It’s Time to Sharpen Your Tech Skills In Sales
Seth Godin asked a great series of questions recently, on the heels of an enlightening article in the New York Times by David Pogue (and a brief follow-up here) on meeting the minimum requirements for getting things done with technology.
You can let a simple computer task or Web search take a few moments or several hours, it’s your call.
But if your business has tightened up at all with the current economic climate, it’s time to sharpen your tech skills to win you even more time in front of clients, and less time tapping on a computer.
For example, here are a few highlights from Godin’s list of questions:
Can you capture something you see on your screen and paste it into Word or PowerPoint?
Can you open a link you get in an email message?
Do you have a signature in your outbound email?
Can you generate a PDF document from a Word file you’re working on?
Are you able to find what you’re looking for on Google most of the time?
Do you know how to download a file from the internet?
Do you back up your work?
Francine Hardaway has weighed in on some aspects of the real digital divide that exists; it’s the divide between those who “get it” in terms of leveraging technology to do more, faster, and those for whom computer-related tasks and other activities demand hours of time.
She’s on the right track: the tech crowd can get as excited as it wants about the next big thing, but it’s the simple tasks that weigh the rest of us down. And while you may only be able to instantly recall about 10 of these simple tasks, if those 10 could save you, say, two hours per week, wouldn’t they be worth it?
A few more tech skills of our own to piggyback Godin’s post:
Can you copy and paste text quickly without using your mouse to click on Edit in your menu?
Can you quickly manipulate the “Print Area” of an Excel document so it prints correctly?
Can you create a table in Word and then swiftly sort the information in it, like you would in Excel?
Did you know there are ways to type in abbreviations but have those abbreviations turn into entire sentences?
Do you know how to send large files over the Internet — either to work on at home or to share with someone without using email?
Can you run calculations in Excel beyond totaling up columns or rows? How about averaging? Conditional sums? Counting how often a number or text appears in an Excel table?
Can you create a professional-looking quote that doesn’t preserve or depend on these calculations, if used?
These are a few real skills that you need to have covered, That is, if you prefer selling over “administrivia,” and want their off hours to be as efficient as possible.
So how did you answer on these questions? Is it time for you to sharpen your tech skills?