Today we took a new client to the Crestron Showroom here in New York City. The project is quite small — just shading, a couple of TVs, and three zones of audio, all controlled with a PYNG hub. This meeting was to be an opportunity to see shade materials and understand the different options in terms of material openness. Showroom manager Bryan Celli and Sapphire Marketing’s Ken Vanemon met us there and gave a great overview of the shading line. Being in the showroom with company reps who know the line inside and out, even better than I do, is a huge benefit. They were selling the client, and I was acting as the client’s advisor, creating rapport and a very comfortable dynamic.
Touchpanels on display at Crestron's NYC showroom
We then went into a different room to look at some keypad and lighting control options. I wanted to show the client how we would be controlling the shades and what the interaction would be like. Since we would be using keypads that would also control lighting, it evolved into a lighting control discussion as well. In initial consultations with the client, on the construction site, they were not interested in lighting control. Seeing it in action in the showroom, however, made a big difference. Our client was very engaged and really liked what he saw about lighting control. In fact we likely will now sell a full lighting control package in addition to the shades and AV already being installed.
I did make one mistake, though. While looking at lighting controls, we also saw a thermostat. When the client mentioned he would only be controlling AC with the thermostat because the apartment has radiator heat (a common situation in NYC apartments), I immediately dismissed the thermostat. Later the client revisited the topic and mentioned that he rarely uses the heat, but would love to be able to turn his AC on remotely when coming home from work or back from a weekend at the beach. I talked myself out of the sale, and then the client talked me back into it. It reminded me of one of my key sales techniques that I had ignored: always just mention a product and what it does and let the client dictate where you take it. If they seem interested, you can sell a little bit more. If they pooh-pooh it, then move on.
Then something happened that I have never seen happen before. The client walked up to the racks of equipment and asked, with excitement in his voice, “Are we going to have one of these?” We really hadn’t planned on a rack, as there wasn’t going to be much equipment in the closet, and the designer was pretty adamant about putting the equipment up high in a closet and not taking up precious floor or eye-level closet space (again, NYC apartments!). But he was so excited about the rack and all of the equipment in it that we may be upgrading not just to a rack, but to better amps and speakers as we were able to give him a demo of the surround sound system in the showroom.
This project may go from a PYNG-only system to a full “Crestron classic” system with PYNG as the base to simplify configuration and set-up, with a processor added in to manage video control, all because of a one-hour meeting in a showroom. It just reinforced my belief that even dealers without a dedicated showroom can leverage the resources at their disposal with manufacturers or other partners and increase sales and client satisfaction.