Barrington, IL: The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a leading national retail and custom integration buying group, wrapped up its first ever Masterclass Series member education program in early May to great acclaim from attendees - both members and vendors. The first in this series, called the Sell More Audio Masterclass, drew upon in-depth research commissioned by the organization, yielding an all-new, customized sales process optimized for HTSA members.
In an intensive 1½-day program, HTSA members participated in a series of group and breakout presentations, each of which discussed in detail one element or perspective of a multi-layered sales process newly developed to help members drive sales of high-performance audio/video systems. The core elements of the program resulted from months of intensive research into a varied landscape of differing approaches to step-up selling of high-performance A/V systems. This research, conducted by The Deborah Smith Group, was commissioned by HTSA and after careful study of the relative merits and rate of success of each approach - a new, high-impact process was created and presented to the members.
HTSA's Sell More AudioMasterclass Series took place at the Embassy Suites in Kennesaw, GA (near Atlanta) and included a session at the nearby Nationwide's PrimeMedia studio facility. HTSA is partnered with the Nationwide Marketing Group, and members learned of a new video advertising initiative that will benefit their marketing efforts in the near future. This new initiative is the result of a collaboration between HTSA, Nationwide's PrimeMedia studio, and HTSA marketing partner Netsertive.
The event agenda not only included dynamic presentations from industry consultants Deborah Smith (Deborah Smith Group) and David Chace (Training Allies), but also technology presentations from subject matter experts, such as Craig Eggers (Dolby Laboratories) on Dolby Atmos, Michael de Nigris (Autonomic) on Hi-Res Audio, and Jeff Brewer (Sonance) on Outdoor Audio system design.
Perhaps most impactful, select HTSA members themselves presented popular sessions that were directly relevant to all of those present. These powerfully pragmatic sessions included Alan Jones (CEO of Hi Fi Buys) who gave a virtual tour of his newly updated facility...including a discussion of the important elements of showroom design - and Mark Goldman of Sound Components, who gave a show-stopping performance on The Art of the Demo that had all participants buzzing.
A significant percentage of the HTSA membership participated in the event, and engagement levels were very high. There was a vibrant exchange of ideas, and all members participated in breakout roundtables to discuss how to specifically apply the suggested sales process to their businesses.
"Although this was just the first iteration of our new Masterclass Series member education program, we can already say it was a huge success," said Home Technology Specialists of America Executive Director Jon Robbins. "The level of engagement of both members and vendors was off the charts and most of the participants told us this was a very valuable session that would yield immediate benefits in a higher ratio of sales of more profitable step-up A/V systems. With programs like this, HTSA - along with its valued vendors - expects to be a positive influence in driving the growth of the entire high-performance A/V channel. "
By the end of the Sell More AudioMasterclass event, members possessed a 10-point plan for launching a new sales process with their sales teams. This plan was designed to be both realistic and practical - such that members can train their staff with an updated sales process that can immediately and consistently drive their high-performance system sales.
"I think one of the greatest things I got from it was that I need more of a planned process - store tour, demo - you know, basically everything we do as an organization needs to be set aside, defined, and planned so everybody [every Hi Fi Buys customer] is getting the same experience," said Alan Jones, Founder of Hi Fi Buys in Atlanta. "We're already in the process of planning" new approaches based on what we learned at the event.
"I really like how all of the members were sharing," Jones added. "That's a great thing for everybody to be involved in and everybody to give of themselves so we can all get something from it."
"Overall, I absolutely loved the format of the event," said Jennifer LaBollita, Marketing Manager of HTSA vendor Autonomic. "I thought the curriculum was jam-packed and so educational. I mean, I definitely learned things. The curriculum...it was intense, but it really flowed organically and it was just such great content across the board."
"The Art of the Demo was an awesome presentation," LaBollita added. "It was fascinating - that was one of my favorite courses throughout the program."
Summing up her experience, LaBollita said: "What I really loved about it [the overall event] is HTSA - their whole mission and core focus is really about performance, passion, energy - and the event was such a prime example of it. It was exciting and it really does hit home with who HTSA is."
About Home Technology Specialists of America
Home Technology Specialists of America, Inc. (HTSA), is a national association of specialty retailers and custom integrators, who design, specify and install premier residential and commercial electronics systems. Today's highly sophisticated technology solutions - ranging from home automation and media rooms...to lighting control systems and multi-room audio - demand a professional installation specialist to properly interface products and integrate sub-systems in the home, at work or on the go.
Based in Barrington, IL, HTSA is proudly member-owned and offers industry-best programs that maximizes the support of top technology brands and the profits of members. To learn more about HTSA, see: www.htsa.com; or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.