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Favorite Home Theater Dealer


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 AaronPeek

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Posted February 01 2005 - 01:29 AM

Who is your favorite store? I mean small stores not your best buys or compusas.

I work for a small home theater, two channel, home int. store and i want to see who else is out there and why you like them or why you don't.

I will refrain from saying where i work, as im not here to advertise, but to learn.

So where and why?

#2 of 15 Elinor

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Posted February 01 2005 - 02:31 AM

I don't have a particular favorite, though I have had good experiences in Wood Market in Laurel, MD, Soundscape in Baltimore, and Tweeter in Owings Mills. Why? Because they don't high pressure me on anything, they answer my questions honestly, and the are willing to discount prices.

I CAN say I pretty much will NOT walk into a Grammophone store in the Baltimore area. In 3 different trips, I received treatment befitting a homeless panhandler when visiting their stores. Ok, well, maybe not that bad, but when you walk in with the $$ and the snotty guy says to your male companion "Can I help you Sir?" and you reply "Sir is keeping me company, I would like to see what speakers you have" ... and then he CONTINUES to speak to sir ... well, f them. They are insufferably snotty. Hate them.

#3 of 15 Andrew Stoakley

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Posted February 01 2005 - 02:44 AM

Hi Aaron,

I have bought gear from a store in Burlington, Ontario (30 minutes southwest of Toronto) called 'Howell & Associates.' They are mostly a custom installer (have won numerous CEDIA awards) but also sell retail to individuals like myself. The owner, Clinton, was exceptionally helpful in procuring me my MX-800 remote at a great price. Why do I like them? Easy. Helpful, friendly, able to answer my questions intelligently and able to provide the time I required to feel comfortable with my purchase. Remember, I'm not buying a $30 pair of pants so I want the salesperson to know more than I do, and considering most of the people on this site are voracious readers and researchers, that poses a very high bar of knowledge.

Keep those ideas in mind when you are working with your clients or potential clients.. its those types of qualities I look for in potential salespeople.

Cheers,
Andrew

http://www.howellandassociates.com
"Remember kids - no one cares about audio until they can't hear it."

 

 

#4 of 15 kurtZoom

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Posted February 01 2005 - 06:09 AM

I like Kiefs in Lawrence KS. Check out http://www.Kiefs.com
Nice selection and personal attention. No pressure informed sales people. Several demo rooms set up. Low range to esoteric selection. HT, stereo audio and car stereo selection. They also offer three price levels for their gear...ranging from full service (with in-store warranty exchange) to "mail order". Their mail order prices are competitive with typical on-line sales...but if something breaks you are on your own with the manufacturer.
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#5 of 15 Dan_J_H.

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Posted February 01 2005 - 11:33 AM

I love the Gramophone store. I deal with only one salesman (Marty), who really knows the products. This store is located in Birmingham, MI.Posted Image
For progress pictures of my HT click on the link.

http://community.web...om/user/danjh38

#6 of 15 Parker Clack

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Posted February 01 2005 - 12:10 PM

I have been to Keif's and I agree with Kurt about the fact that they are great to work with and have selection that only a few around this area would attempt to have. Audio Mart, Audioport and Accent Sound in the Kansas City/Overland Park area are also good people to work with and have all kinds of home installations under their belts.

One of my other favorites is Independence Audio in Independence Missouri.

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#7 of 15 Adam Gregorich

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Posted February 01 2005 - 03:33 PM

Magnolia Audio Video. Used to be Mag Hi Fi. I don't know what the ones outside of Washington are like, but I have had no problem taking equipment home for a few days to try out, or bringing my own equipment in to compare to what I was looking at buying. We even have a "movie night" there once a year or so.

#8 of 15 AaronPeek

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Posted February 02 2005 - 01:08 AM

You guys say you enjoy having no pressure put on you, but as someone who is a salesperson, at what point is it appropriate to put on pressure, From your point of view.

#9 of 15 Tom Kay

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Posted February 02 2005 - 01:55 AM

Hi Aaron

Here's a thought from a customer's point of view, to respond to your question about pressure.

It's NEVER an appropriate time to pressure a customer. A skilled salesman will calmly and somewhat patiently make the customer feel like he's making his own mind up on the sale, and pressure himself from within.

I have seen some very effective low-key salesmen who make you want to explore their store and learn about what they offer and these guys build a client base over a period of time. I've also some real slimey urchins in my 44 years. I'm sure we all have. The moment I feel pressure, is the moment I feel like leaving or asking to deal with someone else.

I feel it's alright to come up to a customer and ask "Hello, can I offer you any assistance? or If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help you." No pressure and everyone feels welcome.

London Audio in London Ontario was my favourite store until I moved to Ottawa. I like the Audio Centre now, and both of these establishments understand that their customers have done at least some research, and simply want to learn more about the product when they come in. Nobody looks desperate to make a sale on any given day. I have no hesitation to come back at a later date, and they don't roll their eyes when they see me and say "Oh God, here's the guy that never buys anything!"

That tells you what kind of customer I am, or at least partly. I hope it also gives insight into when "pressure" is appropriate. Never says me.

Cheers, Tom.

#10 of 15 Andrew Stoakley

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Posted February 02 2005 - 02:05 AM

For me, it's never. As the potential client or customer I can easily walk away and not feel bad about purchasing something from someone who is pressuring me. Make me want to buy the product from you, not feel pressured to buy it from you.

I have bought my entire home theatre system from the same guy over the past 10 years (minus the remote) because we have built a relationship of trust and honesty over that time. If you're serious about doing sales for a living you want to cultivate relationships that you can continue for many years. Sure, you'll get lots of one time customers, but there are those that will stay with you for your entire career and bring you potential commissions.

I think there's a big difference between pressuring someone to buy something they may not be sure about and guiding them towards feeling good about their purchase. It's your job to make sure your customer is happy and excited about their purchase or purchases, not reluctant and nervous.

Hope that makes sense.

Cheers,
Andrew
"Remember kids - no one cares about audio until they can't hear it."

 

 

#11 of 15 Tom Kay

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Posted February 02 2005 - 02:22 AM

To Andrew Stoakley

Hi Andrew. Thanks for including that link for Howell and Associates. I would say that I have seen some spectacular theaters in the 2 years that I have been researching/building my own HT, but overall they have one of the most impressive bodies of work that I have ever seen. I assume that they did all the design and/or installation of what they've shown in their gallery?

I'll be back to that sight to swipe a few ideas to put into my own construction. I can't afford to hire, so I'm doing (slowly) all the building/wiring/drywall/decor on my own. Just wish I had more time.

Cheers, Tom, Ottawa.

#12 of 15 Andrew Stoakley

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Posted February 02 2005 - 02:35 AM

Hi Tom,

Yes, Clinton and his band of merry men do some pretty impressive work. Check out www.cedia.com site to see the awards they've won for their work... and to boot, Clinton is just a really nice guy who obviously loves what he does.

From what I know of they do all the design, construction and install work, plus I believe Clinton had mentioned they will work with your own designers if you already have one.

I was in the same boat for my theatre as far as price goes, so I too did all the work myself. Except for laying down the carpet - that's a real art!!

Cheers,
Andrew
"Remember kids - no one cares about audio until they can't hear it."

 

 

#13 of 15 Tom Kay

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Posted February 02 2005 - 02:36 AM

I forgot to mention too, that Signature Audio/Video in Ottawa is a very good store. In many ways, they are becoming home theater specialists in this area.

The guys are calm, patient, but very well educated about their products. I would strongly suspect that they all attend seminars on a regular basis, both about specific products and HT in general.

I've asked various requests of them, from crimping some quad shield RG-6, to allowing me to really spend some time watching some of my dvd's on their Epson projectors. As a result of their patience, my PJ will either be an Epson 200, or a Panny AE700 when I win the lottery and finally buy.

If you live in the Ottawa Canada area, consider looking at Signature A/V in the west part of the city.

Tom.

#14 of 15 Mark McGill

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Posted February 02 2005 - 03:12 AM

One of my favorite experiances was when I went to a certain shop in Vancouver. I wanted to look at some Paradigm speakers. Well the salesman demos them for me (I liked them alot and did buy Paradigms, but not from him)and then when he asks how did I like them I responded that I did very much. He then asks me if I would please buy them today because he is in a running for wining a trip to Mexico and if he sells me these speakers he will win his trip.

I walked. Like I really care if he gets a vacation or not due to a in store employee contest. I ended up buying seven studio reference speakers from a one man operation type dealer.

Pressure does not work for most people.

#15 of 15 AaronPeek

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Posted February 02 2005 - 05:24 AM

well clearly that was just unprofessional, jees if this is the type of competition i am up against. I will be building up quite the rep. Posted Image