In 2020, smart home technology continues to dominate. Each year at CES we look forward to the new devices designed to make homeowner’s lives “easier,” from biophilia to AV. While technology evolves, buying habits are also changing as customers increasingly study and learn about new products and technologies online instead of at their local retailers.
Today, dealers know they can’t just open the doors each day and expect a line of customers at the door. Dealers have to be responsive to consumer habits and changes, and adapt their sales and marketing strategy to take advantage of the growing market opportunities. The increase in wireless devices per household and demand for new technology is an opportunity for dealers to tap a new customer base — their existing clients. Social media, e-marketing, and more are important to take on, but re-targeting is an old fail-proof sales tactic that shouldn’t be left behind.
I estimate that about 90 percent of dealers in the custom integration industry are missing this opportunity, solely seeking ways to generate new leads. With so many new technologies entering the market, re-engaging with former customers can be a simpler sale for integrators, as opposed to working prospects through the lead-generation funnel. Existing customers are already sold on working with a professional integrator and have a relationship and trust for your company. Instead of waiting for them to see the newest speaker system, swap out their old flat panel to 4/8K, or need a networking upgrade, maintaining communication with past customers can keep your company top-of-mind and inspire new sales and upgrades.
Re-targeting customers can be easier than an ad campaign looking for new customers. Doing so can be as easy as a quick phone call telling them about new technologies they can add to their existing system to improve and update it, or a monthly or quarterly email or newsletter spotlighting new products to incite interest in upgrades. Even if that phone call doesn’t turn into a sale, it continues the relationship with the customer; when they’re ready for an upgrade, they’ll remember who to go to. By providing installation, troubleshooting, and remote monitoring services with a local touch, dealers can grow their customer base and sustain more repeat business.
Going back to the well and keeping customers engaged on emerging products and technologies helps to balance growth, and creates a steady revenue income on top of new business in 2020. Local distribution partners can help dealers accommodate an influx of new business, with new technologies, devices, and accessories, as well as training and support to suit any system. Whether a single-room project decides to upgrade to whole-home audio, or a client needs an overhaul on their networking equipment, or there’s an opportunity for a light commercial project, a convenient location helps dealers stock for anything at a moment’s notice. A good distributor will even consult on other areas of your business, such as designing the right kinds of customer communications.
Combined with a good sales strategy, dealers can maintain customer relationships, take advantage of repeat business, and ultimately encourage customers to keep walking through their doors. And, as homeowners start to plan for spring renovations and upgrades, there is no better time than now to get out that rolodex and give it a shot!
Since joining the PowerHouse Alliance in 2009 as executive director, Dennis Holzer leads its 12 distributor members in dealer communication and industry outreach. He represents an overseeing eye of the residential and commercial AV, security, IT, home entertainment, and consumer electronics industries. With over 30 years of experience, Holzer has done everything from road warrior salesman, to spending over 15 years as president and owner of Hamburg Brothers, an independent wholesale electronics/white goods distributor.
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