The “Swiss Army Knife” for Sales Presentations
The topic of EDC (Every Day Carry) is popular. Scores of content creators feature regular rundowns of the items they carry on their person. The stuff carried in pockets, backpacks, camera bags, purses, sling bags, fanny packs, satchels or every other sort of “never leave my side” personal luggage.
Those of us in the briefcase brigade have our own specialized EDC. Included in our EDC are “must have” items for any serious client/customer/prospect meeting. I remember toting a catalog case crammed full of file folders jammed with paper, three ring notebooks, fancy schmancy presentation folios monogrammed with my name, phone and fax numbers (remember fax machines?). This monster must have weighed 25 pounds. You could tell the old pro’s by the mileage on their cases. Road warrior miles left catalog cases scratched up, patched up, well worn and often with a certain degree of lean to the left or right.
I’m glad the folks in charge of the technology revolution included you, me and all the other sales professionals when they designed their gee-whiz gizmos. Thanks to technology my iPad has replaced most of the contents of my old catalog case.
Let’s take a look at the EDC for a 21st century Sales Professional:
A thin folio case or shoulder bag will hold all the necessary EDC items. Leave the backpacks to the Boy Scouts unless you plan on schlepping a couple pizzas and a 12 pack of beer to your next client meeting. A thin, lightweight folio or shoulder bag holds everything you need.
Item #1: An iPad and Apple Pencil or equivalent tablet with a stylus. Get one with some horsepower. You need speed, a sharp display, lots of onboard memory and cellular capability in addition to Wi-Fi. You must – must – must become familiar with the routine operation of this box. Minimum skills include storing, indexing and retrieving content with a few taps. The content must be platform agnostic – meaning files from your iPad view easily on both Mac and PC based devices and vise-versa (hint: Think PDF for EVERYTHING). You want to load and index every bit of sales collateral you might ever need. Don’t forget photos and video. Set up a separate file for each upcoming client meeting. Pre-load this file with collateral relevant to your meeting talking points. This makes the inevitable “search” quick and productive. You must be efficient – no fumbling. The pencil or stylus enables you to markup and personalize any content you intend to leave with the client or prospect. Be sure to include your digital business card and an order form or agreement pre-loaded with your client’s details. Cellular capability means you can deliver promised content while face to face with your prospect or client. What about flipping Mr Big the agreement on the spot for his electronic signature?? Now you’re cookin’
Items #2/#3: A hub that plugs into your tablet. The hub must have a wide assortment of in/out jacks. HDMI video to enable you to use a customer’s conference room AV setup. USB A and USB C jacks that enable you to import and export files to/from an external storage device. Don’t forget a handful of USB drives for sharing collateral from your iPad with Mr Big and his colleagues
Item #4: Several hard copies of your planned meeting agenda. I use an index card and label my agenda “talking points”. Several copies?? Yes. A copy for you, a copy for Mr Big and a copy for everyone else that might attend your meeting or influence the decision. The content is short and sweet. Talking points are a road map, not a sales pitch.
Item #5: A legal pad or similar “old fashioned” paper. I keep mine in front of me along with the agenda and a pen. I take notes during the meeting. I write down Mr Big’s answers to questions I ask. I circle some items. Underline others. It’s important that Mr Big know that I value his responses and remarks (he is watching me write them down on my “old fashioned” paper).
Items #6/#7: A handful of pens and an extra legal pad (don’t forget those extra agendas, too). The ability for mobility is mandatory. Be prepared to change meeting venues and participants. Some of my biggest sales were closed after Mr Big invited an important subordinate to join us in the company cafeteria for a cup of coffee.
Item #8: The power adaptor and charging cord for your iPad or tablet. Running low on juice during a meeting is not an option. Better yet – use a portable power bank as your emergency power source.
There’s more to come on EDC in this blog, our podcast and video channel.
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See you next time.