Apr 14, 2016
3 minute read

Come out from behind the digital screen

Due to technological advances within the last decade, small businesses are more capable of competing with large businesses: smartphones and apps enable a business owner to easily keep track of their finances, manage analytics and respond to customers at the speed of a text or an e-mail response. Yet with all these streamlined services, we can easily forget that a sales transaction requires more than our undivided attention to a brightly lit screen. To sell your product or service still requires social interaction and real time communication.

I was talking with a client who is renovating her office space and she told me about an experience she had with a sales person she had met with. She said the furniture manufactures rep came to the meeting with just a smartphone. No swatches, no brochures, not even a notebook to take notes in. My client gave the sales rep a chance but in the end thought that the sales presentation was the worst she had ever been involved with. The sales person took all of his notes on his cellphone which required his face to be looking down at the phone. When my client would ask for prices or technical data the sales person would say “hold for a second while I pull that up on my smartphone”. And the final straw was when my client asked to see a picture of the product and swatch of the fabric but instead was handed the sales rep’s phone with a screen shot of the item.

Making a sale requires the preparation of a sales strategy. The top sales people understand and know everything about their product. But what really sets them the apart as the best in sales, is they recognize that it’s essential to know everything about their customer’s business and needs.

Here are 4 ways to detach from the phone and successfully make a sale:

1.) Turn your phone on silent

Have you ever been to church or a movie and someone’s phone starts ringing? It’s just as annoying in a sales transaction.

2.) Know your products

Reading your sales pitch from notes on your phone during a one on one sales transaction will most likely result in rejection. Your demeanor and your energy that your bring to a sale helps the customer gauge whether your someone they can trust and depend on. The customer’s perception of you outweighs anything that comes out of your mouth.

3.) Know your customer’s business and do your homework

Don’t count on your smartphone to tell you all about your customer 20 minutes before the sales transaction. DO your homework days or weeks before and understand your customer’s pains.

4.) If your product is tangible – bring samples

Don’t bring a slideshow of photos on your smartphone and don’t show off your company’s website. The customer can visit the website whenever they’d like to and a smartphone slideshow should be reserved for your personal photos only. If you have product, bring the product so the customer can get a feel for how their business could be better with it.

The smartphone can and should be a useful tool in business and sales. But to mistake it as a new tool for social interaction for your business is a million dollar mistake. The top performing sales people know what tools to carry in their briefcase and they understand when and how to use those tools to be successful. Don’t let the smartphone kill the business you have worked hard to develop.