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By guest blogger Beth Rogers

ipad keep calmCongratulations! Your company has moved to a fully electronic selling platform—now you have a brand new iPad and a host of new sales presentation materials to use on it. But the challenge is how to use these tools effectively to make the iPad be a benefit instead of a distraction. Here are few tips:

1. The tool requires some practice

The first time you navigate your new selling pieces should not be in front of a customer. Yes, this sounds obvious, but with all the focus on learning the new content, we rarely practice the mechanics of using the touch screen. Take 10% of the time it took you to learn the clinical studies for your product and invest in learning how to navigate on your presentation tablet. Keep in mind, you may be navigating upside down or sideways when in an actual presentation, depending on where your client is positioned. Make sure you can navigate cleanly from any angle. Nothing makes you look less competent than fumbling with the screen—no matter how strong your content knowledge. Practice allows you to know where you are going and what you want to show. Make sure to turn on the device and tee up the sales support elements so they are ready before getting into the sales call. If we think about the call like a story—what’s the problem? What happens to solve this problem? What’s the moral of the story? (the key take away), we can have a content plan.

2. Cleanliness matters

clean ipadKeep a cloth handy to wipe the screen free of smudges before a sales call. Yes, it’s a little thing, but the good impression a clean tablet leaves can be a big thing. Plus, we have all seen articles about the germs living on an iPad, especially one that is handled by several people in a day. A screen that looks clean makes a better impression. This better impression carries over to you as well, making the screen look clean, fresh, and crisp makes you seem more organized and polished.

3. Who needs to see it best, you or your customer?

hideipadWe are used to using the iPad as a personal media device, and the switch to sharing the screen can be a little confusing. Remember, it’s the client who needs to be able to see and read the screen—their view matters most. Find the position that allows for the best viewing angle for your client. If you have already practiced using the iPad from different angles, then you can position the screen to be best visible to your client, and you can position yourself alongside the prospect (not opposite). This body language can seem friendly and engaging, but be mindful of personal space; remember if you get close, do so at an angle so that you are not face-to-face. Also, it’s helpful to lock the screen orientation (landscape or horizontal) so your presentation isn’t shape-shifting every time you move. (To lock rotation, go to Settings>General>Lock Rotation).

4. You are the most important player

The iPad shouldn’t replace you in a sales call, so make sure that you are not handing off the starring role to your technology. We all know the importance of making eye contact since it conveys warmth and signals interest. Don’t focus all of your eye contact on the screen, or you will lose a wonderful opportunity to make a real connection with your client.

Think of the iPad as a “cameo role” for a well-known actor; we look forward to seeing them in key scenes, but they don’t dominate the entire play.

Technology offers us many new ways to gain our audience’s attention, and we should take advantage of that. At the end of the call, however, it is not the iPad that determines the success of the sales call. More important is the connection we have made with our client, and the impressions we have left. There is no replacement for you.

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A bit about Point Taken:

Point Taken is a communications skills training company. Their goal is to help their clients meet their goals – that of becoming a more effective and dynamic communicator, in any and all situations.

They can be reached at 617-521-9050,, and Twitter @TalktothePoint. They are also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Image Credit: iPad in dishwasher