empathetic ear right now, so listen carefully, be prepared to take your time. The world has slowed down, so should you. Make the most of the time and try to get into their position. They may have kids distracting them. That's ok. Don't worry about having to call back if they have to rush off to look after kids or a home emergency. Also, be empathetic to people schedules. Ask them how your conversation can fit in with their schedule; use that as a rapport building topic. The best thing right now about empathy is that we all have one thing in common and that is to survive the epidemic.
Teamwork. While you are isolated, you are not alone. Those who are a part of an organisation or team should be getting support by their managers with daily team conferences. It doesn't matter if there's much on the agenda or not; it's about keeping up morale. If your manager has not yet done this, ask them. They may just have been a little overwhelmed with individual calls, and so it might not have occurred to them yet. Individuals, who work alone, get onto a group web chat with other like-minded people there are lots of people in the same position. I am in the same position as you.
I hope this helps you with where you are right now. Remember everyone is where you are right now, so reach out and stay safe!