Using iPads, tablets, or even smartphones to engage customers in conversations and presentations is a smart move today. In addition to giving salespeople the flexibility to be more responsive to customer’s interests and access information in real time, mobile presentations set a less formal tone and create more opportunities for interaction and dialogue.
But like any platform, it’s critical that salespeople know when and how to use their mobile devices for each unique customer facing event. Just as projecting your presentation on a giant screen for a single prospect is a poor use of platforms, asking five people to crowd around your iPhone is equally ineffective.
As a salesperson, knowing the size and make-up of your audience is just the beginning. Even then, things don’t always go according to plan. You expect to meet with one person and when you arrive, there are three. You were ready for four and now there is just one. Do you just go forward on the platform that you planned or do you switch mid-stream? If you follow the 1-2-3- Rule for mobile presentations you can be assured you will always be providing the best possible customer experience for showcasing your product or service.
The 1-2-3 Rule for Mobile Presentations
For 1 Person: Use a tablet or phone
A tablet or phone* can be ideal for meeting with an individual prospect. It creates a more intimate experience and it is relatively easy to manage the flow between presenting and interacting. It also allows you to let the customer “drive” which further increases engagement.
*A word about phones: In terms of visibility, bigger is better. Even the screens on today’s larger phones can be a challenge to see for people with less than perfect vision. Take into consideration the age of your audience as well. Those over 40 may not be able to see a small screen clearly – and they won’t always let you know that they can’t. Take precautions by making sure your graphics are large and simple, but to provide a truly optimum viewing experience, use a tablet.
For 2-3 People: Use a Tablet + Stand
Have you ever tried to show a group of people pictures on your phone? Because a phone is designed for individual viewing, there is always someone “waiting for their turn.” Not only does this invite distractions, but it disrupts your flow as a presenter. With each new viewer, you have to stop and orient them to the screen, often re-explaining what your customer is seeing.
The best choice for meeting with two or three people is a tablet. But not just a tablet, a tablet plus a stand. The fact is, it’s physically impossible to hold a tablet perfectly still for more than a few seconds (go ahead – try it!), especially as you are navigating. Every time you shift position, your customers have to jockey around to see the screen as well. During all this maneuvering, they are likely to miss any key points you make.
But what if you and your customers are standing? Using a stand is still recommended, especially if the tablet is going to be the main focus for more than a minute. Simply find a place that is eye-level to set your tablet on.
All sales reps who use a mobile device should invest in a good stand and carry it with them. (By the way, that flimsy folding stand you use at home that’s always collapsing on itself is not going to cut it.) There are several inexpensive options available on Amazon. I’ve found that the Akorn works well with tablets of 12” or less.
3+ People: Connect Tablet to Larger Screen
The benefits of presenting on a tablet decrease as the size of your audience increases. Once your group size gets to more than three people, the challenge of ensuring visibility for your customers, navigating your apps, and managing the flow of the conversation becomes too unwieldy. In this case, it makes much more sense to connect your tablet to a larger screen or a projector.
There are two basic ways to connect: 1) a VGA or HDMI adapter (all tablets) or 2) AirPlay (iPad). It pays to purchase the necessary adaptors in advance and find out what technology is available at your customer’s business.
Be Prepared for 1-2-3:
Avoid surprises by being prepared for any of these three situations. Have a presentation with one person? Go ahead and have your presentation on your phone, but also have your tablet and a stand ready in case one or two more people join you. Meeting with a small group of two or three? Have your presentation ready to go on your tablet, but prepare for additional attendees by packing any necessary connections and adaptors.
As salespeople, you often have one chance to get it right. Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing when and how to use your mobile devices for optimum impact with customers.