By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
At Pflanz Electronics, we have started conducting free Saturday-morning PowerPoint presentations entitled the “Transition to High-Definition TV.” These mini seminars are designed for those who need help making decisions in the purchase of a high-definition television (HDTV). After each seminar, customers are taken on a personal tour of the store and shown all the latest technology.
Recently, a gentleman came to one of our seminars with the intention on learning about HDTV. He showed interest in an entry-level 55-inch Sony Grand Wega and a DVD player, but after a demonstration of the extra features and benefits of higher quality models by one of our salespeople, he decided to go with the next-level Grand Wega. We also showed him a DVD player that had HDMI output with 720p/1,080i up-scaling.
Also during each “feature and benefit” presentation on televisions, our salespeople always mention quality accessories, such as surge protectors and cables to hook up DVD players and HD satellite receivers to improve picture quality. Surge protectors and line conditioners are important in protecting customers' equipment against lightning damage and voltage surges. To show customers what a great difference these products make, we do a line-noise demonstration right in the store. We show the difference with and without line conditioning. With that particular demo, this customer moved up three levels of quality in surge protector/line conditioners.
Another step our salespeople take to generate additional sales is selling extended warranty plans, which add great value for the customer. We feel better knowing they are protected for a longer period of time against costly repairs in the future.
These add-on items are always mentioned at Pflanz during the sale instead of afterward. If the television is already sold when the salesperson tries to add accessory items, the task is harder because, in the customer's mind, the sale is already closed.
Also to facilitate demos, we recently renovated a store and added six home-theater rooms. We found it very helpful to take seminar customers on a tour of our theaters to demonstrate high-tech surround sound. This piqued our recent step-up customer's interest in quality sound over the sound produced by the television alone. He then bought an A/V surround-sound system consisting of an A/V receiver, six speakers and a subwoofer.
It was obvious that this customer was satisfied at this point with the equipment that he decided to purchase. It was also apparent, however, that he was concerned about where to put it all in his home. This is when we point to the cabinetry that we display on our show floor. Our cabinets are custom-made, making it possible for all the new equipment to fit clean and neatly in one unit and for all wires to be hidden. When we told him that we could also match it to any shade of woodwork, the unit was sold!
What was going to be a minuscule $2,000 Saturday-morning TV sale escalated into a $12,000 home-theater system that our customer is proud to showcase in his home.
We have found that product demonstration and comparison is the key to any up-sale. In our store, we have chosen a wide array of content to demo so that we are able to show the audible and visible effects that the higher quality equipment exhibits. When our customers can truly hear, see and feel the difference for themselves, up-selling becomes easy and a long-term value to the customer.
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