When the Rich Are Wary
Old Westbury, an exclusive community in Nassau County, just north of New York City, is a luxury-dealer’s dream market. Median annual household incomes in the “village” hover around $250,000, and many families enjoy a net worth of penta-millionaire proportions.
So when Nick Scudero, sales director for Big Apple Audio, recently got a call from a successful Old Westbury client who’d already put in a new home order for a multimedia room with a premium Runco projector and a CineCurve screen, he was by no means expecting the client to bail.
“Like so many of the super-rich who’ve lost money these days, he got cold feet because of the economy, and he almost pulled out,” said Scudero. “I had to talk him out of the doom and gloom. I said, ‘Look, we don’t have to 86 the whole damn idea...You only have the walls open once and your kids are still worth it. Let’s not forget that the hour is now. We can find middle ground.”
Scudero walked his luxury client through high-value options, “settling” on a Runco VX22 projector and hanging on to the Stewart Filmscreen product, until they were able to construct a peak-performance system with a pricetag the client felt comfortable with...in this case, $150,000.
Closing that sale required Scudero to employ a pitch tailor-made for a country in recession. He’s learned to listen carefully to his clients, many of whom have lost millions of dollars on paper since October, and, with characteristic humor, provide some levity.
“If you can speak their language, you can almost make fun of the economy,” said Scudero. “You can say, ‘Look, we’re all hemmorrhaging money, we all just got a hair cut, but the world’s not going away. You can roll over and die, or you can break out of this doom and gloom mentality.