A Message for Small [and New] Manufacturers in AV

Are you a new company selling a new product? Well, this blog’s for you!

Listen, don’t let people fool you — this industry is NOT that complicated. You don’t need a fancy marketing campaign and you certainly don’t need to waste your money with banner ads on on-line publications to make it BIG in AV. Leave that to the companies that have 20, 30 or even 40 different SKUs of products to sell.

So, if you’re new, what do you need to do to be successful?

Simple: Relationships and Exclusivity!

First, relationships: Product pricing strategy doesn’t sell. No one really cares what something sells for. Don’t over-engineer your pricing or “go-to-market-strategy” (as serial entrepreneurs like to say). Unlike what you may have heard, product, price, place or promotion does NOT sell in AV. Relationships do.

The relationship is, ultimately, the key to getting noticed — think about it, the typical integrator carries over 200 brands (and that means, potentially, a thousand different products) but you will get noticed if you actually take the time to call the sales manager or, even more amazingly-creative than that, go visit him or her. Stand in front of them and make your pitch. What is it about you (not your products; but you) that they should care about.

Nearly 80 percent of the projectors sold in the market are made by one of three companies. Three. So, what makes one the vertical market leader? Relationships. Still a non-believer? Or, if you don’t understand this, there’s still hope, read on…

Exclusivity. It blows me away how many companies will make a giant announcement that they’ve signed-up to use Almo ProAV as a distributor — they’ll call me, text me, email me and then call me again to make sure that we write up their new distribution plan for their awesome new product. Then, a month or so later, they’re doing the same thing with Stampede or Synnex or AVAD or BTX.

Where is the loyalty?

At the risk of sounding OLD, what the heck is wrong with this picture?

If you’re new or small, offer exclusivity. If you’re going to sign up Almo as a distributor, see it through. See if they can give you want you want — don’t just distributor-hop-on-over to everyone and make your product available everywhere. Heck, if you’re going to do that, why not just open an eBay or Amazon store?

Then, the banner ads might help you…