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Mike Root

Will IPAD's Replace Salesman Photos Or Dealer Catalogs?

April 4, 2011

IPADs are everywhere at the High Point market. In one sales meeting at the start of the furniture market, a professional rep got up and demonstrated how he has his catalogs, price lists and order forms loaded right onto the IPAD. The picture was vibrant and the ease of use looked simple enough. He showed how he could write and order and then instantly email the order to the factory and the retailer.
The factory is considering underwriting the cost of the IPAD for the sales force if it gets them out of the business of printing individual salesmen photos. Smartly they think it would be cheaper for the sales force to all be armed with IPADs than for them to spend over $25,000 in photography on a regular basis.
Personally I would love it if I can eliminate dragging heavy cases of pictures, price lists and order forms around. When tablet PC's came out years ago, I wanted to get one because it made sense to make presentations. But the cost and weight never really allowed those machines to catch hold.
I wonder if this is the next big wave or another shiny object to spend several hundred dollars on just to be replaced with the next shiny object. On one hand, I wonder how many senior reps will embrace this new selling tool versus a concern over learning the technology. But my father is excited to get his hands on one...as long as I set it up for him...so maybe that's not an issue.
So here are my questions for you all to weigh in on:
1. Do you think IPAD's or the other equivalent tablet presentation devices will take hold and replace salesmen photos and even possibly dealer catalogs?
2. If you were strongly motivated by a factory to use an IPAD, would you feel comfortable converting presentations over from the traditional salesman photos?
3. If you are using an IPAD now to make a presentation please let me know what applications you are having success with to make presentations.
4. And just for fun, what's your favorite smart device application? IPAD, IPHONE, Blackberry, whatever device you choose. Mine is Pandora. My own personally designed radio stations with artists and songs I choose along with suggestions of related music I can listen to anywhere I want.
As always, leave your comments below. Even if you have never commented before, I would encourage you to share with all your smart device presentation tips. If the market is any indication, this is a potential wave going through the industry and sharing here is a great way for all to benefit. Thanks