Ed's AV Handbook.com
Home Theater & High Fidelity Stereo Audio

Chapter Nine
AV Sales Training

Page 2

Batting practice for the audio/video pro and a primer for the novice 

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A Sale in Five Steps
          I was tempted to title this 'A Sale in Five Easy Steps'.   Although the steps are easy to follow, the discipline to execute the steps on a consistent basis requires a professional effort. 

Before we proceed - the given

          The most common obstruction customers face in making a purchase is ironically a
sales person.  Customers are continually blockaded by high-pressure tactics, ignorance,
lies, or worse - they are ignored.  Therefore, assume customers will initially expect more of the same from you.  With that in mind -- tear down their assumptions  by professionally applying the following

Step One: Meet & Greet
          Comfortably confront, greet, and prepare to listen to your customer as you carefully observe their responses.
           However if a customer is approached too quickly this will be perceived as high pressure.  If they are not greeted soon enough this will be perceived as being ignored.  
So what is too long? And what is too soon?   My answer is -- no sooner than 15 seconds
(unless they approach you first) and no more than 30 seconds.

          Avoid greetings that allow for single word answers such as yes or no.  That is, avoid questions such as “Can I help you?”  They will respond with, “No”.  Greet with “What can I do for you?” or “How can I be of assistance?”   Use common sense and remember what your mother said, “Be polite.”

Step Two: Qualify
           Qualifying is a customer interview.   Ask relevant questions.  Listen to their answers while observing their mood and tone.    Qualifying is your opportunity to establish your credibility and sincerity.  It demonstrates your interest in solving their problems.  Here are some examples of reasonable questions.
  • Are they shopping for a family room home theater system, a dedicated home theater room, a stereo system, or a distributed audio/video system?
  • Are they building a new home or is this a retrofit installation?
  • Is their emphasis on movies, music, sports, or other?
  • What is the layout of the room dimensions, acoustics, and ambient lighting?
  • Are there any room décor or other aesthetic issues to consider?
  • Where can we place the speakers, TV, and other components?
  • What will house the head-end electronics?
  • Will the electronics have ample ventilation?
  • Will they use cable, satellite, or off-air TV?
  • Who will operate the system?
  • Is the remote control a critical factor?
  • Will the head-end cabinet impede remote control operation?
  • Are the electrical outlets conveniently located?
  • Who will handle the installation?
  • When will the room be ready for a pre-wire?
Step Three: Recommend
          Based on the qualifying information recommend product that solves their problems
fulfills their desires.  Tie recommendations to the qualifying questions.
 Get your customer involved in a demonstration.  
          As you proceed, look for a positive response such as an interested open posture,
a smile, tapping toes.  A negative response such as nervousness, anxiety, or anger is a sign
that they misunderstood a word, a phrase, or missed a step in your explanation.  
Uncover the obstacle and explain it more clearly.

Step Four: Close
         Ask for the sale.  If you did your job professionally, and the customer is sincere;
then you deserve to be compensated with a sale.  You earned it.  Literally ask for the sale.

Step Five: Follow up
         After the sale is completed, delivered, and installed; follow up with a phone call and a thank you note.   This is an opportunity to unearth any misunderstandings; revise or make adjustments to their system.  The follow up can also set the table for future purchases.

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Ed's AV Handbook.com
Batting Practice for the AV Pro and a Primer for the Novice.
Copyright 2007 Txu1-598-288   Revised 2018