It occurs to me to much as I travel and meet dealers and salespeople, how the world has changed. When I started in the audio industry we didn’t have computers, cell phones, and all the many different devices to learn and play with. Back then a pair of speakers, a receiver with input selection and volume control, and a turntable was considered high tech. Pretty easy to set up, just drop the tonearm on the record and turn the volume up. Obviously today the world is vastly different with a dizzying array of technical devices to learn, to play with, and to try to enjoy.
I point this out because clearly the biggest single missing element in spreading and selling the joy and experience of high performance audio is passion. Passion from the salespeople charged with this duty. Passion is the key element in my opinion to sharing the incredible fun and satisfaction of hearing music played back with incredible realism. There is no doubt that people automatically connect emotionally with music to greater degrees as the quality gets better.
So what’s missing ? Why are salespeople of today short selling customers both in dollars, and in the enriching experience of high end audio.
Honestly there are multiple reasons, but far and away the #1 reason is they just haven’t taken the time to discover the experience themselves. Everyone thinks they are so busy. Busy taking care of people. Busy learning technology, busy grumbling when is the economy going to turn around. It’s like we are becoming so obsessed with being busy, we don’t take the time to slow down, and find the enjoyment in what we do, selling high end audio to people that will enrich their lives for years to come. I mean we are selling music, not insurance.
But I can’t tell you how many times I have asked salespeople how this new amp sounds, how are those new electrostatic speakers, what’s the coolest subwoofer you sell, what’s new and exciting? I usually get back some tepid answer like I haven’t really listened to them yet, or ask Bob I think he has listened to them.
It’s like twice a year I get an answer back like, this new streaming audio just rocks, we like the blah, blah, blah, let me show you, want to hear it? I mean, a little passion please?
Obviously when a customer gets a lukewarm or tepid demo or explanation, they feel that. How do those $4,000 speakers sound compared to these $2,000? To effectively explain and show the different, you need to live the difference to the point your passionate about what the extra $2,000 spent on speakers gets you. I would say 8 out of 10 dealers I visit, the sales staff spends more time behind the counter all day complaining they don’t have enough customers, than they do learning the equipment they sell and how to best enjoy it, match it, and show it. It would be like going to work in a Pinto, selling Chevy’s, and the closest you ever get to the Corvette is standing by the side of it looking at the sales sticker on the window.
If your going to sell high end cars like a Corvette, you need to drive it, shift it, corner it, to appreciate it. The thrill of whipping around in a Corvette is pretty righteous and just ignites passion inside of one when experienced.
High performance audio is the same thing, with hands on, spending time, playing music and searching for the best just fills people with passionate experiences. And it is that passion that a customer can feel when it’s genuine and comes from genuine knowledge and command of audio.
Passion is synonymous with emotion. Music is an emotional experience. All of us as salespeople that work for shops and manufacturers that are charged with saving the world from bad sound, need to take the time to enjoy the experience, over and over and over so we can share that with others. Light the passion inside of us, and there is no limit to how we can share that with others.
Play it and they will come.