How do you navigate the barrage of tech available for purchase? When a problem arises with AV tech, most people simply Google a product or service then follow the digital trail to the nearest retail store. If you’re unlucky, you will be sold the newest fandangled gadget on the spot. But if you’re lucky, someone will take the time to help you buy tech for your best AV experience. Let’s see what that might look like.
First, you must define the phrase “best experience.” Take a moment to really think about it. I find that this is easier said than explained. The question is, “What is the best experience for me, the buyer?”
Let’s break down the phrase by the two key terms — best and experience.
Best is defined as 1) excelling all others, 2) most productive of good, and 3) most, largest.
Experience is defined as 1) a direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge and 2) the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation.
My personal and professional definition of “best experience” must also include a few of the following:
- What produces the expectations or results I have imagined in my head
- Must have simple implementation
- Short learning curve
- Left me feeling more productive
- Stress free experience from start to finish
My “Best Experience” Story
Here’s a story to show what I mean. I had a pair of sunglasses that fit well and performed to my expectations. My son, Derik, started working at a Sunglass Hut so I went to visit him. Once I arrived, I got the full tour of the offerings. There were sunglasses designed in Italy. There were fashionable frames. There were sports series lenses. I was not tempted in any way to buy anything that day… until I asked my son a question. “What is the difference between these three sports glasses?”, I casually inquired. He dove right in to show his dad a thing or two about sunglasses.
He replies, “I won’t bother you with two out of the three. These are what you want.”
“Really? For $250?”, I shot back, with major hesitation. “Try them on,” he suggested and placed them on my face. I squinted and looked around the room. I did not really see a difference. Then, he told me to look outside at the chrome bumper of a nearby car.
I raised the glasses to see the difference. At that moment, I took out my wallet. I was amazed by what I saw. The glare was greatly muted, and I could comfortably look at the very bright reflection. There have been so many times I’ve had to flip my visor down in my car just to “turn the sun down.” What just happened? What changed my mind?
It was this — firsthand experience partnered with an education. Someone, a salesman, discerned what I needed and assisted me right then and there. The truth is we all have a problem that needs to be solved. It’s just that we need someone to come alongside us to help us solve the problem. In my case, Derik showed me the way to eliminate the glare, so I can see clearly.
Selling AV Tech
When a new customer contacts me, I have a series of questions in mind. Some of these, I may say out loud to the customer. Some are just-for-me thoughts as I guide the customer through the buying process.
- Are you overthinking the function and features of your AV system?
- Are you buying an automated system that is over-kill?
- What are you doing with the old tech after the new stuff is installed?
- Is old tech still on your network leaking access or battery fluid in the drawer?
- Does your AV rack look like a den of robot parts that beg recycling?
My goal is to solve my customer’s problem. But sometimes, as I shared in previous blog posts, the shiniest and newest tech isn’t the answer. And sometimes, it is the answer, but not until the customer has a chance to determine a “best experience” solution. It’s up to me, the AV designer, to create this story.
So, if you’re looking for the right person to assist with your AV projects, that is me. If you’re looking for a great pair of sunglasses, visit Oakley. Seriously, best sunglasses ever.
Tony, the AV Guy