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The Power of “Showing” vs. “Telling” by Using an iPad on a Sales Call by Mark Hunter

Show Me - Don't Tell Me

iPad Power Selling Series – We’ve recruited an all-star team of top sales experts to get you excited about selling with the amazing iPad.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price. He is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.

The Power of “Showing” vs. “Telling” by Using an iPad on a Sales Call

By Mark Hunter – “The Sales Hunter”

Do your customers really know what you’re talking about? Are your customers engaged in your presentations or are they more likely to remain quiet?

Far too many sales presentations are nothing more than boring PowerPoint presentations with live voice-over provided by the salesperson. Don’t kid yourself – this exact situation is played out thousands of times each day in buyers’ offices everywhere. The problem is that this problem doesn’t need to exist at all.

The best way to engage the customer and ensure the customer understands the message is by using sales tools such as an iPad. Using a computer on a sales call is certainly an option, but the ability to use an iPad allows you to go much further than a laptop ever will.

Best way to use an iPad on a sales call is to not use it in the same way you would use a laptop to show a PowerPoint presentation. Using an iPad in that way is only going to do one thing – prove you can put the customer to sleep using an iPad.

Use an iPad to show visuals, either still photos or short 15-second video clips, of key parts of your presentation. When you show these to the customer, allow them to take control and hold the iPad. It’s amazing how doing something simple such as allowing the customer to hold the iPad will increase their level of engagement.

With each visual you show, be sure to ask for their thoughts by directing a question at them. When we engage a person visually, we stimulate their thinking in a different way than if they’re merely listening to us. The visual stimulation will many times result in different comments being shared or ideas being discussed. This type of engagement is powerful.

Use the iPad also to hold material you may or may not choose to show on a presentation. By having it available quickly on your iPad, you’ll be in a much better position to quickly pull the material up, should you need or want to show it to the customer. Again, this can become a powerful tool, as it allows the customer to see how prepared you are and that you are ready to handle different issues.

iPads instill confidence in sales people

The confidence you gain by being able to show the customer material such as charts, worksheets, and other visuals quickly in response to something they say or request can be huge. Knowing you have the material available allows you to feel comfortable should the discussion go in a different direction than you originally thought it would.

This level of confidence can then be used to boost your confidence in dealing with objections and ultimately in closing the sale.

One of the biggest benefits of using an iPad on a sales presentation is it allows you to not have to do a sales presentation. A line I like to use when talking to salespeople about how to make a sales call is this: “The best presentation ever made is the sales presentation never given.” Think about that for a moment and what it really means.

“The best presentation ever made is the sales presentation never given.”

Anytime we meet with a customer, it shouldn’t come across as a canned sales presentation. We should know our material so well and be so ready to handle anything that we can walk into a scheduled meeting with a customer and rather than deliver a presentation, we instead have a comfortable discussion. When the iPad is loaded with the information you need, you can do just that. Suddenly, you’re confident enough to be able to discuss with the customer and at the same time, have visuals or other information ready to go on a moment’s notice.

If you’re wondering how your customer will receive a situation like this, you only have to ask yourself what types of presentations does the customer see now? More than likely, if the customer deals with multiple salespeople, the types of presentations they’re seeing are boring PowerPoint presentations delivered either via a laptop or hard copy. Either way, they’re boring.

What I’m advocating is forget the presentation in its traditional form and focus on having a discussion, and use the iPad as your reinforcement tool.

To keep things simple, I recommend you develop the material you may want to show to the customer and save it as photos or in a similar format. Then email them to your iPad. Videos can be handled in the same way or downloaded from the web if that’s where they’re stored.

I’m a strong believer in having everything on your iPad before you go into the meeting. Don’t try to rely on getting internet access during the meeting. Over the years, I’ve encountered every problem imaginable, and the only way to know you will have what you want when you want it is by saving it directly to your iPad.

“Showing” versus “telling” is essential, but I’ll expand on this more. It really should be: “showing and engaging” and “telling and asking.” This comprehensive approach really should be our goal of a sales call. With an iPad, your chances of achieving the latter will be far greater than if you attempt to do it by simply showing a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price. He is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. To receive a free weekly sales tip and read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit You can also follow him on Twitter, on Facebook and on Linkedin

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,”, © 2012

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About J. Rusty Bishop, PhD

I've spent the last 5 years helping great brands create amazing experiences for their sales teams during one on one sales interactions. Helping sales people do their job is my passion. When I'm not working, I am on the ocean fishing in San Diego, Ca.