Blackburied by a Sales Rep

During a recent visit by a building product rep to my office, I asked the salesman for a copy of a technical report on his product. "No problem," he said, "I have it right here on my BlackBerry. I will e-mail it to you right now."

"Cool!" I thought. What a convenient way to keep product literature on hand.

But in retrospect, I felt "blackburied" by the experience. Both the rep and I became distracted by our technical tools. He had his face in his cell phone -- probably trying to send me info -- but it felt too much like he was checking his email. I had moved my computer monitor off to the side of my desk so I could see him across the table. But now I had to place the monitor between us in order to download his email. And then the printer jammed, and distracted me further.

I don't expect we will return to the paper delivery days of building product sales. That said, we have much to learn about using our new tools effectively during sales meetings.