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The iPad as a Selling Tool

Monday, January 10, 2011   By Mike Reddy


If you don’t own an Apple iPhone, chances are you know someone that does. Make that several people, given the phenomenal rise of the smartphone to third place by global market share.

Apple’s tablet, the iPad, has surpassed the success of the iPhone by rocketing to 93% of market share for tablet computers. For those who have reservations about Apple’s tightly controlled IT platform a flotilla of competing tablets is arriving this year based on Google’s Android.

What’s all the fuss about? And why are big businesses rolling out the iPad by the hundreds or even thousands?

More than Just a Fad

Tablet computers like the iPad can change the dynamic of a sales conversation. Let’s look at a common sales scenario - the customer presentation. The most common delivery for today’s sales teams is to use a laptop to display a PowerPoint file or a website which is accessed using a wireless broadband dongle plugged into the laptop. The sales rep is ushered into the boardroom and takes a couple of minutes to prepare - find and load the PowerPoint file or wait for the dongle to connect to the internet - and then they are off, clicking and talking while the customer leans back to watch the show.

A laptop works well enough in a customer’s boardroom and has done so for many years. However, it’s highly impractical in most other situations, such as standing in a lift, waiting in a queue or manning a stall at an expo.

Say the customer in the boardroom decides to take the rep on a tour of the office and runs into the managing director in the hallway. A rep holding a tablet computer in his hand can quickly show the presentation and seize the opportunity.

There’s a physical intimacy in sharing tablet computers, too. The iPad’s screen automatically swivels to the upright position if it is turned upside down, so the tablet can be passed over a table far more easily than rotating a laptop. Tablet computers are also far more engaging because they are generally held much closer to the face. This effectively makes a 10-inch tablet screen seem much larger.

The iPad’s high-definition screen does an excellent job of displaying still images and video, and the multi-touch screen opens the door to interactive programs.

Multimedia presentations can have much greater impact as a result. Lastly, tablets tied to the mobile phone network never need to pause to make a connection (assuming there is reception); the internet is always available. 

Just to be clear; an iPad or Android-based tablet won’t turn a bad sales presentation into a good one. However, they can make the slightly formal and tired PowerPoint -by-laptop a more engaging and enjoyable experience. And remember, as a proactive business coach I have already provided in this library lots of ideas to get that sales approach humming!

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.