The Simplicity of Sonos: How an Installer Benefits

For the three months that we have had Sonos speakers in our house, it has surpassed all of our expectations. My wife and I love listening to music, but having the conversation that you want to buy new speakers for multiple rooms in the house is not usually met with enthusiasm. The old stereo wasn’t broke, nothing needed repair, I just had to sell the improved experience that Sonos offers. The fact that the experience over-delivered on what I was pitching is the greatest part.

The ease of setting up the system and connecting all of the speakers to the app was outstanding. No wiring needed, no tools or clean up required. In about 20 minutes, I was ready to listen in multiple rooms in the house. And we now listen from the time we wake up, thanks to the alarm option, until we leave in the morning. When I pull in my driveway after work, I’m turning on Sonos and our Lutron controlled lights through an activity I programmed in the Logitech Harmony app and walking into an environment that is already alive. Sonos has made selecting music and listening in multiple rooms as simple as possible, and I’m enjoying every bit of it.

Now, as an independent installer, how does this benefit you? There are a lot of consumers out there that have the same habits and desire for simplicity as I described above. As a professional, you can do more than just sell them a system, you can sell them the ideal experience. The incredibly easy to use app makes it perfect for everyone in the house. Find out where in the house the customer would like music, get paid for the easy install and showing them how to use the app, and you’ve got a happy customer.

Sonos is consistently ranked among the highest customer approval ratings of any audio/video product. That means your customer will stay happy with the product you sold them. It builds trust in your company that you can provide them with products they will love. This leads to repeat business.

Sonos launched ten years ago in 2005, and 70% of consumers that purchased their first unit in that year are still streaming. That speaks to the lifetime advocates that are being created by that initial purchase. You don’t need to sell the whole home system the first time. As the customer gets more familiar with the Sonos experience, they’ll come back to you for more. Take it a step further by integrating the system with a universal remote from Logitech Harmony to give them a smart home environment to which they’ll want to continue to add products.

Happy customers are likely to lead to referrals. Be sure to leave your business card or a Sonos flyer because your customers are going to talk about it with their friends. I demonstrate Sonos for just about everyone that visits my house, and if they haven’t visited I’ve probably brought it up in discussion with them.

Although Sonos is designed with a level of simplicity that makes the installation consumer friendly, there is a good opportunity for professional installers to be profitable selling it. Sell Sonos to get happy customers, repeat business and referrals for future business.

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Successful Door-To-Door Sales

Summer and fall months are a prime time to utilize door-to-door sales tactics.  The weather is nicer, there are more daylight hours and households are more likely to stay up later, giving you the opportunity to present your sales case.  Additionally, you have the ability to meet your customer face-to-face, demonstrate your product and its advantages, and the added benefit of creating face recognition.   However, just like any sales tactic, there are many things to take into consideration and prepare for prior to getting started, and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward before you start ringing doorbells.

PERFECT PITCH

Door-to-door sales can easily be compared to those dreaded public speaking classes you took in school.  But, preparation and practice are all you need to have the confidence to sell.  First, know your product inside and out, and how it compares to other like products on the market.  This will ensure that you will have answers to any questions, and lets your potential customer see that you are the expert, thus giving them the trust they need to purchase from you.  Additionally, you will be prepared for any bumps in the road and any unforeseen instances that occur.  Second, practice, practice, practice!  The more you know exactly how you will approach a customer, the easier and less stressful your sales pitch will be for you.  It may be easiest to practice in front of a mirror, that way you can see how you appear to your potential customer, and change points in your pitch that may not come across like you hoped.  The combination of preparing yourself ahead of time and practice will give you all the confidence you need to successfully sell.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…

…and, I mean this in more than one way.  In advance, think about the time you will start knocking on doors.  Monday mornings are more than likely not the best option, as people may be on their way to work, dropping kids off at daycare or running errands leftover from the weekend.  Try researching the neighborhood ahead of time, and note which homes have cars, and seeing who may be home during the day versus at night.  Additionally, think about this as an opportunity to set a future appointment instead of selling.  This will do two things: you will be able to prepare a meeting with the customer, and know that they are more than just a cold lead, as well as relieve the customer of any pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It will also make you look very courteous, with the customer knowing that you were mindful of their time.

Another thing to think about regarding time: how much time you need to spend with each household in order to meet your sales goals.  Whether you want to make one sale a week or day, knowing how many houses you need to reach each day will give you a realistic target and will teach you how to manage your time with each home.

TRIAL AND ERROR

When getting started, it is possible that the first 25 to 50 homes will include a lot of trial and error.  That’s okay!  However, make note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can change your game plan for future sales opportunities.  Just remember to sell confidently and be flexible with your plans, and you can expect success to come along.

What are your door-to door tips and tricks of the trade?  What do you suggest for first-timers?  Comment below so we can help everyone out with their sales plan!

DOW ELECTRONICS EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

For this week’s post, we are highlighting two of our very own DOW Electronics employees, Mitch Wyatt and Craig Parrot.  Read on to get the inside scoop on these Area Sales Representatives.

Mitch Wyatt, Area Sales Representative, Greensboro

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Years at DOW Electronics: 3

Favorite part about working at DOW Electronics: My favorite part is getting the opportunity to work with our dealers to help them improve and grow their business.  It is very rewarding when you see them succeed.

What are some of your favorite things to do: Run/Workout, go to the beach, watch/play sports of any kind, and spend time with my wife and friends

Favorite Sports Team: UNC Tarheels

Favorite Food: Spaghetti

Dream Car: Range Rover Sport

Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Anchorman and Old School

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Playing football and basketball, and attempting to talk to girls.

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: I would relive my four years of college again.  Maybe stretch it out to five this time around.

What is one thing you’ve done that was really scary: Cliff diving in Jamaica.

Craig Parrot, Area Sales Representative, Tampa

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Years at DOW Electronics: 15

Favorite Part about working at DOW Electronics: Besides working with great people both inside and out, I particularly enjoy watching my Retailers succeed with their business. I have always had the utmost respect for my Retailers, as they are the ones who carry the weight on their backs and carry all the risks associated with self-employment.  When they find success making these sacrifices, I always look forward to my next visit.

First Job: Crew Member at Arby’s

What are some of you favorite things to do: I enjoy playing sand volleyball, watching or listening to Tampa Bay Rays games, and cooking.

Favorite Sports Team: Tampa Bay Rays and the Buffalo Bills

Favorite Movie: The Butterfly Effect

Dream Car: Buick Grand National

Favorite Food: Anything Spanish

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Wrestling and Intramural sports

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: Moving to Florida in 1998.  It was an exhilarating time in my life when I had the opportunity to make new friends, create new experiences and discover who I really was.

The Top Industry Resources You Should Be Reading….

Hey, it’s Keith coming to you this week from the Training Department.  I’ve been involved in this business for over 12 years now and I’m amazed at just how dynamic the Consumer Electronics, Satellite Video, and Broadband industries are.  The rate at which things change, even from week-to-week, can be downright mind-boggling.  I’m convinced it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and information.  I’d like to share with you some online resources that I use as Training Manager to help me stay on top of it all.

What I’ve done is taken DOW’s six core sales verticals and provided a news resource for each one.  I realize your business may not be involved in more than a couple of these, but the lines between industries are getting more and more blurry every year.  Nevertheless, chances are good that another industry ‘crosses’ over into yours.  These industry news sites have proven helpful:

  • Satellite TV: The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association (SBCA) puts together a piece through Smart Brief that includes the latest news from the Satellite and Telecommunications industries.  Stories on DISH Network and other industry movers-and-shakers are gathered together in one place to help you keep up-to-date on what’s going on.  Free email sign-up option available. http://www.smartbrief.com/news/sbca
  • Consumer Electronics: This Week in Consumer Electronics (TWICE) is part of the NewBay Media group which produces over 40 publications and show dailies, 50 websites, 30 daily and weekly E-Newsletters, 3 expos and over 50 custom publishing efforts annually.  TWICE delivers a daily eNews piece that brings the top news stories in the world of CE right to your Inbox.  This industry is constantly changing and TWICE will allow you to stay informed.  Daily and weekly news delivery options also available.  Free email sign-up. http://www.twice.com/news
  • Broadband/Internet: A good website for Broadband related news is FierceTelecom. FierceTelecom is the first place industry insiders turn to find out what’s shaping and revolutionizing the wireless landscape.  In addition to Broadband news, they have sister websites that provide news on other industries that DOW touches.  Free email sign-up option available.  http://www.fiercetelecom.com/news
  • 12 Volt/Mobile Electronics: Considered by some to be a leading online site, 12voltnews.com is the 12 Volt Industry’s source for the latest news. The people, companies, events and products of this dynamic industry is showcased on this exciting site.  Free weekly newsletter by email available.  http://www.12voltnews.com
  • VoIP (For Business): If business-related VoIP is your cup of tea, then VoIP-NEWS is right up your alley.  VoIP NEWS covers all aspects of the VoIP and Internet Telephony industries and provides original content covering news, events and information.  Free email sign-up option available.  http://www.voip-news.com
  • CCTV/Video Surveillance: Security Info Watch has you covered if you’re interested in the CCTV/Video Surveillance industry.  In addition to the video segment, this site has information on other areas of this ever-growing business.  Free email sign-up option available.  http://www.securityinfowatch.com/products/video-surveillance

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant is change,” and our businesses are not immune from this.  Staying on top of industry news and trends will enable your company to adapt and remain competitive.  I encourage you to check out the news from other industries that you don’t currently touch.  You just may find a new revenue stream that you weren’t already tapped in to.

Is there a different website that you find helpful?  If so, leave us a comment and share your favorite site(s).

Q & A: THE RETURN AUTHORIZATION PROCESS

At DOW Electronics, we strive to provide our retailers with convenient and straightforward methods to organize and handle day-to-day business practices. A necessary part of distribution, or any product based business, is the return of warranted product. We asked our Return Authorization Specialists what the most common complaints and questions were, and below is their response, with tips and answers to help you out with the RA process.

Retailer: Where can I find the DOW Electronics’ return authorization guide lines? 

Answer: Once you have logged into the DOW Electronics website, click on the tab ‘RA Requests.’  When the drop-down menu appears, chose the ‘RA Policy & Procedures’ option, and from here, you can click the PDF document that includes our most current RA guidelines.

Retailer: The RA process is too complicated. 

Answer:  There are only five (5) options for RA’s – Defective Dish Receiver, Defective Dish Accessories, Defective all other product other than Dish, Return to Stocks and Broadband (i.e.; Exede, dishNET and Hughes Net). The process to request an RA takes about 1 to 1 ½ minutes to submit. It simply requires the part number, the DOW Electronics Invoice, an explanation of what is wrong or why you are requesting a ‘Return to Stock’, if you would like a credit or replacement, and how you would like to return the defective product.  We try to process all RA requests as quickly as possible so there is no inconvenience to the retailer.

Retailer: Why do I have to provide a DOW Electronics Invoice number? 

Answer:  In order to process your request, we have to research all requests, which includes verifying proof of purchase. By providing the DOW Electronics invoice number, we are able to process your claim in a timely manner because you have already given us the majority of the information we need to complete the process.

Retailer: How do I find my DOW Electronics Invoice if I do not have a copy? 

Answer:  We’ve made this portion of the RA process easy for the retailer. All you have to do is select the ‘Shipping/Invoicing’ option under the ‘Shipping’ tab on the DOW Electronics website. You can choose to download data in a CSV/EXCEL Format and to include all data, or just a specific date range.  Once you choose your options, just submit and we provide you with the information right on your screen. The easiest way to find the data you are looking for is to press the Control button + F button (the find function in EXCEL) and EXCEL will take you to the part or specific serial number.

Also included in this view is the DOW Electronics invoice number, DOW Electronics part number, and if applicable, the SN number of the unit purchased. Another valuable column identifies the person who ordered the item.

More Value-Added Services that assist in the Return Authorization process:

  • DOW Electronics offers free pickup on defective replacements with a qualifying order by our own trusted fleet of vehicles and drivers.
  • Most RA’s are processed within 1 business day.
  • If you are confused or need assistance, our experienced staff can walk you through the process in 5 minutes!
  • For retailers on the go, you can e-mail Radepartment@dowelectronics.com  from your tablet or smart phone with any questions.

RingCentral Road Show Recap

On November 1, DOW Electronics hosted the RingCentral 2012 Fall Road Show at our headquarters in Tampa, FL.   This road show, which also made appearances at DOW Electronics’ branches in Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte, allowed retailers to rejuvenate and refresh their RingCentral knowledge and training.

The Road Show covered such topics as best practices for selling RingCentral, demonstrations of new phone systems and products, a review of the new RingCentral platform, reviews of the partner portals and more. Many retailers noted the benefits of the session because of the way RingCentral geared the presentation to real business experiences.

“The presentation was good, because it had more focus on how I can get started selling this to my existing customers, and to new customers in my marketing,” said Jay from Intechgrate Systems.

The intimate class size, combined with RingCentral’s trainer Shane Rochester, gave our retailers the opportunity to see a feature rich phone system that allows a small business to improve their operating processes to not only reduce the cost of the of their phone systems, but to make other aspects more profitable.

“The information presented by trainer Shane Rochester was very beneficial,” stated DOW Electronics Area Sales Representative Craig Parrot.  “With the smaller group size, they were able to offer one-on-one assistance for specific questions on the competition, RingCentral’s target audience, and the most efficient selling process for RingCentral’s products and services.  This helps the small retailer understand where the business stands now, and where it is going, so they can evolve with the changes RingCentral is making.”

Following the training session, RingCentral and the attendees enjoyed a more laid back networking session at The Tampa Bay Brew Company, which DOW Electronics Tampa Branch Manager Michael Hurwitz noted was very successful.

“Many people came and utilized the opportunity to ask questions specifically about their business,” stated Hurwitz.  “They got the opportunity to discuss what issues they were seeing in day-to-day business activities, and RingCentral supported each of them with great tips and advice they could use to solve these issues.”               

The valuable inside information and training, along with our retailer participation made this show a huge success!  Thank you to RingCentral for supporting our retailers and providing an excellent, hands-on learning experience.

And, for all you retailers out there, keep an eye out for more training sessions like the RingCentral roadshow – you can’t afford to miss out.