When a Demo Room Isn't An Option

With all the great new products coming out every day, don’t you wish you could give each and every client a preview of what it would be like for them to experience everything in their own homes? For those of you who have a showroom, you have a great opportunity to set up the home theater experience. But for those of you like myself, who do not, we have to get creative.
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With all the great new products coming out every day, don’t you wish you could give each and every client a preview of what it would be like for them to experience everything in their own homes? For those of you who have a showroom, you have a great opportunity to set up the home theater experience. But for those of you like myself, who do not, we have to get creative.

You have to utilize your resources. Clients that live close to my home, I invite to check out the impact of my system. In some cases, for larger jobs, I like to bring some product samples for them to hear and see but it’s hard for them to get the full effect when it isn’t set up where everything should be.

Travis Beckum, one of my clients, is looking to upgrade the system that I previously installed in his home. In our consultation, I was frantically trying to come up with a way to show him the full, upgraded version of what his system could sound and look like when I stumbled upon a unique solution to my lack of a showroom. I happen to work in a unique market — my location is driving distance to Crestron, Savant, AMX and URC facilities. I spoke with the team at URC and they agreed to allow me to bring Travis up to their facility. There, they had 3 different training rooms set up so that Travis could experience all the possibilities with the URC product for himself. 

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Todd Anthony Puma (left) with Travis Beckum (center).

This isn’t something that I (or URC for that matter) have ever really done, but the value in it was priceless. This was accommodated for a high profile client, but it can be done with any client as it turned out to be such an amazing opportunity. The client felt valued that both parties took time to set this up for him. The set up allowed for him to visualize himself using the different products in his own home, showing him the personal benefits of each piece. He could interact and ask them questions, building his education on the products which builds his confidence in his purchase, and with me as his installer as he can see for himself the great features that I could only tell him about.

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In any sales training, they will stress to you the importance of getting a customer into a fitting room in a retail store or a car salesman getting their customer to drive that car around the block. The customer needs to picture themselves owning this product. They need to see it as part of their everyday lives. Once their mindset has entered that phase, they just can’t live without it. That is when the sale is made.

With installations, it can be more difficult, especially when you don’t have a showroom to bring your client to engulf them in the experience. When we don’t have the means to give our client the full home theater experience, we must come up with innovative ways to get them to be able to see the system in their own home. Bring what you can to them or show off what you have. Reach out to your sales reps and nearby product facilities. The sale is just as important to them as it is to you, as we are the frontline selling the product. Get them sitting in a living room with surround sound, big screen TV and a remote that can function with everything they have in their home. The buy-in is key... wouldn’t you be more tempted to drive home with a shiny black Porsche if you were already sitting in it?

Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City. 

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