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Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant, and thought leader, who has guided hundreds of companies and more than ninety thousand frontline salespeople and sales leaders towards optimum performance levels.
How Can One Tablet Cure So Many Problems?
By Jonathan Farrington
Most salespeople in most industries will tell you that they are always time constrained.
Those same salespeople will also tell you that they are struggling to hit quota, and they never earn enough money.
These are symptoms of the world we live in – or rather the sales space we occupy. Doesn’t it therefore make sense to use every available tool, device, solution and process to make ourselves more efficient, more proficient and ultimately more successful? We cannot hope to control external events unless we are in control ourselves.
Enter the iPad into my working day: I work in the field of “human capital development” In a sense, I am a commercial doctor. I help ailing companies regain full fitness and I assist healthy organizations in maintaining optimum performance levels.
My sales/buying cycles are all very similar and there are certain stages my prospect and I must pass through together in order to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome – they can be described as essential steps to success.
I am always looking for ways to streamline this process – but not to enable shortcuts I must add – because we do have a “how can I do that better” mentality in my company. In recent years, for example, we have become used to conducting many meetings online; utilizing the best available conferencing technology that we could afford, and this has reduced our cost of sales considerably, let me explain…
It has been estimated that it now costs $1500 to get one salesperson in front of one prospect/customer for one meeting – and in my environment it is rare for a meeting to take place with less than four, five or even six people, and so you see how costs can escalate. Now think about those sales/buying cycle stages – possibly up to seven or eight of them that have to be worked through.
We have reduced the face-face stages to just one or two at most: The first exploratory meeting has, in my opinion, to be conducted face-face – it is the most important stage of all. At the end of that meeting we need to decide if there is an opportunity that we can win and indeed want to win.
This is where I use my iPad: Previously, I would gather all the information I needed, and then commit to quickly coming back to my prospects within a certain time-frame with an outline proposal – if of course I had decided to bid. I no longer do that. Now I ask for a fifteen minute adjournment, and I then design an initial proposal, pulling down the standard information from a selection of company templates, and simply add in all the specific information that I have gleaned from the meeting.
I then present this document via my iPad – “So based on everything that you have told me, and we have discussed, this is our initial view of what needs to happen for you to achieve all of your objectives”
We then work through each point and every section, amending as we go, until we have created a final document – together.
This is something I used to do using my notebook, but the iPad is just so much more versatile and can be handed from one meeting member to another with ease.
By adopting this approach, I have removed three stages from my buying/sales cycle. By the time my competitors have thought they had reached stage two, I am negotiating and discussing T&C’s – they are just getting those first coffee aromas and I am contemplating lunch.
And by taking one tablet, I have not only cured some problems, I have given my modus operandi a new lease of life!
Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant and sales thought leader, who has guided hundreds of companies and more than ninety thousand frontline salespeople and sales leaders towards optimum performance levels.
He is the senior partner at Jonathan Farrington & Associates, Chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates, based in London & Paris.
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