Can I work from home?
Absolutely. And that is a newer rather than older answer.
I’ve been in this business almost 30 years. When I started, gas was cheap, long distance was expensive, cell phones weren’t here yet, Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet yet and you could walk into any school.
My initial training was all about getting out there and going “belly to belly” (I guess they needed a phrase more creative than ‘face to face’). But the idea was to put yourself in front of the prospect. The goal was to speak to 10 prospects a day. That worked, but for me it required driving 100-150 miles per school day.
BUT NOW…. gas fluctuates near $3/gallon while long distance is ‘free’ with your unlimited cell minutes or Skype-type Internet long distance (more on that in another post). Schools all have locked their doors and you have to get buzzed in after identifying yourself and who you want to try to see. Teachers all have VOICE MAIL and EMAIL so it is easy to contact them from home.
The numbers are different, but that’s okay.
There is no question that you can be more effective talking with someone eyeball to eyeball. In my old see-10-a-day model, I would generally have at least one ‘hot’ prospect at the end of the day to follow up with….and as long as I did that, I got enough business coming down the pipeline.
If you are using the phone to make your contacts, you can realistically connect to approximately 20-25 phones per hour. A connect means you either got a person or a recording. Voice mail is okay if you can condense an introduction into about 15-20 seconds. Use your computer to go to the school web site and get names and extensions (or email) of all the teachers, coaches, band/choir directors that you might want to contact. So if you are diligent and persistent in your calling, in a 4-hr half day, you can talk to or leave messages for 100 (vs 10) prospects. Sales is a numbers adventure. If you contact enough people, you will get 90-95% “No”, but a 5% “Yes” rate on 100 calls in a half day is 5 hot prospects/customers.
Teachers check email hourly. In the high school where I teach partime, an incoming email pops up on the screen instantly. It is how a teacher notifies the rest of the school that a class got released too late — or how the administration alerts the entire staff about a problem in the building without making an all call announcement. Some schools have spam-blockers, so you may have to try multiple times to get through. What really helps there is to get that initial RESPONSE, because when the teacher responds, it adds your email address to the ‘ok’ list and future emails will get through. So in your initial email, you need to have a FREE GIFT or some other super reason to generate that initial response. For example, as a teacher I responded a while back to an email that offered to show me “how to conduct my total fundraiser in an hour”. I was intrigued, which was the goal.
When a teacher/prospect is interested, then, instead of running over…..you can mail, or better yet….email additional information.
The biggest advantage you have working via phone and email is that you are not limited by geography. You can go anywhere in the country. If you want an easier start, find rural areas — or even lesser populated states — where it is less likely that you are competing with a line-up of field sales reps who still are trying to go face to face.
For more information, visit
Priority Fund Raising – www.priorityfundraising.com
Learn more about the company at http://priorityfundraising.com/company.php
Read about job opportunities at http://priorityfundraising.com/workathome.php
Watch an online presentation at http://vyew.com/room#/063942/PRIORITY_Fund_Raising_Group_Sponsor_Presentation