We’re hearing a great deal about the mobile web these days. iPhones, Blackberries, etc, make it easy for people to stay connected to the mobile web, while also doing just about anything through a series of mobile applications made specifically for these devices. I have to admit to you that I am a latecomer to the mobile web world. When I was the president and CEO of a direct sales company, I felt like I was TOO connected, and I honestly didn’t want my email at my hip. When I got into social media full time and finally broke down and got the Blackberry, I had friends who knew how adamantly I was opposed to it all laugh at me. However when I read that companies like Google are investing heavily in their belief that mobile is the future of the web, it pays to pay attention.
The advent of the iPhone, as well as other mobile devices, is something that I believe we as direct sellers need to keep an eye on. The technology really does offer some exciting potential for direct sellers as mobile devices become even more mainstream. A direct seller could pull up the product guide at a party, and get information about a specific product that a customer has a question about. Maybe she even uses cue cards for her script right on her phone, instead of having to use a printed version. She could process credit cards at an event right from her device. Companies could broadcast specials and announcements via text. One on one appointments could result in a sale being entered right on the spot.
While I don’t think enough direct sellers have mobile devices yet to make this a practical option for our industry, I don’t belive the day is far off. In fact, companies should be paying close attention to the possibilities to be prepared when its time. It might start simply with mobile versions of the company website, as well as consultant backoffice access. Perhaps the company blog will be available for mobile devices, so consultants can pull up information of interest to customers at opportune moments. Maybe the printed portions of the new consultant kit can be delivered via mobile. I think that in the future, providing information for these devices will make make the sales force more efficient and productive, while at the same time saving both the environment and the bottom line from printing and mailing costs.
What do you think? If you are a direct seller, do you have a mobile device? Do you use it for your business? If you’re an executive, has your company considered how it might use mobile technology in the future? I’m interested in reading what your take is on all this in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Johan Larsson