Staying Safe When Lone Working in Sales-Top 5 Tips
Staying safe when lone working in sales can be trickier than first imagined. Long hours on the roads, walking into unknown areas, and visiting unknown people can leave sales people vulnerable and open to attack.
So lets have a look at what some of those hazards are and the top 5 ways to reduce or manage them.
What Are The Hazards of Lone Working in Sales?
There are a variety of hazards that could befall a person working in sales, which really depend on the type of job you do.
For example, travelling around the country or a specific region can leave you vulnerable from car accidents due to the frequency of travel (we all know risk generally increases with repetition) and tiredness. Travelling long distances over a short period can mean you are more likely to lose concentration and get into a traffic accident.
Lack of local knowledge
Let’s face it, every town and city has a hotspot for violence. A place where everyone knows to avoid unless you want to get into some bother. But being a visitor to towns and cities means you are less likely to know where these hotspots are and could see you wondering into the areas unwittingly, leaving you vulnerable to attack.
So, you have had an appointment in your diary and have spoken to the person on the phone a few times. But how much do you really know about them and their intentions? Meeting strangers can always turn nasty-just like when Suzy Lamplugh went to meet Mr. Kipper. It leaves lone workers at risk of attack or aggression.
And if you are working in sales in an isolated spot, for example a housebuilder’s show home or car showroom you are a sitting target for stranger to walk in. Who knows how safe you are with them.
Illness or Accident
As much as we all like to think we are fit and healthy, you need to be practical about what would happen if you were suddenly taken ill or slipped and banged your head and became disorientated. Accidents do happen and being alone means the consequences of an accident can be devastating.
Imagine being in a home showroom, slipping on the floor and even just throwing your back out. How long would it be until someone finds you?
Top 5 Tips For Staying Safe in Sales
1) Rest if you need to
Driving whilst tired can make you more likely to lose concentration and make a mistake or become involved in an accident.
Pulling over at a service station and having a 15-minute break can give you the boost you need and refresh you enough for the drive home. You can even have a short powernap in your car if you feel the need and are parked safely.
Better late then dead on time.
2) Complete your diary
Make sure your colleagues know where you are going, with whom, for what and what time you expect it to finish. All that information will help them find you if the unthinkable should happen and you don’t report back or get home.
3) Wear your lone worker device
If you have a lone worker device you should be using it. It can save your life.
If you fall to the floor, the man down function could mean help is on the way in minutes. You can also easily and discreetly ask for assistance or have someone listening in if you feel uncomfortable or threatened. They can quickly send for the police, ambulance, fire brigade, or any of the other emergency services.
If you go missing or do not know your location and need help, you can be located by the GPS signals being sent from the device or app.
They really are a valuable tool.
4) Qualify leads with a quick google
Almost everyone has an internet footprint these days, especially if they are decision makers at a business.
It is wise to do some research on the person you are meeting before you go. Check simple things first like social media and google. If you can find then and the accounts aren’t recent or look spammy, then it is probably a real person and not an alias.
Next, what sort of things can you read about them? If you are in any doubt or you aren’t comfortable about what they read, rearrange the meeting to a public place or go with another person.
5) LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
Yes, we capitalised it. We cannot emphasise this enough.
Your instinct, or gut, is designed to keep you alive. It is your primal indicator that something isn’t right or safe and is way more intelligent that your conscious self. We drown it out these days with reasoning and bartering but it can save your life if you listen to it.
If a situation, meeting invite, or environment doesn’t feel right, then make an excuse and leave.
Some handy excuses for your back pocket are needing the toilet, left something in the car, your mobile is ringing (just pretend), or even you feel unwell.