The second day of AVEC (the AV Executive Conference) began with a recap of the facts and figures from the audience. Sean Wargo, AVIXA senior director of market intelligence, debuted the results from audience surveys the previous day.
At AVEC 2018 there were iPads at each seat that served as a second screen but also a voting mechanism. Throughout the sessions, attendees were asked where they thought the industry was headed, the impact of a particular speaker, or what their business was doing.
Overall, the attendees, according to Wargo, were upbeat about their prospects. The majority of those attending AVEC were looking for slight to moderate growth in the next year.
After Wargo, the main speaker of the second day was Mike Michaelowicz, author, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant.
Michaelowicz’s talk was an hour of good little nuggets of ways to differentiate your company from others.
Mike’s first point was to be different from your competition, not better.
“If we try to be better than the competition clients won’t see us,” Michaelowicz said. “If we are different then we’ll get the business.”
In line with that was a story about breaking labels within your business, the audiovisual industry. Mike had a data investigative company. In essence, they looked through computers and other electronic devices for evidence law enforcement and legal teams could use in a case. They called themselves “forensic data specialists.” When he was going up against other firms who did the exact same work the way he told his story set him and his company apart from others.
Another point was to under promise and over deliver (UPOD). Michaelowicz relayed a situation where a client would ask for a proposal. His sales team would inform the client that they were a valued prospect and wanted to make sure they got their “top engineers” on the potential job. Unfortunately, this would take about a week to accomplish so the client would get a proposal in a week to ten days. When the client agreed their team would work all day and night and deliver the proposal the next morning. In the email, the salesperson would explain that the team had “reallocated” their resources to prioritize this client.
They had promised a proposal in a week, the client agreed to wait, and then they framed the early delivery as they were so valued. Obviously, they were which is why their team worked all night. The impact on the potential client was that their proposal was treated extra special because of the extra care and work his team had dedicated.
Defending the Buyer
The final piece of wisdom from Michaelowicz was “Buyer’s Defence”. Mike said “the sale after the sale matters even more. We have to provide a defense letter.” This defense letter is not labeled as such. It is more a welcome letter as well as telling the client how smart their decision was, reinforces the buying decisions that were made, and highlighting the pain points resolved with this purchase.
What can you do in your integration firm to differentiate yourself from others? Can you reframe what you do or how you do a project? Can you and your team consistently under promise and over deliver? Michaelowicz has several books you may want to check out. He was a good resource and one of the highlights of AVEC 2018.