Keep your potential clients engaged by focusing on the end result of what a great system can deliver
By Ekin Binal, Director, Product Management, AV Solutions
This article originally appeared in TWICE magazine.
Selling an audio experience can be tricky. One big challenge: How do you give the client all the info they need without overwhelming them?
You'll note we led the article with the word “experience” — and that's the ticket. By focusing on the overall experience — and always keeping that concept, that final vision in the forefront during your conversations — you can break down the discovery process into its necessary component parts while keeping the homeowner engaged.
Starting at the Source
The way we consume audio content has changed. As streaming services and their different features become available, providing a client with the easiest possible way to curate and access their favorite music is a win. Offering amplifiers that have streaming services built in with media player access available for every zone of a distributed audio system is an elegant solution — one that Crestron's embraced with our DM NAX™ Audio-over-IP products. For example: Your clients are undoubtedly very familiar with their mobile devices, and with AirPlay® 2 software support on their DM NAX system, they can extend that user-friendly experience to the high-end audio solution built into their homes. Couple that with the right DSP — and Crestron's Certified Audio Profiles — and dealers can give their clients maximum return on every system they purchase.
Some clients will bring physical media to the table, too, so be prepared to offer options that can help them digitize those collections, if they wish. Does the client have a CD collection gathering dust? A variety of services, including iTunes® software, Matches®, Roon®, softwareand Spotify® software, all support ways to bring physical media into the digital age. From vinyl to TIDAL® streaming, being well-versed in every possible format will help you close the sale — you'll become something of a “content concierge” for the client as you help them navigate the best means to get the sound from source to listener.
Two Lines of Speakers
Of course, delivering sound to the ear is the biggest part of the equation, and for many clients — those who have no need for “statement speakers” and exposed-tube high-performance amps — unobtrusive solutions work best. When those solutions include “better/best” options, that's another selling point.
Crestron partnered with Origin Acoustics to create two lines of speakers, dubbed Reference and Ultimate. Each line includes a variety of in-ceiling, in-wall, surface-mount, and outdoor options to handle any installation or application. By creating two lines of speakers, the customer has two price points to choose from — and that's intentional: It's a way to eliminate the “paradox of choice,” which dictates that the more versions of a product exist, the tougher it becomes for a consumer to sort through all the alternatives.
Should the client want to upgrade that experience, though, that option's on the table, too — the Reference and Ultimate speakers are examples of two lines that share the same opening dimensions, meaning that a product swap requires minimal effort and no drywall work. (Additionally, it's so easy to change the speakers that it can be done in mere seconds in your showroom for an “A/B” comparison.)
What's in a Zone?
In recent years, many of your clients have likely turned outdoor spaces into entertainment zones. If it's time for an upgrade, a key selling point here is that retrofitting these spaces is much, much easier than swapping out indoor audio components. Crestron's newest outdoor speakers (especially the Ultimate OD6T) take cutting-edge, high-end audio tech like ribbon tweeters and bring that to outdoor spaces for a truly immersive experience. It's a way to keep audio quality consistent across every zone and fits into Crestron's philosophy of bringing your customers “entertainment everywhere.”
Now couple all the expertise we've covered above with control and automation, and you're all set. Just make sure you're anticipating the right questions: How easy is it to change sources, change zones, change settings if need be? Is it reliable? Can I use my voice — and will that understand my commands? Can the kids control this easily in their rooms? Can I control what they're listening to? The more of these kinds of questions you can anticipate before the discovery process even begins, the smarter you'll look.
Beyond knowing those answers, walking into a meeting with a checklist of questions of your own is an optimum strategy — asking the client who's listening, what they're listening to, and when they're listening shows the client you're truly invested in providing the perfect custom audio solution for that family.