A growing number of sales teams have put away brochures or laptops on sales calls in favor of iPads or tablets. And with good reason. Used properly, mobile devices allow salespeople to be more responsive to customer’s interests, access information in real time, and encourage greater interaction.
Unfortunately, there is very little information available to salespeople on how to incorporate their iPad or tablet on a sales call effectively. Salespeople are often unaware that they are making mistakes that distract or confuse customers, and can even cost them the sale.
One of the most common mistakes I see sales people making when using their iPads or tablets has to do with managing the customer’s attention. Many salespeople make excellent points that unfortunately, are falling on deaf ears. Here’s why:
The eyes have it
It’s estimated that 80% of people are visual learners. That means if you put content in front of a customer, most of them will try to read it or figure it out. This has very strong implications for salespeople using iPads or tablets.
You’re showing your customer a somewhat detailed screen on your mobile device. As your customer is trying to make sense of it, you are talking about the benefits of this particular feature or capability. The customer, who is looking at the screen, trying to make sense of it, has just missed much of what you said.
Multi-tasking is a myth
Research shows that the brain can really only pay attention to one thing at a time. So if what you are showing on your device is intriguing, complex or simply doesn’t jive with what you’re saying, your customer is likely not hearing all of what you are saying.
To be an effective salesperson, you must be able to manage your customer’s attention and balance it between you and your tablet. Several strategies for doing this:
How to manage your customer’s attention with an iPad or tablet on sales calls:
- Eliminate potential distractions.
Turn off notifications, disable sleep mode. I’ve seen some IM’s pop up on people’s devices that were clearly not meant for anyone else to see.
TIP: Some tablets require you to disable notifications on an app by app basis. On an iPad you can do it quickly under “Settings.”
- Identify seller-focused moments.
In addition to determining what you want your customer to see on your tablet, decide when your customer’s full attention should be on you. Logical seller-focused moments include: discussion of benefits or value, answering questions, or talking next steps.
- Create a neutral resting screen.
Once you’ve identified those seller-focused moments, you have two options: 1. Put your tablet away or out of sight. 2. Have a neutral resting screen displayed. This could be a simple photo or image that doesn’t compete with what you’re saying, invite distraction or questions.
- Watch your own focus.
Many sellers spend as much time staring at their iPad or tablet on a call as their customers! Customers will take a cue from you and if you’re constantly looking at your screen, they will too. A sales call should be two-way conversation. Not just a presentation or product demo with you narrating from behind the scenes. Customers need to see your face and your eyes to really make that connection.
Managing your customer’s attention is an important for any sales call, but it’s even more critical when you’ve added the attention-drawing appeal of a mobile device to the mix. Follow these few simple steps to make sure your message is received with clarity and impact by your customer.
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