If you’re in sales and don’t already own an iPad you should consider getting one. As a architectural product sales person the iPad is probably the best sales tool I have ever owned. Not only is it super cool to pull out of your briefcase in an architect’s or engineer’s office, an iPad also has many other benefits for a salesperson. Here are seven of my favorites:
I used to carry a three inch thick leather portfolio binder with over a hundred photographs in addition to my standard briefcase. This portfolio, although beautiful, could weigh up to 10 pounds. It was also incredibly cumbersome to flip through. Over time, the pages got scratched from being handled. Plus, it was expensive to develop and print all the 9 x 10 prints. An if an architect wanted a copy I had to cannibalize my own sales tool. With my iPad I have room for thousands of digital high resolution images. I can easy organize them into albums so I can find just the right image in seconds. If someone wants a copy I can just send them an email without even switching devices. I can even zoom in with a swipe of my fingers.
Gone also is my sore shoulder and the cluttered trunk in my car thanks to lugging around hundreds of product brochures. Instead, all my literature is saved and easily viewed and referenced right on the iPad screen. This is great for small groups and one on one presentations. I just hand them my iPad. Everyone likes to handle an iPad and it adds to the professionalism of my presentations.
I love the iPad for video. The still images I mentioned above are great but if you sell a product that moves nothing compares to seeing it in action. I now can easily accomplish this by using short video clips. I keep a library of videos and use them at nearly every call. The subject matter ranges from raw test lab footage to professionally produced videos which are great for trade shows or to play in the background before lunch and learn programs.
Speaking of presentations the iPad is a fantastic tool for any presenter. When the iPad is connected to a projector or newer television the presentation slides are projected on the screen for your audience to see, but the the iPad itself gives the presenter a unique view of the current and next slide, presenter notes and even a timer so you always finish on schedule.
Of course the iPad can access the entire Internet (Though you do need a WiFi connection or a 3G iPad with a monthly plan). So that one detail you need a bit more information on, or any other web resource, is just a tap away.
Lighten Your Load
As you can imagine the iPad lightens your load in terms of the amount of paper a salesperson has to carry. But I have gotten in the habit of traveling with it as my only piece of technology in my briefcase. I no longer carry my bulky and heavy laptop PC. I can do everything I need to on the slim and feather-light iPad.
One of my favorite features of the iPad is the fact the it turns on immediately. My laptop used to take 2 or 3 minutes to boot up which can feel like an eternity when you’re in the middle of a sales call.
Is It Worth It?
The iPad is certainly worth the investment. There are so many different applications for the iPad as a sales tool, these are just the highlights, but I think they do a good job of illustrating how helpful an iPad can be.