6 Networking Apps Every Salesperson Needs Tegan Arnold Some say all you need to succeed is a great idea. But try walking into a pitch meeting with just a great idea—no pitch deck, no slideshow, no razzle, no dazzle. You might be pitching the next Uber, but good luck convincing your audience. Sales has become a game of efficiency and flash—and that means technology. It goes without saying that certain apps are a useful tool for anyone in business. And because a salesman’s worth is so often determined by their leads, the concept of networking—once the ultimate marker of sheer personality—has also become reliant, to an extent, on tech. Not that apps are replacing charm anytime soon. (Until someone comes out with an app for artificial personality enhancement, God help us.) But they can help salespeople in a variety of ways, particularly with smoother networking and broader opportunities. Besides, if nothing else, you’ll look like you’re sitting on the cutting edge of modern salesmanship. So if you’re in sales, make sure you’ve got these apps handy on your phone. LinkedIn Let’s start with the most basic networking app of all: our dear old friend LinkedIn. Despite bafflingly low brand engagement rates, LinkedIn remains the industry standard for meeting people who might give you a job. If you’re a frequent user, you may be familiar with the premium version, which, for a few hundred dollars a year, allows you greater flexibility to see and message people with whom you’re not yet connected. It’s a viable investment if you use it enough. If you want to up your game in another way, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator was designed specifically to help you with targeted lead generation. Their support staff is generally helpful at showing you the hidden secrets of the platform, so feel free to reach out to them if you’ve got any questions of your own. Close the Sale Alec Baldwin this ain’t, but it’s as close as you can get without getting outright yelled at to Always Be Closing. Close the Sale, an instructional app by sales guru Grant Cardone, is a perfect primer for any salesperson who wants to up their game with in-depth tips. With videos and theories on sales tactics for virtually any situation and common objection (too much money, not the right time, need to consult with others), this app will help entrepreneurial souls learn the game on their own, with a little help from a pro. That said, it’s currently listed at $99.99 on iTunes, which seems steep. But if you’re the type who’s spending hours reading this type of material, or even spending $20 apiece on books, it’s not a bad investment. The Evernote Series This all-in-one note-taking app is good for a lot of things, including organized note-taking and illustrative assistance. But the real gem here is the Evernote Scannable app, which helps you store data accrued from a business cards. Simply take a photo of the card and the app digests the information into your phone. There are other apps like this, too; CamCard is a strong contender to become your virtual Rolodex. But with a slightly smoother interface and great all-purpose notepad app, Evernote is a slightly neater option. Whatever Calendar Makes You Happiest I, for one, live and die by my Google Calendar. (Seriously: I have my anticipated death date locked in there, just to avoid double-booking.) But others swear by non-Google options, and that’s fair, too. DigiCal is a great choice with customizable widgets, while iPhone users love the Fantastical series, which emphasized natural language to double your app as a kind of personal secretary. Other salespeople like Calendly, which makes booking meetings on-the-fly easier for multiple parties. Whichever you choose, having an easy-access calendar just a few clicks away is critical when making meetings in person. Hatchbuck Every sales team needs a CRM—it’s the ideal way to communicate with your leads and stay on top of their needs. With Hatchbuck’s mobile app, you can keep your customers’ data conveniently stored in your pocket at all times, allowing you the flexibility to draw it whenever you need. You can quickly create, look up and update your customer or lead information on the go. The intuitive communication possibilities mean you can call, text or email them quickly, and you can update their information on the go if you’re multitasking and don’t want to miss a beat. Shapr It’s like Tindr, but for eager salespeople! (If that’s not their tagline, it should be.) Seriously, though, Shapr is the networker’s Tindr, and if you’re not on it, you’re missing out. You can swipe right or left on various people’s profiles—not for a quick hook-up, but for possible business connections and generally “inspiring people.” Maybe you’re selling coffee beans and you come across the profile of an independent cafe owner? Perfect match. Be careful, though: the Shapr folks don’t take kindly to people pitching on their platform. Remember that these are human beings and try to act, you know, human. Swipe to chat, then meet for a coffee. It’s always a better idea to pitch them in person, anyway—it’s more effective than relying on technology. For now.