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Custom Comfort

Selling takes confidence, knowledge, and listening. And it takes putting your customers at ease by showing them that you are completely interested in addressing their needs and concerns. Of course, you want to be sure you are using reliable products that provide a good customer experience and are profitable for you, but first you must get your customer into a good place about the time you will spend together and the money that they will pay you.

At ease sounds good, right? As with so many things, it is easier said than done. So how do you ensure that at ease begins early in the process of working with your customer? Your company culture and selling style is key. The impression you make on them is long lasting right from the first moment they become aware of you. Say they were referred to you. Thats good because it shows that someone else likes doing business with you. Right there is a great opportunity for you to begin the friendly interview process. You know, get to know your customer.

What did they like about their friends system? Was it the theater? Was it how stealth the system was? Was it how simple it operated? These are all leading questions that will give you insight into what to recommend for them. Now you can begin to bond with them over elements of whatever it was that they dug about their friends system.

Get into the thought process that goes into creating a home theater, a stealth system, or a remarkably simple system. This is fun stuff to talk about with your customer. Theyll get into your head on what you like to do for customers and new ideas will flow, selling will take off, and the customer will be chill with you because they are already having a great experience. If you do this right, money should not be a big topic of discussion yet.

One of the most challenging areas for customers is the technology itself. Will it be quickly outdated? Will I be able to learn it? Will my family be able to use it if I am not at home? I recommend that if the technology issue comes up that you find out as much as you can about what home entertainment products they have been using up until this time. This will be a level-setting process for you.

For instance, if they are frequently and successfully recording television shows on their digital set-top box and have their iPod fully loaded and organized in multiple libraries, you know you have someone willing to try something new and who will be ready to learn more. These are good customers to find. They love fun stuff and spend money.

If your customer has a system that is infrequently used and is in a somewhat non-operational state, you have a customer who needs something as plug and play as possible. They have no inclination to learn more than the basics and your job is to sell them awesome products that sound and look great with a nearly foolproof, one-layer system. Dont oversell these people. You want them to come back to you when they are ready to go to the next level. If you oversell these people, then they are gone for life.

When a customer is meeting with you, almost always, they are jazzed to learn about something new from you. After all, you are the expert who knows everything about this wild stuff that we call custom. Your customer gets excited when you ring their bell about a cool new capability or product. By now you should have some idea about their interests, so come up with something new to sell to them. Dont overdo it, but do not miss the opportunity to get them into something that they havent thought about before. This can also become their point of personalization for their system versus their friend who made the referral. Everyone likes to one-up their buds when it comes to home, wheels, and their homes fun system.

I once visited a dealer whose portfolio of work was laid out with an interesting twist. It started out with some cool rooms, some shots of nicely dressed racks, a killer pool, barbeque, and an outdoor television. But then it got really good. Previous work was arranged by the advanced second systems installed for first-time and repeat customers. He also had a section for my first home theater which showcased clients who never had a system installed before. For newer customers this approach best illustrated how their first system could be lots of fun and not a ton of money. What really struck me was the last section of the portfolio, which showed the growth of customers from a first system, a second system, and a third system right up to complete home integration.

The key thing here is that the dealer used the portfolio to tell a story to prospective clients. This CI dealer has a proven track record of designing and selling systems to a range of customers, many of who come back for more. Imagine that: building a great referral business through quality work and customer satisfaction. At ease!