In this article, a group of sales professionals tell you how they use the 95LX. In future articles we'll profile accountants, engineers, physicians, real estate professionals, and more.
Towards a Truly Mobile Office
Sales is a profession on the go. Windows of opportunity open and close quickly, at unexpected times, in unexpected places. A successful sales professional does his or her homework and is prepared to take advantage of opportunities, wherever or whenever they arise.
Then came the "mobile office." Sales and other professionals were no longer tied down to a desk in a building on the third floor. They began to carry all the necessary information and capabilities with them wherever they were. Sales professionals have always carried samples of their wares, but soon they were carrying portable computers, lightweight printers, modems, and cellular phones. The office may have been mobile, but it was also getting crowded. And still the mobile office was big enough that they had to leave it in their car or motel room when they went on sales calls.
Enter the 95LX
Finally, HP 95LX came along, with HP CALC and Lotus to crunch numbers, Phone Book to organize contact information, Appointment Book to schedule time, COMM for mobile communications, and MEMO to jot down quick notes. Best of all, it was in your pocket when you needed it.
Although many sales professionals use contact managers like Pocket Sales Force and ACT!, they still give the built-in applications a real work out. They use the PHONE application extensively to keep track of customers, vendors, prospects, products, voice mail extensions, and personal contacts. They use APPT to schedule meetings, sales calls, appointments, call backs, and travel schedules. They use MEMO for letters and notes during meetings. They use Lotus and HP CALC for budgets, comparison of cost and performance of competitors products, tracking orders, commissions, quotas, personal stocks, car service records and oil changes. Here are some of the unique ways in which they take advantage of the 95LX.
Trade billions at dinner
David J. Pierce Jones, Director, CS First Boston Japan Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.
I am a banker who trades options in Tokyo, Japan. Each evening I download a full option pricing system written in Lotus from my networked desktop PC to the 95LX with the latest interest rates, volatilities, and market prices. By having all this information in my pocket I can trade forms outside the office with clients in Europe or the USA. This works so well that while having dinner at a Tokyo restaurant, I was once able to trade 20 billion yen of Nikkei 225 options.
Travel light and healthy with all your product information
Kurt M. Giesselman, Fortune 100 salesperson, California, USA. CompuServe ID: [72356,1742]
I am responsible for a specific line of products in the western third of the United States and portions of western Canada. I have a rigorous travel schedule; most business trips last a week, stopping in as many as three cities per day. Therefore, I am a firm believer in traveling light. Now, I can leave all 17 pounds of my laptop at home. LOTUS: My product line is over 400 items, each with specific characteristics and specifications. I store this information in a 1-2-3 worksheet file in the 95LX and use Lotus' (MENU) Range Search function to identify the best product for my customer's application quickly.
PHONE: I actually have six different phone directories. I use the cut and paste feature to move a complete record from the prospects directory to the current customer directory when I "land" a new account. I include in the Address field key contacts and even travel directions to the account. I also have a phone book directory of hotels I have stayed at or read about, one for restaurants, and another directory of specialty stores (wine, antiques, etc.).
APPT: I use the To-do list during customer calls to capture requests for information. I even use it as a tickler file by creating To-dos with a future date to remind me to follow up on customer requests. Very few things have fallen through the cracks since the 95LX arrived. The priority rankings really help my organization, too!
TRAVELWARE 1.4 (ON DISK) (written by RSE, first described on page 42 of the Fall 91 issue): This fantastic travel record keeper can be configured to fit the 95LX's screen. I record all my flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and miscellaneous expenditures for a month with this program. I retain a copy of each month's record on my desk top computer when I backup my files.
HEALTH and DIET: My most recent purchase is a food tracking program for DOS based computers. It is written for an 80 X 24 screen, but seems to center the proper area of the screen on my 95LX. The program comes with a database of several thousand food items and allows adding to that database. Be sure to buy the regular Health and Diet program, not the Pro version for Windows.
No more forms to carry and a 35% increase in sales
A. Greg Outlaw, computer hardware and software sales, P3 Corporation, Greenville, SC.
It is my brain, life-saver, crucial deal-closer, remote office, and "Don't leave home without it" tool. I never knew how easy my job could be until I bought the 95LX!
I have increased my actual sales by over 34% since my purchase of the 95LX. I believe this is directly related to the fact that I am so organized, I no longer miss a crucial sales opportunity.
COMM: I use my 95LX and a modem to communicate with my office to send and receive E-mail and update my contact database. If I want a hard copy, I have my E-mail application access the Fax modem on the network file server and send me the selected messages. I don't bother carrying forms for customers to sign anymore. Instead, I merely dial up our network and have the modem server send the exact forms I need to the fax machine at the clients office.
LOTUS: Our client contact database is in UNIX. It can be translated to an ASCII format that can be used as a Lotus database. This allows me to download client contact information to Lotus on the 95LX or transfer my files from Lotus to the client database on the network.
I use the break-even analysis program from page 34 of the March/April 1992 issue of The HP Palmtop Paper to cost justify my projects. I create a MEMO file that describes the project and use the same name for the Lotus file (except with a .WK1 extension). I put them in my 123 directory for easy access.
APPT: I use the timer function as an alarm clock. I am a light sleeper and have no problem hearing the speaker. If you want to make it a little louder set it on a hard surface like wood or metal.
PHONE: I do all the purchasing and negotiating with vendors. I enter codes on the last line of the Address field and use the (F6) (Only) function to search my phone book database for exact matches. Below are a list of the codes I use:
@A - action items to follow-up
@C - other clients
@D - doctor's offices
@H - hot prospects
@L - law firms
@M - manufacturers
@P - personal numbers
@V - vendors
For example, an Only search on @M@V@A would list the manufacturers from whom I buy directly and I have an additional action item to follow-up.
MEMO: I use MEMO files to describe projects I am currently working on. I have several files in a projects directory. I created a User Defined Char key to automatically take me to my project directory and list the files. I merely arrow to the file and strike return to bring it up.
I can store as many projects as I like using this system.
Movie distributor has all the reviews
Jeffrey C. Zorn, Farmington Hills, MI, USA. CompuServe ID: [71165,- 1650].
LOTUS: I created a simple spreadsheet with movie reviews for our customers (MOVIE.WK1 (ON DISK)). I was able to input the information at any time while reading about a video movie, thus keeping my file updated. This worksheet contained the name of the movie, studio, box office gross, video release date, video pre- order date, theatrical release date (if applicable), the major stars, a rating from A-C and a short blurb.
Most of the information was supplied by the video trade publications and the studios. This allowed me to have an up-to-the-minute listing of all movies being released at any given time. I could search by order date, name or release date, etc. I was also able to print this out by transferring it with the connectivity pack to my PC. Then I would make copies for our other representatives. It was a great sales tool and I impressed the management by having the information literally at my fingertips. With the addition of a small printer to use with the 95LX, I could leave the customer a completely current printout.
The best thing to happen was the 1992 Palmtop Paper subscriber disk, which included the very useful APPT utility, Week-at-a-Glance (WEEKABK3.ZIP (ON DISK)).
Increases time available for sales calls -- quicker closes
Peter Eaton, regional sales manager for equipment leasing company.
I've consolidated my telephone directory, business card holder, Rolodex, and prospecting notebook into the 95LX. All my files are now available for updating right after my sales call. I telemarket directly from my car with a cellular phone and Phone Book. This saves me valuable time and has added measurably to the number of calls I can make in one day.
Most importantly, I can run the cash flow analysis while I am with the customer, jump back to our pricing program and eliminate at least two additional sales calls in closing the sale.
Keep competitive information at your figure tips
Gene Climer, Computer Equipment Sales & Leasing , Lansing, IL USA
The convenience of having all the data I need, wherever I am, has allowed me to be more productive and creative.
MEMO: I'm on the road a lot and keep my service record for my car in MEMO. I don't need to go through my files at home or in the car. I keep the date and description of the service and enter future service appointments (i.e. oil changes, etc.) in Appointment Book.
Paperless office and still stays in touch with HAM radio
Thomas V. Walker, Manufacturers representative, Costa Mesa CA, USA
I find myself more organized and closer than ever to a paperless office with my 95LX. I am a manufacturers representative selling electronic components. I represent 10 manufacturers and have an account base of about 2,500 customers.
PHONE: I use PHONE as mini-database for, frequently called numbers, specific accounts, HAM radio frequencies.
COMM: I connect the 95LX to a radio frequency modem which is attached to a VHF receiver operating on HAM radio frequencies. This is called Packet Radio. I can then communicate with other HAM radio operators who use similar equipment with their personal computers. It's like connecting to a BBS without the phone lines. The 95LX is particularly handy in this way, as I can quickly pack it up and go anywhere, and still be able to keep in touch with Packet Radio.