John Stiernberg

John Stiernberg
Business Chops Tip #142: How Well Do You Demonstrate Systems?

An industry truism says, "The demo makes the sale." That¹s easier said than done in an integrated systems context. Dealers integrate multiple sub-systems (e.g. audio vs. video), components, and brands. Whether residential or commercial, it¹s the whole-building systems that are the trickiest to demo.

Business Chops Tip #134: Do Your Manufacturer Suppliers "Get It"?

For custom retailers, "the system" is the product. Individual brands of gear, while important, play supporting roles to the "brand" of the systems provider. If an individual component of the system fails, it¹s the dealer that the customer goes to first for "making good on it."

Business Chops Tip #132: What¹s On Your Dashboard?

It's true that what gets measured gets done. Being able to quantify goals and objectives is a step toward making them realistic and achievable.  Good custom retailers have financial metrics and goals. 

Business Chops Tip #126: Does the Stock Market Help or Hurt Sales?

The stock market has ticked upward recently- a good thing for investors and stockbrokers. The news media report seemingly every fluctuation, with greater emphasis on downward movement than upward. Someone sneezes in the Eurozone and share values "plummet."

Business Chops Tip #122: Do You Understand Your Competition?

The two basic categories of competition are 1) direct and 2) indirect.Direct competitors are selling similar types of products to your same customers. Indirect competition goes after the same target customers' attention ("mindshare") and money.

Business Chops Tip #121: Do You Understand Your Customers?

Your customers have specific needs and expectations.  They evaluate your performance based their own unique criteria.  As you build customer relationships, you develop deeper understanding of what their buying criteria are (why they buy from you vs. competitors). 

Business Chops Tip #120: New Year, New Perspective:Take An Inventory of Your Assets

Many retailers take inventory at year¹s end.  Why not take inventory of your strategic assets as well?  A well known planning tool is the SWOT approach. An assessment of your firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats helps illuminate its strategic profile. A SWOT brainstorming session uncovers critical insights when done as a team. 

Business Chops Tip #119: Content Explosion:  Distraction or Driver?

Systems integrators focused on the digital signage market rally around the maxim that content is king.  But the explosion of content through proliferating media delivery choices also fuels demand for ubiquitous AV systems across all commercial and residential markets. Increasingly, media selection is a form of personal expression, and content travels with the individual "inside, outside, and at your side."

Business Chops Tip #117: How Well Do You Know Your Customers?

As your firm sends holiday greetings to thank customers for their business, ask yourself, "How well do we really know them?" Certainly your staff has varying degrees of contact and client relationships on an individual basis, but a big part of knowing your market (read "target customers") requires clear understanding of their commonalities.