I have purchased a new mobile phone. Actually it is an old Nokia from 2005 but it is helping me become smarter, particularly when I am serving at my market stall. The phone is a fashion phone from another era but it does one thing really well – it makes and accepts telephone calls.
Today’s smartphones perform a bewildering range of tasks so why is my old phone smarter? It is what it doesn’t do that counts. It doesn’t “beep” me when BHP’s share price drops below yesterday’s price. It doesn’t “ding” me when a friend of my distant cousin posts a cute picture of her cat on Facebook. It doesn’t tell me that I just received an email from Super Auto advising me of their latest offer for carwash, or that a LinkedIn associate just added Melbourne as their hometown. It just lets me get on with my day’s activities relatively free of interruption and able to focus on the task at hand.
And this is where the real benefit comes in for my market business. I need to concentrate on my customers. In fact, they demand it. We all know there is nothing worse than being ignored by a shop assistant more interested in their mobile phone than their customers. So to fill in the quiet times at my stall I no longer pull out my smartphone to go online. Instead I do some creative merchandising around the stall and look forward to giving attention to my customers the second they walk into my stall. That has to be better for business and of course if somebody from outside needs to contact me urgently my new/old phone is excellent at receiving phone calls.
One of my colleagues suggested I should simply turn down the sound on my iPhone which is fine for those with strong will power. But for the rest of us, why not pull out one of your old dumb phones from the drawer and use it when you are serving at your stall– it is a smarter thing to do.