If you see most of your clients outside of your office you are likely on the road a lot.
About five years ago I started paying for leads. I still use direct mail and do some seminars but today most of my activity comes from leads generated by others. I have found everything about this to be both lucrative and enjoyable with the possible exception that it involved quite a bit of driving.
I am a road warrior. To get the volume of leads I need to keep as active as I want I have found that I must be willing to drive up to 100 miles (one way) to see prospects in their homes.
Here are a few tools that any road warrior should consider:
iPhone 8 plus: Large Display Smart Phone
Because I do so much driving my smart phone has become my most essential piece of technology. Currently use the iPhone 8 plus because of its 5.5-inch display and its superior video camera.
I use it in my office to record some of the quick personalized videos I send to my clients but it is even more valuable to me as a road worrier tool.
The use of PowerPoint slides, software and videos is an essential part of my client meetings. And while I prefer to use my iPad for this, in a pinch I will use my iPhone.
Cost: $699 (or, about $30/mo. with phone carrier financing)
iPad Pro: 10.5 inch display
When I started out as an insurance agent in the 1970s I actually used this filmstrip machine to make audio visual presentations to clients in their homes.
You can say that this was the original PowerPoint presentation. I loved it because it helped me make a lot of sales. It also got me hooked on the power of using video-type presentations in the sales process.
Cost: $644 (I would consider getting the newer 11 inch display for $786)
Plantronics Voyager Edge: Bluetooth Headset
I am on my phone a lot while I am driving. With this wireless headset my calls are very clear and I find it comfortable to wear.
Voice Memos: An iPhone app for recording notes.
If you ever find yourself having a difficult time recalling important details from client meetings, this app is the perfect solution.
Immediately after leaving a client meeting I use my iPhone and the Voice Memo app to record meeting notes that I can refer to later.
Before any follow-up meetings with that same client I listen to my recording and know what illustrations, product quotes or other information I need to prepare and have with me.
MileIQ: Millage Tracking App
Don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that this smartphone app saves my sanity every year when tax-time rolls around.
I averaged over 20,000 business miles per year so this deduction is worth more than $10,000 annually to me. If… I keep detailed records. The IRS requires us to record the purpose of each trip and our car’s odometer reading at the start and end of each trip.
Before MileIQ I had to manually maintain a log. Not so hard if you are disciplined enough to record your miles daily. I am not. Which means I often found myself spending hours if not days trying to recreate my mileage log once each year when it was time to file my tax return.
Install the MileIQ app on your smartphone and it amazingly tracks and records your mileage automatically.
I drive out of my garage in the morning and return after my last meeting and MileIQ automatically records each mile I drive and every place I make a stop throughout the day. I don’t need to turn the app on, don’t click any buttons or enter anything on my smartphone. I have no idea how it works but after using it for more than three years, I know it does work.
Cost: $5.99 per month
GasBuddy: Save money, save time and never pay full price for gas again.
I live and work in California. It’s the home of great weather, crazy politics and some of the highest gas prices in the nation. This and the fact that I log over 20,000 driving miles each year as I meet with prospects and clients makes me fairly confident that this app saves me well over $500 dollars annually.
Before I fill up I check this app on my phone and it automatically tells me the best gas prices in my immediate area. For example, I just now used the app to find that within a few miles of my present location there are more than a dozen service stations and the per gallon price difference is 66 cent per gallon between the highest and lowest. Since I fill my car’s tank about twice a week the savings can add up quickly.
If you use their optional GasBuddy payment card (I just started) you save 5 cents a gallon off all fill-ups. This isn’t a credit card. Instead you link it to your checking account.
My guess is that the combination of this app locating the cheapest gas prices plus the additional 5 cents discount for using their payment card will easily save me 10 to 25 cents per gallon.
Listening to audio books has never been easier. With Audible, my Iphone and my Plantations Bluetooth headset I can kill hours of otherwise boring travel time.
You can get Audible Audiobooks with you Amazon Prime account.
Here are three of my recent favorites:
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer, Philip Franklin
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Richard Matthews
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler, Arthur Morey, et al.
Cost: $14.95 each | Audible
In the past I listened to a lot of business related audiobooks. Today there are so many great free podcasts devoted to this subject that I don’t find the need to pay for most business related audiobooks.
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Tim Ferriss Show: is often the #1 business podcast on all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 500,000+ podcasts on many occasions. | Learn More
Masters of Scale: Legendary Silicon Valley investor & entrepreneur Reid Hoffman shows how companies can grow from zero to a gazillion by testing his theories with famous founders. | Learn More
What Tools Do You Use?
Without these tools I may have lost my sanity. How about you? Are you a road warrior? Do you have tools that keep you moving?
Let me know in the comments below!