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

Cassettes Making a Comeback?

sony-es-cassette-deck.jpg

One of my stock catchphrases when I re-share something on social media that I find odd or surprising is “Well, it turns out that haven’t actually seen everything yet.” That’s how I felt, and in fact keep feeling, when I see frequent mention in my newsfeed of this artist or that either releasing new material […]

Read more

Why You Need To Avoid Underselling

sales-selling-0419.jpg

Spend any amount of time coaching salespeople and you’ll quickly see commonalities amongst them. These include not only their strengths, but also, and maybe especially, their weaknesses. The most common trait salespeople share is fear of rejection. That’s not unusual. Everybody likes being accepted, few people seek rejection. And it’s a common, easy mistake to […]

Read more

The Joy of Change Orders

change-order-0319.jpg

It’s a truism that the first casualty of every battle is the plan. One of the realities of building things is that sometimes the plan gets changed. While ideally every eventuality gets considered and decided upon during the design and planning stages, we don’t live in an ideal world we live in this one. Consequently, […]

Read more

Go Big Or Go Home

making-a-deal-0119.gif

One of the most crucial pieces of advice I’ve ever received was, “Don’t decide for the client how much is too much. It’s not your job to say ‘no’ on their behalf.” Put another way, don’t be afraid of overselling the job; be afraid of underselling the job. This is a separate issue entirely from […]

Read more

Holdbacks

holdback-0818.jpg

It’s not a particularly glamorous topic to write about, let alone read, but anyone whose work falls within the bounds of the construction industry needs to have a grasp of liens and holdbacks, since they affect all parties, including suppliers, subcontractors, general contractors and owners. The definition of a holdback is related to its context, […]

Read more

Filtering Out Bad Clients

bad-customer-0818.jpg

Previously, I’d gone into depth about the basics of managing your relationships with your clients which, when you drill down, is about how you manage your communication with them. Early on, while talking about initial interviews and needs assessment, I’d alluded to the using the initial needs assessment as a filter, not just to identify […]

Read more

Going to Get Myself Connected

network-0818.jpg

It doesn’t feel like that long ago that network connectivity in AV hardware was an idea more noted in the breach than in the observance. But times have changed. What started with lighting control and other automation hardware eventually migrated into mainstream AV products. Honestly, once you’ve got those features, there’s no going back. Luxuries […]

Read more

Partnering With A Buying Group

warehouse-0317.jpg

Owners, general managers and inventory managers of AV companies routinely need to consider the pros and cons of buying products either from the manufacturer or a distributor. In addition to those options, there are also buying groups: an organizing of dealers who negotiate terms with their suppliers collectively. The primary rationale for buying groups is […]

Read more

Subcontracting, Part 2

businessman-analyzing-data-0718.jpg

Previously, I began an exploration of the relationship between AV pros and subcontractors, and examined ways in which the relationship can work. Now it’s time to consider the converse: when it doesn’t. We all know that not everything pans out. Silicon Valley old-timer James Altucher famously said, “90 percent of everything doesn’t work out.” One […]

Read more

Random Encounters

house-calls.jpg

When you deal with the public you get to meet all kinds of people, for better or for worse. Most people you deal with are average, and as a result not necessarily memorable. Others are more memorable, and not always in a good way. I had a new client who wanted a retrofit project: a […]

Read more

Should You Service What You Didn’t Sell?

fridge-repair-0618.jpg

There’s an advertising catchphrase that’s probably dates back to the dawn of advertising: “We service what we sell!” You’ll see it appended as a tagline everywhere from car dealerships to general merchandise retailers. Last week my kitchen fridge died. It was only seven years old. I say “kitchen fridge” to differentiate it from the downstairs […]

Read more