Upon researching definitions for the “wow factor,” I came across the following descriptions:
A set of properties belonging to an object or service that pleasantly surprises a consumer. From commercials to cool electronics, the wow factor is an important aspect to consider.
A striking or impressive feature
We create entertaining and interactive experiences that result in positive consumer engagement with your brand… that is The WOW factor!
And while these definitions and descriptions definitely have their place in marketing and promotions, I believe that for the AV industry, the wow factor is totally overrated. I have found that at the end of every project I have completed, my customers weren’t looking for the wow factor. They just wanted a system that was easy to operate.
For example, I’ve had a couple project “take-overs,” which means I took a project over from another AV company. While this other AV company had the project for a few years, the customer chose to use my services instead for two key reasons:
The system was over-engineered and therefore, costly to support
The system was poorly installed and consequently required a service contract to keep it running.
As I initially looked at the project site and its technology, it was obvious the initial AV company sold the customers the most expensive solution. This trapped them into a never-ending spiral of being dependent on the AV company to keep the system running. The customer was 60% pleased with the system and merely tolerated what they believed to be the only option. They felt stuck.
The Issue with the Wow Factor
Herein lies the issue of the wow factor — get the customer to just nod and trust whatever the AV consultant says, without really understanding what they are getting. This is also called being steam rolled. Most AV salespersons are pretty prideful and will tell you want you need and they know best. Beware of this. If you can discern some humility in your initial meeting with them, proceed. Otherwise be cautions.
See related The Effects of 5G on the AV Industry
Speaking of reasons to be cautious, remember the proverbial saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” Shakespeare is the best-known writer to have expressed this idea and it has many meanings:
The shining outer look of something is not a consistent sign of its real character,
Not everyone that appears good, turns out to be good,
Not everything that is apparently glittery is precious, and
Something that looks to be perfect but not in real life.
Watch Out for These Sales Traits
While I couldn’t find any clear and focused resources on helping you identify poor sales techniques from a customer’s perspective, the Sales Hacker had an insightful list of poor sales traits including:
A salesperson who is as clueless about the product as the customer.
A salesperson who loves talking so much that they forgot to listen.
A salesperson who is unable to ask the right questions.
A salesperson who has a sense of entitlement for being so good at what they do.
A salesperson who views everyone as a prospect.
A salesperson who is more focused on products that on people.
Again, beware of the wow factor in either the company, the salesperson or the technology. Choose a company and consultant with a proven track record of service and customer referrals. And get out of the way of those steam rollers.
Article Sources: Urban Dictionary Dictionary.com The Wow Factor – Los Angeles and New York The Idioms The Sales Hacker