The AV industry is steadily growing, and your value-added reseller (VAR) business stands to benefit greatly from projects such as video conferencing, collaboration, video walls and digital signage.
One of the keys to success is to develop a basic understanding of the pro AV market, as well as common customer challenges and opportunities that crop up again and again. With these factors in mind, you’re more likely to win a pro AV job and wind up with a successful installation.
When researching AV systems, remember the following:
First and foremost, why does your customer require an AV system? It’s important that you help them establish a well-defined goal for the technology; otherwise, it will be easy to get off track throughout the design and deployment process. By communicating about the purpose of the system up-front, you and your customer will know you’re on the same page—and working toward the same goal.
How quickly does your customer require their system to be up-and-running? If it’s a bit of a rush job, your technology options might be limited to what is available on short notice. Make things as easy as possible on yourself by keeping the timeline in mind from the start—and by communicating with your customer regularly about any unforeseen delays.
Your customer’s budget will also be extremely important in determining what type of AV system will be best for them. Be forewarned: Many customers’ expectations may not fit the reality of the AV industry. By communicating openly with each client about the technology, you can keep surprises to a minimum.
To find the best solution for every customer’s price point, stay up-to-date on the latest industry innovations and product releases. By familiarizing yourself with a wide range of manufacturers and devices, you’ll be able to design solutions for nearly every budget.
4. The “Trend Factor.”
New trends and innovations emerge in the AV industry every year. However, choose carefully. Just because a certain device or integration is hot in 2014 does not mean it will still be sought-after or even relevant in 2015. Your customer, in the meantime, will feel like they’ve wasted money on something they didn’t need.
For example, many in the industry agree that 4K digital displays will be quickly replaced with 8K. So, is 4K worth the investment now? Some would argue no. On the other hand, social media is quickly earning a starring role in event AV. Given the widespread growth and staying power of social media, this is one trend that will probably go the distance.
5. Customer Expertise.
Always be sure to find out how comfortable your customer is with a given device or piece of software. If a customer doesn’t feel comfortable with the technology you chose, they likely won’t use it to its full potential. Plus, they’ll be less likely to be happy with the overall AV system you designed.
Never forget the customer expertise factor. From the beginning of the project, be sure to carefully gauge you customer’s level of tech-savvy, and choose technology accordingly. (And, for those who are enthusiastic about learning, talk about their various training options with you or the product manufacturer.)
What other factors have you encountered that can influence an AV project? What would you say is the biggest factor that determines the success or failure of a deployment?