Best Practices for Mobile Sales Pitches

Adding a tablet to a presentation can be an effective tool—when done correctly.

By Julie Hansen

Using a tablet or iPad is an increasingly popular way for salespeople to present content and showcase products in a fresh and interactive way.

The flexibility and insights so many new mobile platforms provide—combined with the ability to access information in
real time—is especially well suited for today’s ever-changing sales environment.

Have a question about product specs? Access your database with a few quick clicks. Skeptical prospect? Show a short video clip of a customer endorsement.

Need the latest on pricing or availability? Check inventory, price, and discounts in real time. Ready to seal the deal? Get a digital signature on the spot.

But as user-friendly as tablets are, few sales reps are armed with best practices for using their mobile device on a sales call or presentation. Here are some keys every salesperson who uses a mobile device to interact with customers should know and follow.

  1. Adapt to the format—

    Ever decided not to watch a movie on that little airplane screen because the screen size wouldn’t do it justice? What works on the big screen doesn’t always translate to the small screen.

    You need to be selective about deciding what to show when using the smaller screen of a tablet, and especially a phone. Having too many images on a small screen can appear cluttered and make it hard to decipher your main point. Animations and transitions can be distracting. Creative fonts are often difficult to read.

    Keep your graphics simple and crisp, and follow the rule of one idea per slide or screen and stick with it. Always err on the side of less is more.

  2. Use a stand

    If you’re presenting a great deal of content directly on your tablet, you really need to use a stand. It’s physically impossible to hold a tablet perfectly still for more than a minute. Go ahead, try it! Every time you look up or shift position, your prospect will have to shift as well to keep their eye on the screen. And they might not always tell you when they can’t see it well.

    Guarantee great visibility by investing in a stand. By the way, that flimsy folding stand you use at home? Not gonna cut it! Look for something more substantial, like a product such as Belkin’s Adjustable FlipBlade.

    Have a question about product specs? Access your database with a few quick clicks. Skeptical prospect? Show a short video clip of a customer endorsement.

  3. Master your moves

    Even though there are many similarities between using a laptop (especially if it’s a touch screen) and a tablet, there are a few differences worth noting you want to familiarize yourself with before you get in front of prospects.

    Make sure you know how to quickly move from platform to platform, how to maximize and minimize screens, as well as how to easily pull up supporting material.

    The very last thing you want to do is struggle with the basic mechanics of navigation during a sales call presentation.

  4. Eyes off your tablet

    It’s tempting for you to want to look at your tablet as much as your customer—but resist that urge! This should be a two-way
    conversation, not just a presentation or product demo with you in the background providing voiceover.

    Once you locate what you want to show on your tablet, place your focus back on your customer! Prospects need to see your face and your eyes to really make a connection and engage in a conversation.

  5. Have a neutral resting spot

    If you’re talking about one thing but have something new or complex displayed on your tablet, your customer is probably not hearing your message. Don’t compete with your tablet.

    To make sure prospects are listening to what you’re saying, you must manage their eyes. You can easily do this by making sure your tablet is on a neutral resting screen (this could be a home screen or a simple graphic) when you’re engaging in a discussion or when you want your customer’s focus on you.

    If you’re using a slide presentation, you can also create a black slide you can easily jump to when you need to regain your customer’s attention.

  6. Turn off notifications and disable sleep mode

    Your tablet can be the source of a lot of unnecessary distractions if you don’t take a few precautionary steps beforehand. Disable notifications to avoid having a friend request or calendar notice pop up, interrupt, and disrupt your face time with a customer.

    Most tablets go to sleep if left untouched for a few minutes. This can cause your audience to do the same—tune out as they wait for you to log back on. Disable the sleep mode so it’s ready to go even after a lengthy conversation with your customer.

    Does your team need help using their tablets or iPads on sales calls? Contact me about new workshops and resources for tablet presenting mastery! Click here for more information.

Julie Hansen is a professional sales trainer, speaker, and author. She authored the book ACT Like a Sales Pro in 2011 and has been featured in Selling Power, Entrepreneur, and Sales and Service Excellence magazines. She can be reached at julie@actingforsales.com and www.actingforsales.com

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