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Are your customers ready for a pro AV makeover?

March 19, 2018

Savvy solution providers will often track the age of technology they’ve installed for customers, so they’re alerted when it’s time to talk upgrades. Not only can pro AV technologies start to fail around the 5-year mark, but it’s also a certainty that the latest generation of products will include a bevy of enhancements desirable to customers.

At Ingram Micro, we’ve noticed many end users are in a sweet spot for upgrades. Early-generation LCDs and plasma displays are reaching end of life. Additionally, many 3- and 5-year warranties are also expiring. Now is the time to start marketing pro AV makeovers to your customers and prospects.

Refreshes create upsell opportunities

It’s important to recognize that pro AV makeovers often lead to projects more substantial than the solution being replaced. Tom Jones, technology consultant II, ProAV/Digital Signage, Ingram Micro, says that lower prices and technological improvements give customers more options. “Today, digital signage displays are bigger, brighter and have more features,” he says, adding that standard digital signage is often being replaced with impressive video walls. “On the UCC side of things, new features make it easier to connect people, regardless of their platform or location. Additionally, many customers adopt dual-purpose solutions used for both videoconferencing and digital signage.”

Focus on the value you provide

While the opportunity to sell AV makeovers is great, Jones says that focusing too much on technology can stall a sales conversation. “Many customers are doing their homework and already understand technology,” he explains. “You will be better off if you prove your value by offering insights into their business and can address their needs.” Jones goes on to say that talking about value is a way to get customers to buy into a project and justify the investment. Alternatively, discussing technology, speeds, and feeds will do little to excite the customer and get them focused on the wrong things—often price.

Invite key stakeholders to planning meetings

Finally, Jones says it’s crucial that your makeover meetings include the right stakeholders. Depending on the size of the project, these people can change. For example, Jones advises that small installs involve a tight circle of decision makers. “For a small digital signage project, I’d recommend you, the business owner and someone from the marketing department sit at the table,” he says.

For larger installs, Jones says you’ll want to have stakeholders from throughout the organization, including IT. “The IT department will have to be there because large installs often touch the network,” he says.

There’s the adage that it’s cheaper to upsell existing customers than it is to go out and find new customers. In the case of pro AV makeovers, both segments are prime for candidates for your solutions. If you’d like help getting started, contact Tom Jones today.