Integrated You: Sell A High-Performance Emotional Experience
Great salespeople sell the thrill of
the ride instead of the car.
Advertising always sells the sizzle, not the steak. Did you know that studies have been done to chart the emotional and physical responses that the roar of a Ferrari has on women?
Many of us in this industry are tech heads. We admit it. We love the gear, go to the shows, study the specs and research the fine details in a pile of user guides. We read magazines like this one, track the latest firmware releases and spend lots of time on training and tech support calls to absorb the constant flow of the endless technical details we need to
do our jobs.
Why is selling a great experience so important? Well, consider this: Our clients can buy regular gear anywhere. Lots of places sell home audio video gear. How about Best Buy, Target or tons of websites like Amazon or PriceGrabber.com? We all know that custom installers cannot compete with any of these giant retailers when it comes to selling gear. Our reason for being is to provide our clients with a sales and installation experience that is the total opposite of those other guys.
Nowadays, listeners have grown accustomed to listening to low-fidelity music through $3 earbuds and cheap, boring in-wall speakers. When I hear background music in a grocery store or mall, the low sound quality strips all of the emotion out of the music. That has all the thrill of flooring the gas pedal in an old VW bug. Please don’t try to sell me that kind of experience.
The all-important first step of selling the experience must begin with creating a very high fidelity system design that give your customers a truly emotional response.
For home systems, there are really two
measures we can use to gauge what high performance is.
Home Theater systems: Too many installers think a home theater should be a flat screen TV with a $300 sound bar like Target and Best Buy sell. Home theater systems must be designed to recreate the sound and vision found in the finest commercial movie theaters. George Lucas’s Stag Theater at Skywalker ranch has been the benchmark to reference. Movie theater installations use 4k projectors, a screen, large LCR cabinet speakers with powerful professional
amplifiers, subwoofers and bidirectional
That is what you want to bring to the home. The full treatment must include theater seating, lighting, acoustic treatment, curtains and the popcorn. When you put the whole package together, it becomes an immersive experience (as the director intended) in which viewers become lost in the magic of the film. If you sell this type of system, you can charge $100k and up and leave the big box stores in the dust.
Home audio systems: Music systems have a different measure of excellence. Since I started out as a recording studio engineer, I have had the privilege of visiting some of the finest recording studios in the world. When a band is finished recording and mixing their album, they send it to a mastering studio to add the final tweaks to levels and equalization, and to fine tune the subtle details before the record is released. These mastering engineers have the best ears in the business and also the most reliable reference speakers. Those speakers are the measure of a home music system. The band trusts that if the record sounds right on the speakers in the mastering studio, the music will sound right on everything from iPods to car radios to speakers that cost $100k per pair.
When it comes to delivering a high-performance listening experience, the choice of speakers is the most important decision of all. Listening to great speakers in the right room should be a truly emotional experience.
Some high-end speakers sound wonderful when you listen to a cello, but are really lifeless when you crank them up for rock and roll. Few speakers do an excellent job of reproducing a wide range of musical genres. Like a photographer needs eyes to see, a music system designer must have great ears to hear.
When you design a music system, don’t think like a techie hooking up wire. Think like an artist painting emotional colors onto a canvas. It really becomes an artistic endeavor to integrate a wonderful pair of speakers into the home décor. When you pay the price to craft a solution for your client with the very best speakers and equipment, it will enrich their lives and enrich your bank balance.•