Sometimes you must travel away from your gift basket studio. Do you know how to take orders outside the office? This article makes the process easy.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Screaming sirens

Picture this: You’re walking on a crowded sidewalk looking in shop windows and trying to stay out of the way of other pedestrians. There are stop lights at every corner because of heavy traffic in all directions.

Suddenly, your phone begins to ring. You stop window gazing, take the phone from your pocket, and see that the call is one you’ve waited for from a customer who said she’d call to order.

There’s nowhere on the street to take the call privately, so with pad and pen in hand you lean against a building wall for as much privacy as possible. It’s necessary because the customer is about to give you her credit card number.

Sounds around you are at an all-time high, and more noise is approaching. A fire truck rushes down the street with its horn blaring at a deafening tone. Cuffing your ears doesn’t drown out the high-pitched scream. You ask the customer to pause until the truck passes, and finally you complete the order.

You cannot wait to get back to your quiet studio to create the gift basket and smile broadly remembering the ordeal of getting that sale.

Muting not optional

If you are in this situation, it’s important to know how to take orders outside the office. Would you put the customer on hold while the fire truck roared past, or would you let the call go to voice mail and take the order later?

The busy sidewalk and fire truck horn were my experience while completing an order. I was in New York City’s Chinatown when it happened. There is nothing more rattling than hearing a truck’s siren at full blast while on the phone.

This occurred at a time when there was no mute button on cell phones, so my client went through the ordeal with me. I made light of the situation, letting the client know that I was shopping for gift basket items (true story). She understood and hung in there with me through the chaos.

Four items for the road

Where have you found yourself outside of your studio taking a customer order? How did you handle the call?

  • What type of system did you have on hand to complete the order?
  • How were you sure that you had all of the client’s information?
  • Which tools did you realize you needed for future outside sales calls?

Like me, you can be ready and organized for orders no matter where you travel. Thankfully, the process is easy. What’s needed are:

  • Your cell phone
  • Earbuds or headphones
  • A compact notetaking system
  • Writing tools

Another very necessary item, mentioned in the episode 63 podcast, How to Take Orders While Traveling, must be on hand. If you don’t have it, your order will be flawed, and you will need to call the customer for more information. That’s something you don’t want to do.

How to take orders outside the office

The ability to capture orders while traveling is vital when you start a gift basket business. This is true whether you are a solo designer or work with staff. It’s fine to let customers order online or call to request a response. However, when you are waiting for a specific call or a corporate client needs help right away, it’s important to be available for that client. When you set up a mobile system, sales will be easier to manage no matter where you are.

Where have you found yourself taking orders while traveling? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in the future?