Where Customers Fall Down


where customers fall down

Photo by: Kate Couch with Canva

Written By: Tony Sprando and Kate Couch 

What we believe and what we feel about a situation has strong ties. This usually circulates around the values we attach to something. When you reach for an apple in the grocery store, you hesitate and hover for a moment to grab one that looks the best. You don’t know where it was grown, what care was taken to get it there or how it was handled by the grocery clerk. You are putting a certain amount of trust in that purchase, oftentimes based on how you were treated at the door. You buy based on what you need, on price, influencing of marketing, item placement and personal assessment of the item. When you think about it, we put a lot of thought into these things subconsciously.

When it comes to something much more expensive, there is a higher level of feeling and assumption involved. Over the past 20 years, I’ve done many audiovisual jobs. But for as many jobs as I’ve done, I’ve also calculated twice as many bids. As someone who works in delivering a service, you notice a pattern when giving a bid. You will find that when you go out and assess what clients need, finding the right services for a fair price may never be enough. Oftentimes, no matter how much you try to give someone a deal, they will not think it is cheap enough. 

Customers start to “fall” when a client drills the service provider to get a price down (possibly to please a boss or to make them feel better about the service). Another example is leaning into friends, family or a church friend for a deal. We might do this because the idea of making an “eternal difference” may guilt them into giving you a good deal, or believing that God demands we are “frugal” and we can’t have nice things. “The humble will inherit the earth” is a bible verse that is often taken out of context. 

Lastly, we can go wrong by blindly going with the lowest bid and trusting that the provider knows what they are doing. This would be coined as the belief in poverty theology; a trap many frugal people fall into. Unfortunately, doing something cheap isn’t always doing something right. It’s a well-known fact that it is easier to build something new than to try to salvage or demo an existing audiovisual system.

In all my years of AV, I have seen a higher success rate when investing in people and not worrying as much about money. Set the profit you need to run a business, then stand tall as you hand over the bid or proposal. If the customer does his or her due diligence, they will find an audiovisual integrator that is highly spoken of and will spend money once. Though your job may cost a bit more than you may have thought, your actions will give the AV group confidence they are not being squeezed. This will allow them to work freely, giving you a quality system you can stand up to with confidence.

All that being said, this doesn’t mean a job can’t be cost-efficient. We always want to work with our clients to find a cost-efficient solution that gets their goals completed. “Quality over quantity,” an age-old debate where each one has its time and place. But I will settle it for AV; when you build a quality AV system using a reliable service provider, you will be happy with results that will stand the test of time and meet your needs – the first time. 

*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com

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