Where customers fall down
Photo by: Kate Couch with Canva
Written By: Tony Sprando and Kate Couch
What we believe and what we feel about a situation has strong ties. This usually circulates around the value we put on something. Like when you reach for that apple in the grocery store, you hesitate and hover for a moment to grab the one that looks the best... without knowing where it was grown, what care was taken to get it there, and how it was carefully or handled by the grocery clerk. You are putting a certain amount of trust in that purchase, oftentimes based on how you were treated at the door. You buy based on what you need, price, influencing of marketing and item placement, and personal assessment of the item. When you think about it we put a lot of thought into these things subconsciously.
When it comes to something much more expensive, there is a higher level of feeling and assumption involved... or not. Over the past 20 years, I've done many audiovisual jobs. But for as many jobs I've done I've also calculated twice as many bids. end as somebody who works delivering a service you notice a pattern when giving a bid. You will find that when you go out and you assess what client needs, finding them the right services for a fair price, for some people it’s never enough. Oftentimes no matter how much you try to give some a deal, or explain why something is costly they will not think it is cheap enough.
Where customers “fall down” starts as a client drilling the service provider to get the price down possibly to please a boss or to make them feel better about the service. Another example is leaning into friends, family, or a church friend for a deal. We might do this because "in the name of making an eternal difference" may guilt them into giving you a good deal, or believing that God demands we are "frugal" and we can’t have nice things because "the humble will inherit the earth" ... a bible verse that is so often taken out of context.
Lastly, we can go wrong by blindly going with the lowest bid and trusting the provider that they know what they are doing, this would be coined as the belief in poverty theology. This is a trap many frugal people fall into. Unfortunately doing something cheap isn't always doing something right. When you go with the cheapest option then find out that it's not working properly after. I find that they patch the problems with their audiovisual system and suffer through it until... eventually calling out for help to rescue them from a subpar system installation. Unfortunately at this point, the price tag is usually much higher. It’s a well-known fact that it is easier to build something new than try to salvage or demo an existing audiovisual system.
In all my years of AV, I have seen a much higher success rate in investing in people and not worrying as much about the money. Set the profit you need to run a business, then stand tall as you hand over the bid or proposal... and if the customer does his or her due diligence then they will find an Audiovisual integrator that is highly spoken of and then just spends the money once. Though your job may cost a bit more than you may have thought, your actions will give the AV group confidence that they are not being squeezed. This will allow them to work freely, giving you a quality system you can stand up to with confidence.
All that being said this doesn’t mean a job can't be cost-efficient. We always want to work with our clients to find a cost-efficient solution for them that gets their goals completed and that will last. Quality over quantity, vice-versa, is an age-old debate and each one has its time and place. But I will settle it for AV, when you build a quality AV system using a reliable service provider, you will be happy with results that will stand the test of time and meet your needs: the first time.
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
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