Not everyone’s cut out to be a salesperson. Maybe you don’t like pressuring people, or being pressured yourself – and having to do sales on the job may mean experiencing both of those things. Perhaps seeing the words “incentive-based bonuses” makes you break out into a cold sweat, and you’re not looking forward to metrics-inspired coaching sessions.
Whatever you don’t like about working in sales, it’s okay – there are enough salespeople out there to shoulder those opportunities! What you need is a sales-free work-from-home job – and we’ve rounded up quite a few to choose from.
If you want to be an employee…
Sometimes you just want to be a traditional employee whose office happens to be a few doors down from your bedroom. You work from home in your slippers, but you have regular employment with hourly pay and, in a few instances, even benefits. Just one thing: you don’t want your job to include having to earn commission or upsell the customers you may interact with while working.
Many of the employee-style positions you’ll find offered for work-at-home folks are customer service-based positions. While many of these positions will involve sales on some level, there are some that don’t involve sales at all, or selling is soft and secondary.
Non-Sales Phone Positions
Westat hires At-Home Telephone Data Collectors. These agents conduct interviews over the phone on subjects such as education, health, transportation and the environment. Most positions require being able to work nights and weekends with a commitment of 20 to 40 hours per week.
Pleio GoodStart Mentors work from home helping patients establish a good medication routine providing resources and reminders by phone.
MaritzCX hires Market Research Interviewers to work virtually collecting customer feedback on client products and services. Currently, MaritzCX pays your state minimum wage plus incentives. Openings at the time of writing this post required a weekly minimum commitment of 20 hours with a maximum of 28 hours per week. Some weekend hours required.
ParaMeds occasionally has openings for Remote Records Retrieval Specialists. Agents in this positions are calling medical facilities to request patient records.
Yardi Matrix is a fan favorite among those with kids at home who don’t mind phone work as some background noise is okay. In this position, remote agents are calling apartment complexes posing as potential renters to gather information. These positions are seasonal and temporary. Pay is hourly plus surveys completed. State minimum wage is guaranteed.
Apptical is another company hiring at-home telephone interviewers. This time, agents work with insurance companies and applicants. A medical or insurance background is preferred but not required.
You also have plenty of options available if you don’t want to be on the phone at all. Check out these non-phone positions. These positions don’t always have the full-time capability as phone positions and most won’t offer any benefits. In some cases, the work may even be project-based with a designated end point.
In order to work from home in the publishing game – whether as a freelance writer, a proofreader, or an editor – you must have solid language skills. Make sure you know your grammar rules, have a decent grasp on spelling (yes, even with spell check), and understand what makes a good piece of writing. These basic requirements apply whether you’re writing or editing for a magazine or a blog! Equipment-wise, you’ll need a reliable home computer and Internet access, though it doesn’t necessarily have to be of any particular speed. You should also have a distraction-free place to work. Some positions may have additional requirements, such as access to reference books like the MLA Handbook or The Chicago Manual of Style.
- Content Divas
As a scorer on various standardized tests, you are generally required to have a bachelor's degree (or equivalent, if you graduated from a university outside of the United States). Some opportunities require you to have teaching experience, and perhaps even a teaching license as well. You must also familiarize yourself with the organization’s scoring standards and rigorously adhere to their procedures. You should have a secure home office where you can score in privacy. You must have a reliable computer with an Internet connection and may need to have a home phone also. Required hours of availability depend upon the organization but may involve being available to work on weekdays during normal business hours.
- Measurement Inc
If you’d like to spend your time transcribing audio or video, there are two fundamental building blocks you must have to build your career on: you must be able to listen and you must type quickly and accurately. When transcribing, you must be able to understand multiple speakers and be able to contextualize what they say (doing research if necessary in order to transcribe accurately). In order to make decent money, you must be able to transcribe relatively quickly with a high degree of accuracy. A reliable home computer is required – you may need to install specific software – along with high-speed Internet access. You may also need headphones and a foot pedal. Some types of transcriptionist jobs, such as medical or legal transcription, also require certification.
Search Engine Evaluation
As a Search Engine Evaluator – or a Social Media Evaluator, Web Content Assessor, Ad Assessor, etc. – you spend your time ranking search engine results and their relevance in the context of certain keywords and search strings. There’s not often a particular education level required for these jobs; most simply require you to be eligible to work in the United States and to have good English writing skills. You should also have a home computer (speakers and sound card may be required), a smartphone less than 3 years old (if you’re doing phone-based evaluation), and a high-speed Internet connection. Make sure you’re comfortable installing and working with new programs on your personal computer. Some positions require you to be very knowledgeable about contemporary social culture online, and several companies (such as Leapforce and Lionbridge) require you to pass an exam before you’re hired.
Working as a virtual assistant involves all sorts of different skills, but the basics of the position revolve around administrative experience. Whether you strike out on your own or decide to work with a VA company (like Worldwide101), you most often need to have some office skills. You should be well-organized, have a quiet space to work at home, and have a reliable computer with high-speed Internet access. Marketable skills for a VA include social media and blog management capabilities, research and writing skills, graphic design talent, and expertise in client support. You may be called upon to set up appointments, book travel, track down information, and organize data. The possibilities are wide and varied, so becoming a Virtual Assistant is a viable choice for people from any number of professional backgrounds.
- Fancy Hands
- Time Etc.
- Worldwide 101
If you want to be an entrepreneur…
Maybe you’re not into the idea of being either someone else’s employee or an independent contractor – and that’s okay! You may be cut out to become an entrepreneur, which means investing in yourself, being your own boss, and following your dreams.
Owning your own business almost always involves some kind of sales. But for many people, we may enjoy some type of sales more than others. For example, I was horrible at selling myself as a Virtual Assistant. Cold pitching clients was never my idea of a good time. But, I love affiliate marketing as a blogger. And I don’t mind pitching potential blog sponsors. In many cases, overcoming your fear of sales is as simple as finding something you are passionate about enough to sell!
And as the head of your own company, you get to choose your own sales tactics and your own definition for success. You decide the quotas and metrics to achieve.
Passive income opportunities may be a great place to start. In these cases, you may be writing that sales pitch (or post) once and it can continue to sell as people visit and read the message. You aren’t picking up the phone to make connections day after day. You are simply driving people to your website or landing page.
Need some ideas on great home businesses with passive income potential?
Blogger – Blogging can be a very nice career: you get to share your passions and turn your enthusiasm into an income. I have an entire section on my website dedicated to this topic, so click through if you’d like to be a better blogger. The key to blogging as a business is consistent content creation and getting set up for affiliate marketing – you may recommend products but selling is done through your story not a traditional sales pitch!
Your biggest struggle as a blogger is likely going to be marketing your blog to get those initial visitors, followers and subscribers. My best piece of advice is to not rely on your family and friends. In most cases, these people aren’t your target market anyway and you’re only going to be disappointed if they don’t share your enthusiasm.
This is easily overcome by employing online marketing methods. Pinterest is awesome for traffic generation and doesn’t require any selling or conversation on your part. You simply need to create compelling images using a free online tool like Canva.
You should also learn about search engine optimization as early as possible. Let Google send traffic to you. SEO can get you off the social media hamster wheel and enjoying passive traffic – and, hopefully, passive income!
Photographer – If photos are your forte, that’s a great home-based business in the making! If you want to shoot wedding or graduation photos, you will obviously need to get out in the community and market your skills. Alternatively, you can sell your photos as prints, on cards, or for use as stock photos. There are several sites that will allow you to use their existing marketplace for listing your wares and pay you a commission or royalty for sales. These sites include Fotolia, Shutterstock and Dreamstime. Being successful in this industry requires having great photography skills and staying on top of the current customer demands and trends.
When it comes to your work-from-home career, you can choose whether that career involves sales or not. Using my leads here, you should know just where to get started in tracking down your no-selling-required job – go ahead and hop to it!