Social Media – The Old Fashioned Way

Remember when Social Media meant something different? When, as Marketers, we got excited about sales tools that increased our face-time and real-life connection with our customers?

How often does a sales call revolve around a PowerPoint presentation, with the customers staring at an image on the wall? Think how little personal connection occurs during a “PowerPoint meeting”. You’re sitting in the same room as the client, but no-one makes eye-contact – we’re all too busy looking at those beautiful slides that the Marketing team spent hours creating.

So recently, I took a step back – went “Retro” – and created a nifty piece of printed collateral, to help Sales connect with their customers. The team put together a 10 page flipbook – basically a PowerPoint presentation, but in a hard-copy format – for a new product release.

The flip book has a built-in stand, so that now, the salesperson gathers the customers around a table, and goes through each page. Everyone in the room is focused on the sales person as they point out the key elements on each page – the customers are now maybe 4 feet away and looking at the sales person, not at the wall.

I’ll admit, I was nervous. Isn’t this a step backwards from all this cool technology? Won’t the sales people and customers think we’re losing the plot?!

But it turns out, the sales team love it. Customers are more engaged; it’s easier to use than powering up a laptop and finding a projector; and if a customer says they only have 5 minutes – that’s OK, that’s all you need.


For this to work, the material needs to be visual, not a typical presentation of 20 bullet points per slide. Think in terms of the “Presentation Zen” philosophy espoused by Garr Reynolds.

And you need to think carefully about how the material will be printed. How big should the images be? What font size? Should the logo be on the base or each page? How heavy should the stock be for the pages, and the base? Should it be laminated…? I was fortunate to work with Jesse Park at Action Graphics, who gave good advice on each of these, and provided samples to help with the decisions.

Oh, and I should warn you. At least one of the sales team will say “why don’t you just buy me an iPad, and I’ll use that for slideshows”. That’s a subject for another day, but personally, I think you lose the individuality and tactile advantage of a printed piece.

Is it just me? Or have you had good experience with printed sales tools too?

Published by Steve Cummins

VP of Marketing at Opengear; B2B marketing professional with global experience, specializing in technology products; Digital marketing enthusiast. Opinions are my own.

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