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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Three Simple Things

October 25, 2018

Since I know that I have a reputation for aphorisms, let’s start off with this one: How you do one thing is how you do everything. Best practices are a drum that I beat on a regular basis. But that’s only because they’re important. When discussing anything, it’s often helpful to frame it differently, to […]

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Dashboarding Your Success

October 15, 2018

This month at CCUMC, I will be discussing how Bates College began to turn around its service operations by using data, metrics, SLAs and dashboards. This is not an earth shattering new business tool, but it is something that I think many organizations still don’t use quite enough or don’t use it in the right […]

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Operating Through an Emergency

October 1, 2018

Despite our industry’s change from box sales to services, I still see some integrators who don’t seem to understand how a service must deliver value to a customer. As I wrote about last month, I see some who still look at what can deliver money to the firm, independent of value to the customer. With […]

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Should You Service What You Didn’t Sell?

June 20, 2018

There’s an advertising catchphrase that’s probably dates back to the dawn of advertising: “We service what we sell!” You’ll see it appended as a tagline everywhere from car dealerships to general merchandise retailers. Last week my kitchen fridge died. It was only seven years old. I say “kitchen fridge” to differentiate it from the downstairs […]

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What Makes a Product AV Install Specific?

April 26, 2018

From the outside looking in, there doesn’t seem to be much of a distinction between the CE retail and AV install channels, yet the distinction is there. It may be somewhat blurred and move back and forth from time to time, but the line is there and residential AV pros need to be aware of […]

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Defining AVaaS for Stagers

February 26, 2018

Over the last year or two, I have been reading with increasing frequency about AVaaS, or “Audio Visual as a Service.” In particular, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the writings of my friend Gary Kayye. Gary is one of the best I have ever met at analyzing a product in our industry […]

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Solve the Pain, Then Introduce Strategy

January 18, 2018

‘Solve their technology pain, then introduce them to a technology strategy.’ That should be the mantra for consultants, systems integrators, and manufacturers selling to the church market. The House of Worship (HOW) market is not without strategy. In fact, they’re some of the most focused organizations around when it comes to their strategic purpose. However, they […]

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The Future of Selling Service to Churches

December 18, 2017

It’s all in the fine print. Most people won’t open up new gear and grab the owner’s manual and warranty information and spend the next two hours pouring over that fascinating documentation. For those of us who do, we will find myriad legal terms that outline our options should we need technical support or have […]

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Brand Management: Reliability, Value and Support

October 31, 2017

Your brand is not what you say it is. Your brand is what others say about you. For the audiovisual industry, identifying what others say about your organization is easier to know now than it has ever been thanks in large part to social media and online comment streams. In each vertical market, there exist groups […]

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Service Contracts That Make Sense

September 11, 2017

For years, this publication, its founder and many others have been all but begging companies to get into the service business. The days of selling boxes and making margins that can support a business have been over for years. Every now and again you will hear of firms that have managed to make this switch […]

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Even Apple Sees the Future Is Services – Not Just Products

May 23, 2017

I have been harping on this for years. I have been telling everyone in the AV industry that to survive the future of AV, services need to be front and center, along with the products. Sure, a good mix of products with both established technology as well as future-forward, emerging technology is a giant part […]

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Useful AVL Data for Meaningful Purchase Decisions

March 14, 2017

It is easier to make good purchasing decisions when armed with timely, relevant information. As such, manufacturers, rep firms and systems integrators alike put a lot of effort into promoting the features and benefits of their products and systems before the sale. What’s missing, though, is arming those same users with useful information so they can […]

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The Church Market for AVL in Two Words — Big Opportunity

August 29, 2016

Compared to huge government contracts or big commercial deals, the church market may not seem nearly as compelling for manufacturers and systems integrators selling audio, video, and lighting technology. And while there won’t be $50MM dollar AVL deals in the House of Worship space, there also won’t be the massive complexity and low margins of […]

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Ihiji ServiceManager Enables Consolidated, Cloud-Based Management of Client Service Plan Information and Data

October 6, 2015

Ihiji will launch its new Software as a Service (SaaS) tool, Ihiji ServiceManager, at CEDIA Expo 2015 next week. Designed to help integrators, security monitoring firms and other companies and trades that offer technical support or other services to make their businesses more productive and profitable, Ihiji ServiceManager allows for a service-based recurring revenue stream. Ihiji says that […]

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500 Million Smart Home Sensors to be Installed by 2018 — But Not By Us!

March 18, 2014

A new study by ABI Research forecasts that over 500 billion smart sensors will be integrated into homes by the end of 2018. Half a billion. This is good and bad news for the HomeAV community. As the home automation world becomes less of an art and more of a science, it also becomes commoditized. […]

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Does Your Company Require A Service Department?

February 27, 2014

Speaking broadly, there are two kinds of residential AV companies: There are the ones that have been in business for a decade or more, and there are the new companies, just started, most of whom fold in their first three years. With the latter group, eventually the company reaches the point where there are dozens, […]

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