The global pro AV industry is expected to total $114 billion by 2016—evidence that a growing number of businesses are seeing the incredible potential of commercial AV systems. However, for value-added resellers (VARs) that are in the trenches of selling pro AV technology, sometimes it can be challenging to effectively demonstrate the value of AV devices to your customers.
Luckily, there is plenty of value inherent in today’s pro AV technology; it’s just a matter of framing the conversation in a way that will prove that value to your customers. Here are a few tips to get started:
1. Clearly connect the technology to your customer’s business goal.
Be sure to share each of the ways in which a given AV system will help the customer reach his or her goals. Start by getting a thorough understanding of your customer’s business and his or her goals for a new AV system. This might be to increase sales, improve the shopper experience, maximize brand recognition, enhance teleconferences, or some combination of all of these.
It may be helpful to remember the “S.M.A.R.T. Objectives” format, which will guide your technology selection process to help you ensure that each recommended device meets the customer’s goal. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the following criteria: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
- Specific – The end goal is a precise objective, such as “increase sales.”
- Measurable – The end goal can be measured (e.g., “increase sales by 10 percent”).
- Achievable – Can the goal actually be reached?
- Realistic – Is the goal worthwhile for the company?
- Timely – Is now the right time to aim for this kind of goal, or are there other factors that might prevent success?
With these objectives in mind, you can more effectively connect AV technology to your customer’s goals—now and in the future.
2. Provide a strong case for return on investment (ROI).
For many of your pro AV customers, “value” will be all about the bottom line. How is a new AV solution going to provide a strong ROI? To truly demonstrate the benefits of the technology, be prepared to provide a thorough, compelling ROI case.
Learn a bit more about your customer’s business, how the business makes money, and how AV technology might improve the bottom line, either by boosting profits or saving on costs. For example, a new digital signage network might improve brand recognition, promote price cuts, and increase sales. Or a meeting room with video conferencing capabilities and a digital whiteboard might help a global company cut down on its corporate travel budget. Even if the ROI comes in less obvious ways—such as improved customer experience or more effective customer service—be sure to highlight the benefits to your customer.
3. Look to the future.
With pro AV technology growing at such an impressive rate, it’s clear that these systems will play a key role in businesses of all kinds for years to come. Be sure to explain to your customer that these types of AV systems—including digital signage, video walls, meeting rooms, and video conferencing systems—are poised to play an even greater role in private businesses, government agencies, and other organizations as each year passes. Now is an ideal time to implement AV technology into your customer’s business and then gradually grow the customer’s technology network over time as needs change.
What other tactics would you recommend for new VARs that are struggling to best highlight the value of pro AV technology? What devices or systems are the easiest for you to sell?