Stop Leaving $ on the Table: Ask This ONE Key Question on Every Project

Customers are often unaware of powered lifts and media concealment devices. What are four key triggers to identify in a home that should spur you to ask about hiding the electronics (and doubling your profit).


Even though beloved industry pioneer Bill Anderson died a year and half ago, his experience can still impart important lessons to other custom integrators. Anderson, who ran Genesis Audio & Video in Southern California for 33 years, used to recite one particular sales experience that is still Abraham Lincoln-like in its wisdom today.

As the story goes, Genesis A/V had drawn up a proposal for a male customer that included five flat panel TVs throughout the home in various rooms. But the client’s wife rejected the proposal because she did not want to see the TVs on the wall … period. The loss of the TVs was a significant financial blow to the revenue (and profit) of the project. What could be done?

It was only after that initial veto that Anderson asked the homeowners, “What if I can hide the TVs? Would you still want them?”

The answer from both the husband and wife was a resounding “Yes.” So, Genesis A/V ended up installing not just those five flat panels, but an additional two others, with each of the seven including either a powered lift or media concealment device. At the end of the project, Genesis ended up doubling its profit on that job based on selling and installing that high-margin peripheral equipment.

Anderson’s big lesson: Always ask clients if they want to hide their electronics. The average customer will never know that concealment opportunities exist–or that the equipment could work in their home or project—unless the integrator brings it to their attention. As an integrator, you're missing out on revenue if you don't simply ASK.

Immediate Street Cred; 4 Triggers to Look for

In addition to the important revenue and profit that motorized lifts from companies like Nexus 21 can bring to dealers, concealing TVs, projectors, small appliances and other electronics can position an integrator as a problem-solving, solution-oriented “hero” for their customers and the interior designer if there is one on the job.

Even though TVs are getting much slimmer, they are getting much larger. Drop-down lifts are an ideal  bedroom solution. 

Among the various types of lifts are pop-up, drop-down and flip-down TV lifts. Pop-ip lifts are the best option for concealing screens within furniture, while appliance lifts allow you to conceal other items like kitchen appliances, gun collections or liquor cabinets.

Many customers and designers may have no idea that lifts and media concealment devices are available to hide TVs in ceilings, in cabinets, in floors and on walls.  Indeed, most homeowners not only don’t know the option exists, but they likely may not even know how to describe it. Likewise, customers may not realize that lifts can be within their budget. Indeed, integrators have the opportunity to offer this unique solution even when their customers don’t know they need or want it. The opportunity allows an integrator to shine as the consultative expert.

Here are four triggers to spur integrators to ask the homeowner about powered lifts:

1.      Big Flat Panel TV – Even though TVs are getting slimmer, they are also getting much, much larger, taking up more space on the wall. The need for companion audio, such as soundbars that are attached to the bottom of the TV, may clutter the media display, giving yet another opportunity to suggest concealment in the form of pop-ip or drop-down units. 

2.      Projector on the Ceiling – Any projector, large or small, can use a lift. It is not just a peripheral device for massive 4K units. The unsightliness of a projector suspended from the ceiling, along with ceiling fans and other “ceiling acne” can disappear with a drop-down unit.

3.      Large Master Suite – The larger the master suite, the farther away the bed is from the wall, which makes it harder to view. Pop-up TV lift cabinets for the end of the bed solve that dilemma while retaining style and function.

4.      Expansive Multipurpose Room – Dedicated theater rooms are being replaced in homes with large multipurpose rooms that serve a dual purpose as both a media room and a party/entertainment space. With concealment solutions, electronics can be showcased openly on the walls when in use and hidden away while the space is serving another purpose. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.