Lee Distad

Lee Distad

Lee Distad is a rAVe columnist and freelance writer covering topics from CE to global business and finance in both print and online. Reach him at lee@ravepubs.com


More Clever Tips For Business Travelers

More Clever Tips For Business Travelers

A couple of weeks ago Gary wrote an insightful blog post that speaks to all of us who do lots of business travel. If you haven’t already read it, you should. http://www.ravepubs.com/five-simple-services-every-business-traveler-wants-actually-needs/ I have to concur with all of his findings, although (spoiler alert!) it hadn’t occurred to me to perform emergency plumbing repair on […]

Making Small Talk

Making Small Talk

An interesting study crossed my newsfeed this week, and engendered some interesting discussion amongst my peers and I. From the Academy of Management website: “Men who engage in small talk before getting down to negotiations — compared with those who launch right into it — not only make a much more favorable impression, but also […]

Lifts And Let Downs

Lifts And Let Downs

If there has ever been an AV product category that I’ve maintained a love/hate relationship with, it’s motorized TV lifts and mounts. On the plus side of the equation, there are few things cooler than a concealed installation where a flat panel display or projector rises from a tabletop or descends from the ceiling. But […]

Features Don’t Sell, Benefits Sell

Features Don’t Sell, Benefits Sell

Recently I had a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine about the importance of trying to reacquaint dealers and vendors alike with focusing on benefits over features. We both admitted that we’ve done a lot of thinking on this subject. Comparing notes, both of us have observed that the number one priority we hear […]

But, But I Have People Skills : Managing Managers

But, But I Have People Skills : Managing Managers

My absolutely favorite aphorism for sales comes from the movie Jerry Maguire, when the titular character’s mentor and guru Dicky Fox says “The key to this business” *claps hands* “is personal relationships!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyxWWYeXKBw As a manufacturer’s representative my job role is all about personal relationships: making them, and keeping them. In fact, it’s more about […]

Why Do We Even Have That Lever?

Why Do We Even Have That Lever?

There’s a scene in the Disney film The Emperor’s New Groove that defines my attitude towards user interfaces. “Why do we even have that lever?” was a regular catchphrase in meetings at my old office whenever the design and programming teams met to discuss the of client’s automation systems. We would shout out “Why do […]

One Simple Rule For Being Happy

One Simple Rule For Being Happy

There are rules to live by, and mostly they’re pretty universal. Some our parents teach us, like that touching a hot stove is a bad idea. Others are taught to us as part of the Social Contract, like signaling before changing lanes (To be honest, where I live, an alarming majority of drivers haven’t heard […]

On Golf, Prospecting, and Chutzpah

On Golf, Prospecting, and Chutzpah

I recieve a lot of emails. I also recieve a lot of spam emails, mostly product pitches from overseas manufacturers. I actually do read (okay, skim) them all. While most of them are tedious and uninteresting there is the occasional gem hidden amongst all the dross; the odd interesting new product that I think worth bringing […]

When AV Devices <del>Attack</del> Croak

When AV Devices Attack Croak

More often than not the inspiration for my editorials and blog posts come from recent events/incidents/disasters in my life. Invariably, in these incidents (and disasters) I have to fall back on my training as an installer and designer. To quote Al Pacino from The Godfather: Part III: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull […]

Remote Power Management

Remote Power Management

What matters most to all those expensive black boxes neatly connected and stitched up in the rack, connected via other expensive black boxes to displays throughout the project aren’t buzzwords like resolution or bit-rate but one single, simple thing: electricity. As even small (fewer than ten rooms or displays) systems depend on more sophisticated technology […]

Blast From The Past: Bugs Life

Blast From The Past: Bugs Life

The other night it was Family Movie Night, and since it was my son’s turn to pick a movie he selected the Pixar film Bug’s Life. Watching Bug’s Life again after all these years was surreal for me for a couple of reasons. The first reason was that it was weird, retrospectively, to hear Hopper, […]

Why Good Manners Make A Difference

Why Good Manners Make A Difference

Words matter, both what you say, and how you say them, which is something that I’ve blogged about before. When your job centers around strengthening client relationships you become very conscious of how to best speak with your clients in a way that will do just that. Whether it’s delivering good news or bad, you […]

What Can AV Pros Learn From A Shoe Store?

What Can AV Pros Learn From A Shoe Store?

I’ve said before that a successful business is nothing more than “selling stuff to people.” But there are many ways to go about doing that, and by far the most effective is building lasting relationships, and the best way to do that is to take care of people’s needs and wants, and make them feel […]

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