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Are We Getting Lazy at Selling?

A/V rep tries to buy a car locally but the salespeople weren't really selling. Is that happening in our industry?


Julie Jacobson · February 16, 2011

Yesterday I went to a bi-monthly meeting of local CE Pros in the Twin Cities, chauffeured by Kevin Klotzbach of the rep firm Frontline Sales and Marketing.

During the long drive to the Minnetonka offices of CS Media, Kevin told me about the Audi he was driving, and why he flew to Dallas to pick it up.

Seems no one in the Twin Cities really wanted to sell him one.

Kevin visited several local dealerships, did a lot of test drives on various vehicles including non-Audi models, and asked a lot of questions.

He’s one of those guys that really likes the extra features on a car, especially since he spends most of his time on the road.

But the car salespeople didn’t really care about those lucrative add-ons.

“I asked for features like seat memory and they say, ‘Whaddya need that for?’” Kevin says. “It’s like they’ve given up trying.”

Once he decided on the exact model and upgrades he wanted, Kevin was ready to write a check. So he goes to the Audi dealer but the specific car would not be on the lot until the next day.

“Why don’t you come back tomorrow,” the dealer told Kevin.

Kevin tells me, “I had a check in my hand. I was ready to buy. All we needed was to sit down and negotiate.”

Annoyed by a lack of salesmanship and service, Kevin never went back. Instead, he hit the Internet, found a great deal on a better car in Dallas, flew there the next day, and drove the car home.

During our CE Pro meeting, I spoke about an upcoming trip I’m taking to Vivint (formerly APX), a successful security dealer that sells most of its products during the summer using a team of well-trained young salespeople going door-to-door.

I’ll be attending one of the training sessions in March.

Now that is selling. Maybe it’s not your kind of selling, but it does prove that aggressive, highly trained youngens can sell a lot of stuff.

Are you giving up on selling or are you really serious about it?



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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