Reader’s Question: Laptops?

Q. What is your opinion on using a laptop to show a digital portfolio?

A. I love technology and use it in my business and personal life every single day. But in a sales consult, I caution about getting too techie, unless of course that is what you are selling … tech products like web design. First, technology can fail. And of course it always fails when you need it the most. Secondly, the time it takes to boot up some of your PC laptops stops the rhythm of the sales call. It’s disruptive. And finally, it becomes a natural barrier between you and the prospect. You want to have eye contact and the ability to guide the person what they are looking at. It’s not a control issue, it is keeping the prospect engaged with you.

With laptops, that is difficult. If you have a montage of photo galleries that shows off your work (photographers your photos or wedding planners, events you have produced), then consider sending a link to that gallery before the consultation. The prospect can go through it easily and at their own speed.

If you insist on using laptops (which is green friendly, and that is a positive) then use these tips.

  1. Boot up the laptop before the meeting and put it on sleep so you can easily open it up when you need to view it.
  2. Bring out the laptop only once during the consult. So be sure to know in advance when you want to work that into the conversation.
  3. If possible, physically move around to stand with your sales prospect to view the photos. This is where you can make comments and show them your work. Photographers don’t usually do this, they like to have the clients look at their work at their own speed. But I still recommend being involved and discussing your work with them, bringing out interesting points to the storyline, etc.
  4. Finally, don’t bring out 300 digital photos. Too much! and sometimes the prospect feels obligated to go through the presentation. Keep it simple and tell the story.

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