For value-added resellers (VARs), pro AV technology represents the opportunity for big business. Consider the fact that a single video conferencing platform can run tens of thousands of dollars, and you’ll see that attracting new customers and selling them on pro AV technology is an important task.
If you’re new to the pro AV industry, getting the hang of selling the technology might seem a bit daunting. Luckily, pro AV is a lot like many of the other systems you’ve already worked with, and selling the technology is really just about identifying and fulfilling a need.
When selling pro AV systems, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Hone in on the right customers.
Focus your time and effort on customers who are primed for your services. Seek out potential customers who have already demonstrated their interest in pro AV technology, whether it’s through attending a tradeshow, requesting information or other means.
Keep budgets in mind at all times; the financial factor will always dictate how far a customer can go at any given time. But make it clear that you can help them build out their system over time, as budget allows.
2. Learn about their business.
Ask the client questions about their business, their customers and how employees interact with technology on a day-to-day basis. Do some research on your customer’s website and in the news media to understand who they are and where they’re headed. This will help you to see how they will use pro AV and how it might benefit their business.
3. Get some face time in.
Take the time to visit your customer’s business multiple times. Show that you’re interested and invested in learning about their needs. By dedicating just a little face time at the start of each project, you’re more likely secure a customer for life.
4. Show the value of pro AV.
Many of your potential customers will be relatively unfamiliar with pro AV technology and the many ways in which it could benefit their business. Will a pro AV system help improve their customer service, increase collaboration, maximize advertising impact, etc.? Walk each customer through the potential of a new pro AV platform; they might be surprised to learn how impactful the technology can be.
When possible, be specific. If a video conferencing system could help save your customer money on travel, do your best to show them some hard numbers. Nothing seals the deal like demonstrating a strong ROI.
5. Design a solution that truly fits their needs.
No two customers are exactly the same, so be prepared to provide customized designs when necessary. By fully understanding the customer’s challenges, goals, budget and facility, you can ensure that the products you specify meet their needs—now and into the future.
6. Be prepared and knowledgeable.
Here’s where your industry and product knowledge come in handy. You want to establish yourself to each customer as a pro AV expert. It’s your job to sell them on the idea of pro AV technology, and your presentation should be based on your previous project experience, industry research and technical knowledge.
If you’re just starting out, consider partnering with a technology distributor to help familiarize yourself with the industry and guide you on your product choices. When you’re backed by a leading distributor, you have the benefit of their vendor affiliations and industry connections, which can help make all the difference, especially for your first several jobs.
7. Plan for the future.
Think long-term with each of your potential customers. Offer ongoing support and service, and show them how they can grow their pro AV system over time as their needs change.
Remember, your goal is to become the customer’s VAR for life—not just for the current project. Keep an eye on the future, and be sure to provide a high level of customer service to ensure that the client sticks with you for years to come.
What additional tips would you add to this list? What are some of your top strategies for securing a new customer?