As a Mac user since May 2004 (thank you Marcus Beeby) I've consumed mightily from the Kool-Aid-filled Cupertino cistern, popped the big red pill (the entire bottle, actually) and have memorized all of Apple's talking points for nearly a decade now and counting.
So you can imagine my thrill and outright schoolgirl glee at the iPhone 7 and 7+ release last month.
However, despite the power and wizardry found in this miraculous amalgamation of silicon and aluminum, glass and copper and, nay, plastic, there are some features for salespeople I find myself saddened at their absence and for which I truly hanker in future models:
- Coffee/Crown & Coke Stirrer.
All good salespeople start their day with coffee and end their day with a celebratory adult beverage. (Depending on how the quarter is going, we may substitute the coffee for Crown.) I hate stirring my coffee with a Bic pen or my finger but I will. However, I only drink my Pappy Van Winkle neat!
- "May I Ask What This Call Is Regarding" Handler.
Like, gag me with a spoon when I hear this. Doesn't it make your skin crawl?! We all run into some gatekeeper/receptionist whose "soul" purpose in life is to zap the soul and spunk out of the lives of salespeople.
If you haven't been through my Private Group Sales program and learned how to handle this little roadblock, it would be nice to be able to just waive our iPhone like a Jedi mind trick and say "You may not ask what this call is regarding. Please connect me to the decision maker."
- "I Want To Think It Over" Knuckle Knocker.
When you get this response from a prospect it's really your fault. You left this door open as an option and you're allowing the prospect to remain in control of the sales cycle. To keep this from happening get my Sales Agenda. This feature is already available in the iPhone 7+, which is why the title says 15 but the list here has 16.
The way to properly utilize this feature is simple: when you get this response, lay one hand out flat, take your iPhone 7+ in the other hand and slam your knuckles with the corner of the iPhone. Do it once for every $1,000 worth of commissions you're letting slip through your unprepared hands. (My fellow Catholic schoolers and Blues Brothers fans will appreciate this clip. There is some potty mouth language in this clip...but it's funny.)
- "Sharpen Your Pencil" Slapper.
See "I Want To Think It Over" Knuckle Knocker.
- Bottle Opener.
Sure there are some cool tricks to open beer bottles with a belt, with an empty bottle, with your teeth, etc. but we always have our iPhones with us (to film our drunken peers opening beer bottles with their teeth) so why not do the salespeople of the world a solid and just include a bottle opener in the next iPhone?
- T.S.A. Probe Reciprocator.
We Road Warriors are fed up with the delays and general bullshittery we have to endure with the TSA. Ladies and gentlemen in suits, in flip flops, with frequent flier miles and families and good credit and a proven, documented history are not terrorists.
We Road Warrior salespeople make the economy work. We are the straw that stirs the drink that is commerce, which is our economy. It would be nice to be able to zap the overly-frisky TSA agents like this lady did without fear of being arrested. Maybe we could assign them to a proctologist with big hands who just ran out of gel.
Or maybe we could flip a switch and make them lose all of their data off of their personal cell phones or make it to where they always get in the longest line at the grocery store, Starbuck's, movie theaters and the barber shop. Maybe we make them strip to nothing before they board the shuttle back to their car or detain them for 30 minutes when they arrive at the stadium or gymnasium to watch their kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews play or perform their recital.
There has to be an app for that, right?!
- Cigar Cutter & Torch.
The T.S.A. is always taking our good cutters and lighters but nothing bonds us with our key prospects and clients quite like sitting back in a leather chair or out on the links and enjoying a good cigar. The next iPhone needs a way to secure both the cutter and torch when you put your iPhone into airplane mode so the T.S.A. will leave us alone.
- Automatic Expense Approver.
Sure, we sometimes get a little excessive with our appetizers, the surf and turf, we order the 18-year instead of the 12-year Macallan scotch, and we pick up a few extra sleeves of golf balls when we take our clients on a little fun in the sun. But we bring in revenue. What's a few good expenses among colleagues making their numbers?
- Built In Shake Weight (or Free Flexor or Tug Toner).
It's a well known fact that people buy from those they like and trust. Salespeople must be in shape to play 18 holes of golf, bang out 50 calls and 650 emails, see 18 clients in five cities in four states in three days all while updating our CRMs, staying awake during weekly sales meetings, HR meetings, operations meetings, regional meetings, engineering meetings and meetings to plan next week's meetings. With such hectic schedules it's hard to hit the gym as much as we'd like to. So make our iPhone a fitness center in the palm of our hands.
- Sales Call IQ Booster.
I hate to admit it but there are those in the profession of sales that have not only neglected to attend any of my sales training but they have somehow avoided receiving any sales training their entire career, which makes them prone to say stupid shit that makes the rest of us look bad. Like the fool that dropped his drawers at the end of Q3/13 thereby forcing me to drop my setup fees, extend payment terms on those fees and accept a lower monthly subscription all because he couldn't show the value to one particular prospect. (He hasn't been through any of my classes, either.) Those people need the Sales Call IQ Booster. For some reason, reasonably intelligent people regress to their prepubescent childhood when they are facing a tough sale, which hurts us all.
- The Email Neuralyzer.
Sometimes we send emails in the heat of the moment we wished we hadn't sent. Sure, the self-righteous, pompous, arrogant S.O.B. on the other end deserved what you sent and you only sent 10% of what you meant, but those emails have a half-life of about 30,000 years, which means they will pop up to but us all on the ass when we really wish there was a delete button on the internet...or a neuralyzer on our iPhone.
- Over-Zealous Systems Engineer Muzzle.
When you sell technical stuff you find yourself, from time to time, needing the assistance of a good Geek to speak Geek with the Geeks at the office of your soon-to-be client. What makes a good Geek good is their passion for your product.
What makes a good Geek great is knowing when to shut up and how to not only answer the question as asked but to see through the verbal question to understand the innuendo and subtleties of both the question not asked and the reason why that question was asked. There can only be a few greats in any line of work. So we need to muzzle our Geeks from time to time. Maybe shoot a spider web or doughnut or hacky sack at his mouth from your iPhone. That would be swell.
- Flask-Case. Those engineers are smart.
They can make the guts of the next iPhone even smaller, thereby leaving room for a full two-finger pour of one's favorite adult beverage. Maybe make a detachable cover like the iPad that can serve the duel-purpose of protecting the front of the iPhone and serving its owner. (Maybe the stirrer in #1 above can be secured here.)
- Sales Meeting Autoresponder. Every sales meeting is the same.
The manager rambles on and on then goes around the horn doing a pipeline review then delivers some speech about "giving your all" or "going the extra mile" or the power of making "just one more call" or how "at 211 degrees, water is just hot...but add that one extra degree and you have steam and with steam you can have power." (Or you can be burned to death, but they never mention that.)
Anyway, I digress. With the power of Siri it would be nice to simply flip a switch that listened for your name and responded with a random list of phrases such as, "That's a great point, Boss," or "That about covers it," or "I'm 90-95% sure that ACME account will finally come in this month."
- Conference Call Etiquette Enforcer.
It sends a small vibration to everyone scheduled to be on the conference call 3 minutes before it is set to begin then it shocks the shit out of anyone that is late, talks too much, asks stupid questions, brags, postures, does not mute their line when their dog barks, they're ordering Starbuck's, visiting the restroom or passing by a construction site or hits the Hold button from their company phone that then pumps On-Hold musac to all in attendance. You know what? On second thought, just confiscate their phone and send it to Will It Blend.
We all love technology but nothing says "I'll take it" like putting pen to paper. The tactile feel and deliberate, focused action of signing one's name to the dashed line as you whisper "Press real hard. The 3rd copy's yours" really seals the deal. So put a pen in the next iPhone, would ya, Apple?
I know I listed 16 here when the title said 15.
Consider it a "baker's dozen" bonus.
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.