“Are you taking the path of least resistance or offering the correct solution to your clients?”

Over the course of my 25+-year-career in the consumer electronics industry I have had the opportunity and pleasure to meet with professional integrators all over the world. Often, while meeting with these professionals, I would hear similar objections across the board:

  • “Oh, I could never sell something that expensive to my clients!”
  • “None of my clients would ever spend that much on a {insert distributed audio, remote control, high resolution audio server, etc…}”
  • “We can’t sell remote controls here.”
  • “You don’t understand what it is like here, in this market…” (This one comes despite the fact that I have travelled extensively in the territory).

I would often wonder how someone could say that they would never be able to sell a particular product (be it a hi-res audio server, for instance) when they don’t know who their next client will be. What if P!nk walked into their showroom tomorrow and wanted some killer tunes in her new house? Are you saying that she would never invest money in a High-Resolution Audio Server? I would argue (strongly) that this is a very close-minded and foolish approach to system design and, frankly, business strategy.

As professionals, we should be prepared to educate our clients on the technology we sell and guide them through the decision making process; ensuring that they will actually use and enjoy the system we ultimately design and install for them for many years to come in the future. The goal should be to design a system that will be used conveniently and effortlessly, every day, by all members of the family! Part of this process may include dealing with some objections from them along the way; however, I can assure you that dealing with a few objections during the initial system design and consultation process is far better than dealing with a frustrated client at the end of the project. I am not stranger to either encounter, having met with thousands of consumers over my 20-year-career as an integrator.

So, what are some methods to effectively deal with these objections? I would suggest the following:

DON’T sell with your own wallet.

If you are like the example used above; eliminating the solution from consideration before you even meet your next client: Stop! Just because you, maybe, can’t justify the investment in this cool technology with your budget does not mean that it’s not appropriate for your perspective client.

DON’T focus on the price of the box

Instead, focus on the solution you are offering to your client. Remember that this client is making an investment in a system that will be an integral part of their home for many years to come. If you amortise the investment they are making in the speakers, control device, source components, etc… over the years and hours of enjoyment that it/they will provide it is much easier to appreciate the value you are offering.

DO remember that you are the professional.

These consumers came to you for a reason. Take pride in your experience and your profession. You have invested years, and in some cases decades, into your profession and this should be an instrumental part of your presentation; establishing your credibility as an expert in your field.

Finally, remember that it is OK to respectfully disagree with your clients and enlighten them on why you think they should take a different path. The client will soon forget any demands they made in the early stages of the process, but they will certainly remember that you sold them the system. If they are dissatisfied with the final results and operation of the system, you will be held 100% accountable. For this reason alone it is critical to take a leadership role in the system design process.

Most consumers, in my experience, enjoy an opportunity to learn about technology and they are interested in hearing about options that will improve the user experience for them. Further, most integrators I know rely heavily on referrals from their satisfied clients. Ensuring customer satisfaction with a system starts with the very first meeting. Once you have established credibility as an expert in your profession, the prospective client will be more open to hear your suggestions and take your advice.

Happy selling!