Structuring Your AV Sales Funnel

October 10, 2019

If you’ve spent any time in sales in a professional setting, you’re likely to have had your boss ask you, “What do you have lined up?” In some work environments, it’s an informal check-in where your boss wants to know what you’re working on, to give him an idea of upcoming project scheduling and, more […]

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Why You Need To Avoid Underselling

April 11, 2019

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 […]

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The Irony of Technology Obsolescence for AV Vendors

March 19, 2019

AV companies have instant information about their product sales right at their fingertips. However, those same AV vendors have little to no visibility into the effect of marketing on tracking the reach, engagement or conversions on those same product purchases. The result is ironic for the AV industry: marketing technology obsolescence due to artificial intelligence […]

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The Three Essential Soft Skills for Selling AV to Churches

November 29, 2018

Pastors don’t need high-pressure sales, slick marketing or churchy language. In fact, these three are red flag warnings to a vertical market used to being sold what they do not need. Instead, the three essential soft skills for selling AV to churches are a helpful challenger, intentional communication and value-as-a-service. All three of these lean […]

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What Matters When Selecting New Products

May 17, 2018

I mentioned in a brief blog last week that my inbox is deluged every day with unsolicited product pitches. And most of them are garbage. I’m reminded on a daily basis of two key aphorisms. The first is Sturgeon’s Law: that 80 percent of everything is crap. The other, courtesy of tech entrepreneur James Altucher, […]

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The Value of Time

May 16, 2018

As a part of keeping up with global business trends and events, I subscribe to several on-line feeds from industry and economic publications. These feeds including the Financial Times, Bloomberg and so forth are a great way to get the highlights of activities around the world that may be impacting our little corner of the […]

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When No Really Means: I Don’t Know

February 15, 2018

What Does No Really Mean? I don’t know which specific issues you encounter when dealing with a client who knows only one answer to every suggestion or idea you present — NO — but I do know we all have them. There are so many reasons and possible scenarios that can and will generate a […]

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Resolve To Close More Deals In The New Year

January 3, 2018

Presumably you’ve had some quiet time over the holidays to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to the next. Since traditionally now is the time to think about resolutions for the coming year, perhaps you’re thinking about what you can do differently at work, whether it’s how to streamline processes to be […]

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When Was The Last Time You Did an AV Demo?

November 21, 2017

For as much traction as the so-called smart home has gained in consumer awareness, it’s still audio and video that remains a key part of the residential business. While I’ve met a few HiFi shop owners who loathe automation and prefer to deal with it in the context of cinema room design, I don’t think […]

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AV Should Enable Work Preferences, Not Define Them

August 2, 2017

On July 25th, the Wall Street Journal published an article called “The Boss Wants You Back in the Office” (subscription required to view article). The article detailed how IBM, once a national leader in the work from home movement, is moving back to having people report to an office for work. In the July edition […]

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Solve Three Problems to Increase Sales in Churches

July 17, 2017

“Can you come and fix our church AV?” This singular question is rife with implications for the audio, video and lighting (AVL) industry and one that needs to be addressed by manufacturers, systems integrators and rep firms serving the $1 billion (annual) church AVL market so that the pain experienced by all involved is properly […]

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Churches, IoT and Fully Integrated AVL

January 30, 2017

In sales, your best client is likely the one who buys repeatedly and recommends you consistently. For a long time, I had two of my best clients fit this description while I was in sales; one was a large airline, the other was a large church. What these two organizations had in common was a […]

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Where’s the Video in the Audio, Video, and Lighting Industry?

June 28, 2016

I suppose if the Cobbler’s kids had no shoes, then I shouldn’t be surprised that the Audio, Video, and Lighting (AVL) industry doesn’t use video well to reach potential customers. And yet, here in the 21st century, I am surprised and disappointed in the spotty to non-existent use of video as a content marketing medium […]

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Selling Insights and Technology to Churches

June 24, 2016

In even the smallest of churches, the decision to purchase complex solutions is handled by a small group. In some denominations, this is a leadership staff, in others, a volunteer committee. Aware of this truth, vendors often try to bring consensus to these groups through price, benefits or a crisp value proposition. But time and […]

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Cost Savings vs. Stewardship: Tech Buying in Churches

January 27, 2016

There is a saying that churches buy a sound system three times. The first is the one the building “comes with” that was most likely designed by the general contractor or a local music store. A well-meaning but ill-experienced volunteer who adds some new equipment typically installs the second system. The third system is usually […]

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Frightened Salespeople Are Terrible Salespeople

January 26, 2016

In a meeting last week with the senior management at one of my biggest clients, they shared with me a metric that was frustrating them. Their retail sales associates, as a whole, are incapable of getting attachment sales of any accessory that costs more than $50. Management can see it in the numbers: in the […]

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Throwing Good Money at Bad Advertising

December 22, 2015

The writer inside of me knows that people want helpful insight and good advice. It also knows that ticking off potential advertisers for rAVe isn’t a good idea. Sometimes, the two are at odds. I also believe that telling the truth, kindly, is possible. And it is with this good intention that I focus this […]

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The AV Edge: Social Selling and Marketing

November 3, 2015

Months back, after I had fully developed my second show techXchange (AV Power Up being the other) – a show designed to be about technology, news and trends with a measure of opinion inserted as well – I began to come up with a concept for a new podcast show. The show would exist on the “Edge […]

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Church Tech and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

October 27, 2015

The church bought all of your gear and are fully equipped to leverage the best of your technology. While this sounds like a sales dream, the natural progression will now turn downhill unless you continue to provide the church with what they really need most: your expertise. Interestingly, the Second Law of Thermodynamics provides us […]

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Desired Outcomes and the Fallacy of a Quick Fix

August 25, 2015

When a church technician asks a question about video, are they also thinking about lighting? As the saying goes, ‘without light, it’s just radio.’ In online forums or at conferences, I’ve heard the same type of questions focused around a specific technology, narrowly focused on one aspect when the bigger picture needs to be considered. […]

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How To Sell Digital Signage With The Bigger Picture Method Part 1

April 23, 2015

It can be an art form to sell digital signage, because it involves discussions with often non-tech savvy people… and educating them about some very technical products. So above all, solutions need to be boiled down to make sense for each client. (*Cough*… Duh.) You sell digital signage. Great. BUT RIGHT NOW — stop thinking […]

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Coming At Trade Shows From Another Angle

June 10, 2014

If there’s anything that I’ve done more often than attending trade shows, it’s been writing about attending trade shows. That includes both editorials and blog posts about how to work the show as an exhibitor to get the maximum return on your company’s investment, as well as suggestions on how, as a member of the […]

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Selling in a Tough Economy: What’s Happening Now

February 5, 2010

So I hear that the recession is over and that the economy is slowly improving. I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing signs of that in my own community. Many small businesses have closed in and around my town. Those that are still surviving are struggling with tight credit and lean inventory, the […]

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