Profit-Boosting Technologies For P/V/H Professionals
By Terry L. Brock
In today’s “Gotta-have-it-yesterday” environment it pays to have a competitive advantage. Focusing on the relationships of business more than the technology is what I’ve been speaking about for a long time. Successful P/V/H professionals know that it is the relationships that they establish, enhance and build upon that will move them to success in the future.
Technology plays a vital role in staying in touch with customers and educated on up to date events, skills and more. But with all the massive amount of technology available, what is a P/V/H professional to get? What is too much? Hey, we’re not techno-geeks with propels (at least most of us!), but we do want something that saves us time and money and helps increase sales.
To save you time and money---not to mention the aggravation--- here is a list of technologies that can help you if you are mobile or in the office. You might be using some of these and others could help you as you build you inventory of great tools:
1. Laptop Computer. This is a must-have for the mobile professional and a likely profitable tool for the executive who moves back and forth from office to home. Lightweight laptops today give you the ability not only to connect with your team worldwide via the Internet, but you can jot down quick ideas, record an audio or video message easily and make it available to others. What to look for? Minimum of 256MB of RAM (internal memory), Minimum of 60GB storage on the hard drive, 1024X768 resolution to see clearly, the lighter the better---some machines produced by Dell, Sony and Toshiba weigh less than 3 lbs. and provide full functionality. Also, look for USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, 2 would be critical and 4 better. If you’re doing any external storage or video work (good idea!), look for the IEEE 1394 connection (also called “Firewire” from Apple or iLink from Sony).
2. Digital Camera. You never know when you’re going to encounter that great photo. You might be on the road and see something that could help a distributor. A quick photo brings to life a lot and means a lot when you see it. If you’re going to mainly send pictures through e-mail or use in a PowerPoint Presentation, you can get a digital camera with 2-3 mega pixels. There is no need for a higher resolution unless you plan to pint a lot of pictures in the 8 X 10 format (much larger). If you want to print 4 X 6 pictures, the 2-3 mega pixel cameras will suit you just fine. I recently purchased the Kodak EasyShare C330 for $160. Great price for a powerful camera that delivers excellent snapshots.
3. Digital Voice Recorder. These handy devices are a must-have for the mobile professional today. How many times have you been driving down the road and then get a bright, really good idea? If you’re like me you might say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll have to remember that,” and then forget it later when you needed it. So, capture that thought immediately on a digital voice recorder. You can later transfer it over to your computer to enter an action item into your daily planner or have your secretary process it. I’ve put together a special video on a digital voice recorder that I’m using and recently purchased. It can save you a lot of time and effort. Go to http://www.terrysstuff.com/OlympusWS100/index.htm and watch this short video (requires Windows Media Player installed --- a free download). You can see how it works and use it to boost your productivity.
4. Video on the Net. This is a powerful tool to stand out from the crowd. Let’s face it, today we all get WAY too much e-mail. You want your e-mail messages to stand out. A great way to do that is with a customized, personal video that you create for a top customer or prospect. Watch the above video and note how I did what I did. Read between the lines and think about how you and your people can use that technology also. I used a program called Visual Communicator from a company called Serious Magic (www.seriousmagic.com) to do it along with my notebook computer and a little camcorder. That’s it! You can do the same type of thing to stand out for your customers.
5. Handheld Computer. What used to be called a PDA---personal digital assistant--- is now referred to as a handheld computer. They do a lot more than just keep track of your calendar and address book. I use my Dell Axim X50v to record voice notes, do my word processing, listen to audio and watch video. Devices like the Treo 650 provide a telephone and a host of other business-boosting tools into one tiny unit. Some of these tools let you check e-mail remotely, check the Net and more. Take your office with you as you travel. This makes a big difference in your ability to stay competitive and get ahead in today’s hot marketplace.
There are many more tools that can help you as a P/V/H professional. I’ll look forward to hearing from you regarding what you’re using and how it has helped you. Drop me a note and let me know what you’re doing so we can share it with others. In the meantime, focus on building those relationships and leveraging technology.
________________________________________Terry Brock is a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He has worked with manufacturers and distributors to boost sales, increase efficiency and achieve their goals. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.
Copyright © 2005, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to The Wholesaler to use in regular publication.