Do High-End Audio Dealers Know How to Sell?

AR-sell2222.jpgA friend of mine recently told me about a lady who is an audiophile. This lady apparently went into a dealer and was in a demo room looking at some of the nicer, more expensive equipment. After quite a while, a salesman finally came up to her and politely suggested that she might prefer a room with some of the cheaper gear. The lady thanked the salesman and told him she needed to leave. She walked out into the parking lot, got into her Aston Martin and drove away. Seems she was a highly successful businesswoman. The salesman never even knew.

Think he made an error in judgment?

As I have traveled in various parts of the country, I have tried to leave time to visit a high end store if one is close by. I have seen a variety of sales abilities ranging from poor to excellent. Mostly, they seem to be of several different types.

Most common is the expert. This is the person whose knowledge is so vast that he constantly talks down to you. He "tells" you what you need. He never asks what you want. He rarely ever looks you in the eye and interrupts you constantly.

Then there is the person who no matter what you like, as long as it is different from his brands, will tell you that your choice is a bad one. You need to buy "this." The "this" is always something he sells. I once had a dealer salesman tell me that every component I own is junk. Which is hardly the case. The only one he liked was the turntable that he also sold. Go figure.

Another one is the person who no matter what you say or do will always try to steer you into the most expensive or the least expensive component in the store. Just like with the lady in the example. Never mind what you really want.

AR-sell11111.jpgNaturally, there are very qualified and highly competent sale people as well. I was in a dealer in the mid west recently that took the time to ask me a lot of questions. Like what was I looking for. What my music preference was. My budget. He explained the features of the component in which I was interested. I would not hesitate to do business with this guy should the opportunity arise.

When you consider that high end audio is a hobby, and an expensive hobby at that, does it not then seem reasonable that sales people should know how to sell? If I am about to write a check for "X" number of thousands of dollars, don't I at least deserve a sales person who is qualified?

As someone who makes a living in sales, I think that in addition to product training, a little sales 101 might be in order. Who knows, maybe revenue might even increase.

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