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

Why Certifications Matter


Professional AV companies have a selection of certifications they can qualify for, from industry trade associations like InfoComm and CEDIA, to product category-specific certifications from major vendors like Crestron or AMX or the Imaging Sciences Foundation and so on. How important is it for you and your people to be certified? Granted, many municipalities require […]

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Team Building


The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is drawing to a close, which makes these reminiscences timely. Let me just say that I’m not a gambler. Like, at all. If there is a “gambling gene” it’s complete absent from my makeup. It’s not that I don’t approve of gambling; I’ve got no moral objections […]

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Three Things You Need To Do To Grow Your Sales


Making generalities are useful when establishing guidelines. In general, if you work with enough business owners and managers, and review the performance of their teams, you’ll see commonalities and trends. And, speaking generally, comparable businesses in the same channel have more in common than they are different. One of the most common of those commonalities is […]

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Staying in Control


AV install professionals like to see themselves as completely different from the mass-market consumer electronics retailers. Exterior details may vary from upscale retail storefront, or by-appointment-only showrooms and they take pains to present an impeccable image of expertise and professionalism that sets them apart from the look and feel of a big box store. The […]

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Strange ReTales: Rude, Unhappy People


Previously I’d been reminiscing about the various people who walked through the doors of the stereo shops I worked at, from Tire Kickers to the Whales. Of course, there are many others. There’s also the Perpetually Upset. Everyone who’s worked with the public knows that there are some people who just want to be unhappy, […]

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Apologies and Responsibility


When faced with a challenging situation there are two actions that can be taken which can go a long way towards defusing the situation and moving towards a productive resolution. Apologizing and taking responsibility. Even if you yourself had nothing to do with it. Even if the problem originated with someone or something else somewhere […]

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Strange Re-Tales: Whales, Laydowns, and Flops


Recently, I’ve blogged about salesperson lingo, specifically, tirekickers and be-backs. Since I’ve been diving into the vernacular of the salesfloor, here’s some more. Just as prospective customers who never buy anything have their own nickname, so to do their opposites: the customers who buy. In the parlance, a “whale” is a customer who’s spending big. […]

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Networking The Right Way


They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Without sinking into a lengthy digression about what that really means, I’ll just gloss it over with “getting to know people is important.” For many of us, the best opportunities we’ve had have come to us by way of our personal and professional networks. […]

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Schrödinger’s Coffee


I have often blogged about the power of coffee to open doors and cement relationships. Just this past week, I walked into the office of one of my customers who, normally, have a very rigid approach towards scheduling meetings. I know that, and always respect it. However this time, I walked in armed with a […]

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Someone Call Security


Recent experiences have brought security installations to the forefront of my thinking. Security subsystems are something that AV pros have polarizing opinions on. Some don’t mind handling them, some do so only grudgingly, and others won’t touch them. Like everything, when deciding whether to do security at all there are pros and cons. The most […]

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Vendor Catalogs: Relics Of The Past?


I get asked periodically for a copy of our catalog. That’s when I refer them to our website and say “that’s our catalog now.” In any channel where technology advances quarterly, or even more often, and what’s hot can change weekly, combined with printing costs, and a general rise in eco-friendly sentiments have put print […]

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