I recently upgraded to an Android-based phone from a Blackberry Curve. I have to say, I had no idea what I was missing. Missed a turn? Let me pull up the GPS. Need a restaurant in a new city? No problem…Around Me will tell me what’s nearby! Grocery list? Let me bring it up. Games to keep the kids busy? We’re covered (Star Wars Lightsaber anyone?). The more I play with my new phone (can we even call it that anymore?) the more I realize how, within a couple of years, we’ll be completely dependent on our mobile devices.
As direct sellers, we need to be aware of this trend, and be exploring the ways we can make the most of this technology. If your company can be in every pocket, when people need something you have to offer, you’re ready and available! So we need to be thinking about this technology in two ways…distributor tools, and consumer applications.
We’ve already begun to go down this path. Some companies, like Amway and Herbalife, have developed outstanding distributor mobile apps that can be accessed right from the iTunes store. From these you can watch product videos, place orders, and enroll new distributors, as well as access training. Mary Kay has a mobile catalog that anyone can download, right from its website. Suppliers to the industry have created out-of-the-box mobile solutions that allow distributors to access backend data and receive notifications of activity.
We also have access to an ever-increasing library of productivity apps, that enable distributors to work smarter and be more efficient. Some of these include:
- Navigator – So you can get to appointments, parties, and meetings easily, without having to stop and print out directions.
- Bump – For exchanging contact information, phone to phone (wouldn’t it be nice if customers didn’t have to fill out the top of that order form every time?)
- Aurora Appt or Super Search – For searching the contents of your device, including Notes.
- Facebook, Twitter, etc – For keeping up with your social networks on the go.
- Mileage Log – For keeping track of your business miles, for tax purposes.
- PDF and document applications – For reading training documents during your child’s soccer game, keeping up with the latest specials and incentives, etc.
- To Do Lists and Task Managers – To keep track of all the business activities you need to do.
And this is just scratching the surface. The point is that applications on our mobile devices can help us increase our productivity, by taking advantage of available moments while we’re on the go in our day to day lives.
I would expect to see application developers (and perhaps even direct selling companies) continue to develop mobile applications that will enable their distributors to make the most of their time. Perhaps we’ll see things like:
- Credit card processing
- Entering parties right from a mobile device, on the spot
- Product demos
- Opportunity presentations
- Consumer applications that connect customers to their distributors
Now some of these things already exist for certain companies. I expect that, pretty soon, everyone will. What would you love to see your company, or another application developer, provide that would make your life easier?
Now it’s your turn! Would love to read in the comments both the applications you currently love, that help you with your business, as well as what you’d love to find. Maybe someone knows about an application that currently exists that you’ve been looking for! Let’s help each other in the comments below.