Sales has dramatically changed within the last decade. As technology streamlines how businesses understand customer needs, so too must sales teams evolve their tactics on connecting clients with the products they love. Our In-Home Experts are one product of that evolution.
Our In-Home Experts are road warriors, providing white glove experiences right at the customer’s home with the perk of driving their own company car to make travel easier. It is our newest sales role, meaning that those who join the team today are on the ground floor of a position that is growing with them. We spoke with two team leaders who shared some perspective on why they jumped in, what to expect from the day-to-day, and common traits of successful sellers.
Moving outside of the four walls
Before joining the In-Home Expert team, Debbie Hopkins and Johnette Williams were already successful saleswomen in their own right. Starting as retail sales consultants, they continued delivering above expectations and moving towards roles where they eventually oversaw their own groups of retail stores. It wasn’t long before Johnette started feeling a little nostalgic for being out in the field.
“I missed being back in sales and leading a team,” she said. At the time, the In-Home Expert role was just starting to look for its first group of sellers. “What attracted me to the position? It almost felt like a startup. In all my years, I had never worked for a new establishment.”
“This was an opportunity to lead a brand-new channel within the company,” Debbie said. “We have all this big data to help inform our strategy. No other company can do what we’re doing.”
A day in the life
“Every morning, we hold a team call,” Johnette said. “We get everyone pumped up and talk about results, initiatives and success stories.” The calls are one of the few times where In-Home Experts and their teams meet in one place. Tasks of the day are largely determined by each seller. With the data available to them, they decide which home to visit (on average, five homes per day) and get there by driving a company-owned vehicle. The autonomy is a perfect fit for closers who aren’t afraid of tackling open opportunities.
“This job has unmatched flexibility. You’re really working for yourself and controlling your environment,” Johnette said.
“The unique thing is we already have an appointment with our customers before we visit,” Debbie added. “Technicians get dispatched to customers with appointments. Our experts go along with those technicians to provide an exceptional experience.”
Of course, opportunity doesn’t fall into anyone’s lap. Like any other sales role, In-Home Experts must prepare for challenges and objections from potential customers. It’s up to them to expect, understand, and listen to find the best solution for the customer.
“We are not customer service,” Johnette stressed. “We take care of our customers, but our job is to grow the business and grow the client base. You have to create value and a sense of urgency.”
“You have to have grit and mental toughness,” Debbie said. “You’ll get way more ‘no’ than you do ‘yes’. A successful seller is someone who knows how to transition into, and close, a sale. Closing is key.”
The odds may seem stacked sometimes, but In-Home Experts have a strong support network. Experts can shadow their peers to understand how to approach, build and close a deal. The morning calls are another way to share learnings from the previous day. Finally, no one is truly ever alone in the role. While the idea of walking into a stranger’s home can seem uncomfortable, Debbie and Johnette see it differently.
“Part of the role is to call the technician assigned to that location and let them know you’re on the way,” Debbie said.
“My top salespeople have been women,” Johnette said, addressing how the role may appear as more attuned for men. “The women in my team, in fact, perform much better than the guys.”
Taking the path less traveled
It’s not all about closing. Just like any other team at AT&T, our In-Home Experts champion our values. Debbie’s team often attends volunteering events, including a dedicated day for the homeless once a quarter and working with the Salvation Army in December. Top performers can open doors to sales positions in other fields – such as Business to Business Sales – or management positions in IHX and retail. Both Debbie and Johnette recommend doing the research to understand some of the basics of sales tactics.
If you’re interested in joining, both Debbie and Johnette recommend connecting with In-Home Experts who are on the road today.
“I urge everyone to research the sales psyche,” Johnette said. “A lot of this job is about reading body language, knowing buying signals and being a strong closer.”
“I believe this is the best position in the company and the best channel in the company,” Debbie said. “We’re making a direct impact. To quote our leadership, we’re making meaningful connections with our customers, with each other, and are focusing on personal growth.”