Are you offering landscape audio solutions?

Now that we’re past Memorial Day, your customers are frequently utilizing their backyards for activities and outdoor entertaining. While you may have set up whole home audio systems for them inside, did you add on a landscape audio system to complete their audio experience? Landscape audio systems offer many benefits for your customers and for custom integrators.

For your customer, a landscape audio system offers the best listening experience outdoors. Small speakers are spaced out around the yard providing music throughout the area at an even volume no matter where they are. Unlike centralized speaker systems, the music will not be overly loud in one area just so that it can be heard in the corners of the yard. The speakers can be placed inconspicuously so that they are not interrupting the landscaping or hanging off structures. A below ground subwoofer provides depth to the sound while being hidden in the foliage.

A customer’s neighbors will also appreciate the landscape audio system. Instead of the sound emanating out from the house towards the yard, the sound points from the outer edges back towards the house. This minimizes the amount of sound that spills into a neighbor’s yard interrupting their music, conversation or serene quiet. Also, as mentioned above, the overall volume of a landscape audio system can be lower while still reaching all corners of the space.

A benefit for the customer and integrator is the scalability of a good landscape audio system. Customers get a system that can be designed specifically to fit the shape and size of their yard, maximizing their enjoyment. Integrators get a single system solution without needing to worry about mixing different products or systems together. This makes it easy for an integrator to design a system and estimate the costs and labor.

Lastly, but not least in importance, landscape audio systems offer great margin opportunities plus installation revenue. Landscape audio is not a typical DIY product, customers want a quality, professional installation. Increase your revenue this summer by adding landscape audio to your company’s offerings.

At DOW, we believe landscape audio has great potential for our customers. To help integrators, DOW has free demo loaner kits available that can be used to prove the amazing audio quality. Experience landscape audio yourself so you can speak confidently to your customers.

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RingCentral Offers Partners Additional Support

RingCentral is launching a new venture called the Channel Harmony One to Infinity Program. This program combines the efforts of the Channel and Direct sides of RingCentral, giving partners more sales support than ever before.

Every potential sales opportunity that a partner has can be fully supported by a Direct Rep (also known as Subject Matter Expert) at RingCentral, regardless of the size of the deal. The RingCentral sales representatives have extensive experience in sales and can have a wider array of potential tools to use to help close deals. These could potentially include promotions, discounts (on service and/or phones), spiffs, and more.

The partner also has the option to remain completely neutral in the deal and allow RingCentral to do all of the pitching of the product. Some partners prefer this route, as they would like to keep a consultant style role with their clients. The Subject Matter Experts can go through the entire sales process from start to finish with the client, freeing up the partner to spend time looking for more leads. The Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are categorized based on location, potential deal size, type of company, and other factors.

This is an unprecedented support feature of Partner Programs, and is showing to be very promising for all parties involved. There have already been large-scale deals that have been put through thanks to the combined efforts of the partners and the SMEs at RingCentral. The projected growth of the RingCentral Partner Program is continuing to expand thanks to the launch of the Channel Harmony One to Infinity program.

I Need to Hire Someone… Now What?

One of the biggest challenges faced by employers, both big and small, is the quest to find qualified employees.  An even bigger challenge is finding the right “Fit” for your organization.  With the national unemployment rate at 4.4% (as of April 2017), we are constantly asking ourselves, “Where are all of the reliable, skilled candidates?” When I hire them, are they going to show up for work?”  While the thought of recruiting and looking for new employees can seem like a very daunting task, it doesn’t have to be.  Here are some suggested best practices for recruiting qualified employees to work for you AND your business.

  1. Have a Job Description – Before you recruit your next employee, make sure the role they are going to fulfill for the company is specifically outlined to include daily job duties, who they will report to, their pay status (salary or hourly), schedule (i.e. will they have to work weekends, etc.) Set the expectations up front.  It eliminates any guess work on the back end.
  2. Understand your Cost to Recruit – Do you spend tireless amounts of money putting an advertisement in the local newspaper hoping that your next Employee of the Year is going to walk through the door? If you are, but the results of your efforts are not changing, you need to re-evaluate your approach.  It’s vital to the fiscal health of your organization to use your recruiting budget wisely, so know the audience you’re trying to capture and focus the dollars (and time) there instead.  For example, if you are looking to fill a counter/retail sales role, try reaching out to a local community college to see if they have a job posting board.  Those colleges are very eager to get their recent graduates and/or alumni placed with good employers, so it becomes a win-win for everyone.  Even better, it typically costs nothing!
  3. Spend Time Interviewing – Getting to know the person or people that you are entrusting to help run and grow your business is one of the most important responsibilities you can fulfill.  Before interviewing a candidate for a position, make sure you have an appropriate list of interview questions ready and take the interview slow.  As the interviewer, you have a direct impact on your candidates impressions of the company (and ultimately, their decision to accept an offer). When your body language implies that you’re bored with the discussion (and it’s just not that important),  it doesn’t allow for a healthy discussion about the job requirements, your expectations of them as an employee, etc.  When you show a lack of interest in them, it has the potential to turn into an unhealthy start if you hire them.  Show them around the workplace during the interview and watch their expressions; see how they interact with your existing employees.  You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from body language and taking the interview process slow.

Tune in next month for more tips and information on recruiting and retaining your best and brightest employees.