I was speaking to a distributor of ours today and asked him how often he adds new products to his website. I was told, "We've never actively pushed our website and hardly ever add new products since we've put our product database on our website." I was floored. Then I began thinking back and recall the very same customer tell me that he "doesn't believe in texting". This was the very topic that was brought up in an excellent seminar I attended by Connie Podesta. (www.conniepodesta.com) I still laugh at her response to the same comment. She suggested we ask: "When you say you don't believe in it, do you mean you don't think it exists?"
When I first joined this industry 11 years ago, our company shared one email address, had no webpage, received some orders by snail mail and most by fax, and selling on the web meant Ebay. Now most of us have complicated mail servers, Youtube channels, automated PO systems, websites fully integrated with product spec sheets and videos, and use analytics to choose product placement on our websites and advertising on search engines. I have customers that can tell me within seconds which webpages led their customers to our products, which dollars were best spent on advertising, etc. I can go to google.com and search one of our products by item number and many of our vendors have coded our numbers in their system and show up on the results page.
What does all of this mean? Don't fear technology, embrace it and learn about it.
Do utilize text messaging to share information.
Do learn how to Skype.
Do keep your webpages updated.
Do show as much information as you can on your website.
Do research advertising on the internet.
Do consider tablets as opposed to laptops when travelling.
Do provide value added to your customers by showing the products being used, ideally in a video.
Do learn how to check your email from your mobile device when travelling or away from a computer.
Do understand that the role of a face to face meeting is not dead, but rather thriving with the integration of new technology.
Keep on learning!