How you sell the benefits of technology

Debbie Mayo-Smith


Sitting with four of the members and one supplier during lunch this past weekend, I knew I was in trouble.

It was the day before my first presentation to a franchise group which was to focus on using technology better to win more sales, improve the customer experience and, of course, save them time.

“Show me your phones,” I asked them during lunch. A little pre-conference research on my part.

The supplier and one member had an iphone. The other three were very staunch in their antipathy of smartphones. Simple phone users were they, and that was all they needed.

This is something I encounter daily and which almost every business faces. The clashing culture of those within the organisation who love and adopt the new mobile technology, and those who won’t go near it.

As you know, it is often a case of fear, or the feeling the pain of learning and change won’t be worth the effort.

So how do you "sell" the changeover?

What I do – and suggest you do also – is a double-fisted approach. First, the benefit in examples relevant to them, then take the "fluff walks, money talks" approach.

Let me give you an example.

People who don’t have smartphones haven’t experienced the ease they bring in simple communication and directions.

Therefore to start off you might take several screenshots on your smartphone.

What I do is this:

1. A photo of the signature within an email viewed on the phone. I put a red arrow next to the phone number and explain "all you do is click the number in blue" and go to the next screen shot.

2. A confirmation to enact the phone call.

3. I go back to the email signature again and the arrow is by the address.

4. Next screen shot the map. 

5.Then screen shot an arrow pointing to getting directions from current location.

While something like this is common to you and I, remember people with old-fashioned phones haven’t seen this.

While this might win over a few individuals, the next bit – "fluff walks, money talks", where you quantify the benefit, is what really shows the power of technology.

My next question is, "How many phone calls do you make a day?"  Various responses. Then I go through the pain of tapping each number, having to write a number down from a voicemail and then tap it out, etc.

Then you ask, "How much time does this take you? Maybe 15 seconds per phone call to dial?" "Do you think you would make three phone calls a day?"

The home run is when you add up the seconds wasted over a year: 15 seconds three times a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. This works out to three hours, 25 minutes squandered.

Then you can move on to more relevant time-saving uses.

Debbie Mayo-Smith is an International speaker and trainer who works with companies that want more effective management and staff.

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3 Comments & Questions

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So your people aren't entitled to anuual leave, statutory/public holidays or sick leave, if you have them working 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Thanks but no thanks! ;-)

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See? Even, then, I have no idea about what you did with your smartphone.

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Anonymous - this is an example that can reflect a persons time - personal as well as for business, so 52 weeks a year is an appropriate example as who wants to waste our precious time when it's not necessary?

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