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July 2010

iPad: The Perfect Sales Tool

How many of us have suffered through a PowerPoint sales presentation?  You bring in a laptop, boot it up, hook it up to a projector and load the application.  Maybe 5 minutes later you dim the lights and everyone sits around a table checking their email with their smart phones while you present.  

Boring.  And not very effective.

If people aren't engaged with you, chances are they aren't that interested in having a meaningful conversation.   

Now consider the iPad experience.  You go into the meeting with the lights on, sit next to someone and within 5 seconds you start doing show & tell & discuss.   Kind of hard to check email when you are engaged in a conversation.

Aa Here's what you need:

1) A good video.  It can be anything (my favorite is an episode of BBC Top Gear).  It's better than bringing in a puppy to break the ice.

2) Keynote.  Much slicker than PowerPoint and with the smaller screen you cannot clutter your slides with boring details.

3) Safari.  Before the meeting have a window set up for everything you want to show them.  Better yet create a bookmark and drag it you your home screen.

4) Dropbox.  Keep all relevant documents and spreadsheets in a folder on your main computer and automatically sync it to the iPad.  That way if any question comes up, you have all the answers right there.  And it will render pdf, xls, doc automatically.

5) WebEx.  Maybe someone back at the home office needs to show something from their desktop.  No problem.

6) Skype.  Need to talk to the product manager?  Turns the iPad into a speakerphone.

7) PhotoPad.   The best meetings are the interactive meetings.  So create a checklist of features or actions or whatever and save it as a jpg.  Load it into PhotoPad and use the brush to check off the things relevant to your conversation.  Save it and email right their on the spot.

8) Draw.  Maybe you need to sketch something.  When done, email it.

9) Notes.  Put in your action items.  When done, email it.

The iPad is a very personal and very fast tool.   And very engaging with a customer.  And isn't that what this is all about?  And if you do need to use a projector, Keynote and videos will automatically output with an optional cable to a projector.  Just plug it in and you're done.

Total cost for applications?  $10 for Keynote.  The rest are free.

Bonus tip:  Forward your email accounts to gmail.  Using iPad mail you can now pull down and have access to all relevant emails to your meeting.

Update: Atomic web browser will output to VGA. 


American Express Pass Card: Read the Fine Print

Now that the credit card companies cannot practice predatory credit cards on the youth what can they do?  American Express has the answer: The Pass debit card.  Looks like a great concept, give your teen this card and load money on it.  Sounds pretty good. 

But nowhere on their brochure does it talk about fees.  Go to the website and try to find it.  Ah, in the FAQ section you can hunt and find the fees.  $1.50 per ATM transaction  and $3.95 / month or $48 / year which happens to be $2 less than getting a full blown American Express card.   

Suddenly that free $25 doesn't look like much of a deal.  Here's a better idea.  Go to your local community bank.  Get a joint / teenager free checking account with a free debit card.  Put money into the account.  Do not get overdraft protection.  Cost?  $0.

For $48 / year you can probably afford the gas to drive to the bank to deposit the money.

Day 5, iTunes still broken

Last Wednesday I received an iTunes gift of a game.  Just click on the link and away you go.  

Not this time.   iTunes tossed out a 5002 error and I got no further.   So I spent an hour reading through the support documentation and trying everything they recommended.  Finally threw in the towel and called support.

Here's the good news.  A real person talks to you.   After spending 45 minutes on the phone got escalated.  After 20 minutes on the phone with Don, got escalated again.  Still waiting for resolution.

I'm still scratching my head as to why they just didn't give me a new code for the game.

Stay tuned.

Update:  Day 10.  Apple still doesn't know how to fix the bug in iTunes.  Asked for a new code for the game and found out that wouldn't work until the bug is fixed.  If I was the game maker, I would not be amused that people pay for their game and cannot use it.