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

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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Dealing With RFQs


Anybody who sells into commercial, industrial or institutional channels has to deal with Requests For Quotes. A request for quotation (abbreviated as RFQ) is how large organizations invite vendors to bid on systems, services or individual products. For AV pros, quotations on systems and services are the most common. Additionally, what’s asked for the in […]

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Lord Of The Dance


Apophenia is the tendency to see patterns of meaning in things. When unchecked it can be a disorder, but in and of itself, it’s a handy mental tool for making sense of the world around us. If you’re around long enough in any field of endeavor you recognize patterns emerge. Like negotiating. Haggling over a […]

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Strange ReTales: Ring The Alarm


The best laid plans, they say, often go awry. That was actually Scottish poet Robert Burns who wrote that, but that’s neither here nor there. Years ago, I had promoted up a brand new Assistant Manager. Mitch was a great salesperson, well organized, and a good leader, so he was an excellent choice. None of […]

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Closing Ratios


Sometimes it feels like I’ve spent my whole professional life being ruled by metrics. Top line. Bottom line. Gross. Net. And of course all the derivative metrics. Turns. Shrink. Sales per square foot. Warranty percentage. Defective percentage. Closing ratio. Ah, closing ratio. My favorite. Not really. If you don’t know, closing ratio calculates how many […]

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The Next Big Thing 


There’s that aphorism that if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. But that’s not really true in this business. In our business, if you always do what you always did, with each passing year you’ll get less than you did before. Looking at the overall landscape of my dealer […]

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Losing An Appendage


Last week I was away on business. Starting on Monday my iPhone 6 started to present battery issues: rapid power drain, and, for unknown reasons, the battery indicator would read “100%” all day even as it approached zero charge. It was intermittent, too. That only made it even more mysterious. I had no clear way […]

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Quality Still Matters


A new coffee shop opened up on the corner near my house. It’s one-off, and locally owned. I got a double espresso, to go. It was three bucks, and, I found out after I left, undrinkable. Not because I’m some sort of effete coffee snob, but because it was literally undrinkable. It tasted like the […]

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Strange ReTales: Time Sensitive Offer


I know I’ve talked in the past about the various characters who wandered in and out of the stores I worked in. There were the tire kickers, the be-backs, the rude, unhappy people, and a rogues’ gallery of others. Some of them were even, occasionally, actual paying customers. And then there were the dawdlers, customers […]

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