Even as pro AV and digital signage technology continue to take hold both in North America and globally, your customers likely need quite a bit of guidance in order to understand these systems and how they can benefit their unique environment. Of course, that’s why they partner with a value-added reseller in the first place: in order to gain expert advice on new and emerging technologies.
Even if you’re newer to the pro AV industry, there are several ways you can quickly get up to speed. For starters, consider these five ways to establish yourself as a pro AV expert:
1. Learn the technology inside and out.
This may go without saying, but the No. 1 way to establish yourself as an expert is to become your area’s go-to source for knowledge about pro AV technology. Take the time to fully understand each device and system that you sell, how it works with other technology, and best practices for installation.
When possible, take advantage of any technology training offered by your vendor partners or team up with a distributor for additional guidance on technology choices, system design, and more.
2. Understand your market’s unique challenges and opportunities.
Whether you operate in the public sector or in the healthcare, retail, or hospitality vertical—or even dabble in several areas—it is vital that you have your finger on the pulse of the unique challenges and opportunities facing your market. Do some digging and find the latest security-related news in that market. Create a Google Alert so that you immediately hear about any security problems happening within your vertical.
In the meantime, be sure to tour the types of facilities you’ll be working with, even if they are not a customer, in order to get an idea of their day-to-day operations. In addition, it can be helpful to become involved in that vertical’s industry events and subscribe to their trade publications in order to really immerse yourself in that world.
3. Be proactive.
Some of your customers may come to you with an idea of what they need. Even if they know exactly what systems they want installed, resist the urge to sit back and accept their plan as-is. They’ve hired you as the pro AV expert, not simply the installer; prove your worth by improving upon their ideas and recommending ways to streamline the design. You’ll earn bonus points if you find out a way to save them money in the process.
4. Know the industry.
One of the best ways to demonstrate that you are a pro AV expert is to stay up to date on the latest trends and innovations that are shaping the overall industry. Keep yourself abreast of the latest and greatest installation techniques and case studies in your vertical so you can really wow your customers.
Attending industry tradeshows and conventions is one way to truly familiarize yourself with the industry. It’s also helpful to subscribe to a few trade publications, such as Digital Signage Today, and join industry organizations like InfoComm International.
5. Think big picture.
You’re more likely to gain long-term, committed customers if you have a big-picture attitude with each installation. Beyond the initial design and install, think about how each project might grow or evolve in the future, either as your customer’s needs change or as new technology emerges. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable source for ongoing support and ideas and you’re more likely to create a strong, stable customer base that relies on you both now and into the future.
What are some of the techniques you use in order to establish yourself as a pro AV expert?