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Anyone for a Smartphone?

There is no official definition of a Smartphone, so in a world flooded with choices we’re not helping consumers by using the name in association with any old tat. It’s becoming a meaningless buzz word you expect to see in propositions or briefing documents and customers will hear it repeated by sales agents or see it bullet pointed amongst the many other features of a phone. Have you ever see a makeup advert? Have you any idea what pro-retinol hydrating nanocapsules are? But they must be good to get a mention, right?

There’s no shame in upselling a product, that’s something we should all be doing. But to do it well we need to explain our terms and add real value and support to a customers buying decision.

The very first Smartphone (on the right!) was made by IBM in the early 1990’s. Beyond voice calls, it added a calculator, calendar, address book, world clock, email, fax and some games to the world of the mobile. At the time this was an amazing blending of the computing and wireless worlds. Now it sounds like the functions of the most basic model you can get on prepay for £30.

I would expect a current Smartphone to be powered by a recognised, branded operating system. Symbian, iPhone Os, Windows Mobile, Palm, and Android leap to mind. I want a big bright screen, the ability to type quickly and the fastest data services my network can offer me.

To sell with conviction I want to be able to explain to customers how the device I’m recommending will allow them to organise their life, plan ahead, share information and keep up to date with friends. How it will entertain them, allow them to play music anywhere, let them download applications or games and take videos they can post online.

Once a customer is interested I can borrow the power of other brands to flavour and entice – facebook, twitter, Co-Pilot, MS Office, Gmail, Google Earth or whatever I’ve learned will be of interest to my customer.

Having rich conversations like these, you could be confident of recommending a phone that was truly smart. Plus you’d have built real rapport and go into the next conversation with a feeling of a job well done.

Originally published at monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.