As most value-added resellers (VARs) know, a diverse product offering is one of the keys to success. If you’re selling in the dynamic pro AV market, you can rest assured that your technology line-up includes systems that an incredible number of end users want—in a wide range of verticals.
However, pro AV is becoming more and more competitive every year. It’s important for you to approach each sales opportunity with a strong understanding of the market and of your customers’ needs. When looking to close your next deal, keep these five selling tactics in mind:
1. Demonstrate the value of Pro AV
One of the great things about pro AV technology is that it can benefit customers in so many different verticals. Familiarize yourself with the range of benefits and return on investment (ROI) opportunities for users in each market, including retail, corporate, healthcare, hospitality and education.
Of course, calculating ROI will be slightly different for each customer and will depend on their individual goals. Are they looking to increase sales or improve their brand’s image? Or maybe they’re installing pro AV technology to foster better collaboration among departments or cut down on travel budgets.
Depending on that ultimate goal, ROI might be very clear-cut or a little murky. For those customers whose ROI will be harder to quantify, focus instead on the more long-term benefits that they’ll see, such as improved customer service, a higher level of efficiency or enhanced brand awareness.
2. Talk long-term
Make sure your prospective customers know that you expect to be around for a while, providing support, service and even training when needed. With so many VARs beginning to offer pro AV services, you want to convey that your business is one of the ones that will stick.
While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to discuss the future of their pro AV system. What additional solutions might they need in five or 10 years? Are they familiar with new pro AV systems, such as lampless projectors and interactive whiteboards? From the beginning of your relationship with each customer, be sure to establish yourself as their go-to expert for all things pro AV.
3. Know your products
Pro AV is evolving rapidly, and new products are being introduced all the time. Although it can be challenging to keep up with the latest innovations and products, a firm understanding of pro AV systems and capabilities is a must-have to close your sales opportunities.
If you’re relatively new to the pro AV space, consider partnering with a technology distributor to help get up to speed on this dynamic market. Also, subscribe to industry publications, blogs and newsletters, and join any trade organizations that cover commercial AV, such as InfoComm International, to stay in-the-know.
4. Tailor your pitch to the IT crowd
As pro AV becomes increasingly integrated with IT, you may find yourself pitching more projects to IT managers and even CIOs. Prepare yourself for these IT-centric meetings by becoming familiar with common IT systems, from switching and networking to cable infrastructure.
Although IT systems might be a new frontier for your business, the current trend of AV-IT convergence poses a unique opportunity for you to get out ahead of the competition. By familiarizing yourself with AV/IT infrastructure and design now, you’ll help close more deals in the future.
5. Automate time-consuming sales/marketing processes
Constantly working to juggle new prospects and existing customers, all at different stages of the sales process, can become time-consuming. By automating certain sales and marketing tasks, you’ll free up more time to focus on bringing in new customers. There are plenty of “sales enablement” software platforms available that automatically perform a variety of processes, including:
- Sending emails and text messages to prospects, based on where they are in the sales cycle
- Sending follow-up emails to customers after their installation is complete
- Reminding you to reach out to prospects and customers on specific dates
What other pro AV selling tactics help you and your coworkers to close deals? What tips or resources would you recommend for VARs who are new to the pro AV space and need some additional sales help?