Can Technology Help You Sell More?

Part 1

Many of us went into sales because we were good with people and bad with paper work. As a result, many of us have shied away from changing technology during the last few decades. That was OK during the ’70s and ’80s, but now technology finally has seeped into the world of selling and is turning it inside out. This month I will discuss some of the ways technology can help you sell much more with less effort. Don’t fear change or technology. You can learn it and use it. The truth is that if you are still using the same techniques to sell that you used 10 years ago, you are being left behind. Here are some technological breakthroughs that you can use to sell more equipment. Remember that this article was written by a sales-oriented person like yourself, not a computer guru. If I can learn to use these techniques, so can you.

Multimedia In-Home Presentations
Kinetico recently released its multimedia in-home demonstration, which is a presentation performed for the homeowner by a salesperson assisted by a Power Point presentation on a laptop computer. Now, I know many of you are saying it’s boring to use a computer, and what about the good old days of just going in and talking to the customer?

This new presentation allows the salesperson to show things he could never show before. He can show video of the factory or video testimonials from happy customers. He can show slides with professional graphics that display how a reverse osmosis (RO) system works. Best of all, he can customize the presentation for each homeowner. It can get into as much or as little detail as the customer requires. Not only have these presentations proven to increase sales, they help salespeople present in an organized way and prevent straying from the truth or the approved demonstration the company wants them to use. The Power Point presentation also makes it much easier for new employees to learn how to do a good demo and new salespeople become productive much faster. Best of all, you can use this technology yourself.

Power Point is part of Office 2000 by Microsoft and can be bought at any software store. There are many books on using this program and there are many companies that specialize in assisting in the design of presentations. It is not a major investment to use this powerful technology. Don’t ignore this hoping it is a fad that will go away. In all likelihood, you eventually will be using this technique yourself. Why not get on board now and sell more before it’s too late?

Dinner and a Movie
Here is an interesting use of technology I would never have thought of. It was shown to me by a very creative and successful sales manager. He buys several copies of current popular movies. He used our company to help shoot some commercials on why customers should improve their water and why his company is a good one to deal with. These commercials were very inexpensive to shoot and edit–these aren’t Hollywood productions. He takes the commercials and edits them into the movie. These simple commercials about his company come on about every 20 minutes just like when you watch network television.

Each of his salespeople has three movies that they distribute each day. They knock on doors or call referrals. They ask if the family has seen the popular movie and they say their company would like to drop it off for them to see. The salespeople drop off the movie in a nice basket that contains a bottle of RO water, fresh ground coffee, tea bags and a bag of microwave popcorn. They ask the family to watch the movie and as they do, to enjoy the popcorn and the pure delicious water. The label on the video explains about the commercials. The best part is that the salesperson has to make an appointment to come and pick up the video. That is when the family often wants to talk about their water. This company has six salespeople who drop off and pick up a total of 18 videos per day. That’s 5,400 families per year who see the commercials and receive a follow up visit. This is a smart use of technology that is within your reach.

Part II of this article will run in the November issue with additional suggestions on utilizing technology in your sales efforts.

Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, which provides sales and management training designed exclusively for the water equipment industry. For more than 13 years, he has helped more than 1,400 companies in seven countries. For a free demonstration tape and catalog, contact the company at 800-941-0068; www.salesco.net.

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