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

Random Encounters


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 […]

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Subcontracting: Part 1


It’s not lost on veteran AV pros that even as they need to make the best use of their client’s budget, in order to do that they need to make the best use of their own. That means allocating your firm’s funds, resources and expertise in a way that maximizes everything from effectiveness to profitability. […]

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Reaffirming Top-Down Selling


We all have things that we hold dear. And often, the things that we believe are so internalized that we take them for granted, assuming that everyone else knows what we do. Take baking bread, for example. When leading training I often use that as an example of a basic skill. The thing about baking […]

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The Joys Of Troubleshooting


Everyone who knows me knows that I have an aphorism for every occasion. (I have sports metaphors too, but that’s not the topic at hand today.) One of my favorite aphorisms (although really, I have so many, it’s hard to choose a favorite) is that “Professionalism isn’t about not having problems: Everyone has problems. Professionalism […]

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The Consequence of Wireless? WIRES!


I imagine that my household is typical of many, in that there are multiple smartphones and tablets in use by members of the family. In fact, despite a big flat panel TV in the media room and a less-big one on the wall in the living room, mobile devices are the primary vector for people […]

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Adapt or Perish


Everything changes and the pace of that change can be dizzying. Change for its own sake, however, isn’t always advisable. It needs to be carefully considered. A recurring trend in my discussions with consumer electronics dealers is their efforts in exploring avenues by which they can both differentiate themselves and seek new margin-building categories. Over […]

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Should You Pay Co-op Dollars for Placement?


This can be a sensitive subject to both suppliers and resellers, so I will endeavor to tread lightly. In CE retail, co-op promotional costs are largely the norm. That’s where the supplier supports their dealers’ sales efforts with measures that can range from subsidizing advertising costs, to sell-through credits, to paying for product placement in-store. […]

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Handling Legacy Systems


Previously, I had written an editorial that addressed deciding what to do with long-term clients in the context of applying the analogy of legacy systems to them: Do you upgrade them or do you get rid of them? Of course, that got me thinking back to legacy systems themselves and again: Do you upgrade them […]

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The Importance Of Being Up To Date


This may seem like a small thing, and perhaps it is, but many pet peeves are like that: just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t mater. My point is this: brand websites need to keep their dealer finder up to date. At one of my old jobs, I would regularly get phone calls from […]

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Sunk Costs: Part 2


In the first installment, I flew over what sunk costs are and how they differ from the other kinds of costs you face in your business. To recap briefly, economists and business courses make the point that sunk costs should not be taken into account when making decisions about new expenditures. The money is spent, […]

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Amazon Prime, or: Nobody’s Perfect


This is a confession blog. We all have blind spots, sometimes. And I’m not too proud to admit that sometimes I’m not the brightest. Anyway, I’ll just say it: I’ve had Amazon Prime for years. And, like our Costco Executive membership we definitely get our money’s worth out of it. Or so I thought. I’ve […]

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Wiring Then And Now


It feels like a million years ago that pulling wire in residential installations almost exclusively meant speaker wire. AV pros who’ve been around long enough have seen a lot of changes since then. And at the risk of sentimentality or applying too much nostalgia to the past, the changes that have come and gone in […]

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Who’s On First?


As Dickey Fox said in the film Jerry Maguire, the key to business is personal relationships. I agree wholeheartedly. Knowing who you have to deal with, and how best to work with them is of paramount importance. But it’s not always as easy as buying people coffee, or taking them out for lunch to get […]

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With Broadcast Boxes, It’s Always Two Steps, Forward Three Steps Back


The tech media never lets up with thinkpieces about cord cutters and the imminent dire future for broadcast TV providers. Yet we’ve been reading these pronouncements for years now. And the broadcast landscape has changed a lot in that time. Whether it’s for better or worse is probably a matter of opinion. I’ll concede that […]

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Too Much Follow Up?


When I’m coaching sales training I talk a lot about the importance of follow up. That’s because it makes a difference. As a salesperson if you actually follow up with prospective clients, you’ll be well ahead of your competitors. That’s because most salespeople either don’t follow up at all, or they only follow up half-heartedly. […]

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