I love knowing more than the salesman!

Christian Speights

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
Messages
102
I found out that there was a Sunfire dealer near my house so I figured I would stop in and take a look...maybe they would be clearing out the Theater Grand II to make way for the III. Yeah right.

Still selling the II full price and didn't know much about the III at all. Surprisingly they have only sold one Sunfire pre/pro in the last 6 months. (Did I mention this place sells appliances too? Can you say warning sign?)

Anyway, he starts trying to get me all excited about the new Atlantic Tech pre/pro that "should be out in May and is a lot more affordable than the Sunfire at around $1700." Oh really? Would that be the same pre/pro that was designed by Outlaw and that is manufactured by Eastech and that will sell for $899 online? The one that will not ship from any other company until Outlaw has satisfied initial demand? Didn't Outlaw just halt shipment of the first wave because of a bug?

The guy asked if I was in the industry!!!

No just an enthusiast...and an HTF member.

Thanks to everyone here for all their insight, information and enthusiasm. For me it has helped make my HT hobby a lot less treacherous and a lot more fun!

Rock on!

Christian
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
Christian,
Chances are that if you have a pulse and you frequent any of the HT forums on the web you knew more than that salesman anyway. Especially since you mentioned they also sell appliances!

But nice call! Better to know more than to know less. That way you probably won't get taken for a ride.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,710
I hate HT sales-people. Was looking at Rotel pre/pros 6 months ago. Dude tried to point me in the direction of the RSP-976 even though the RSP-985 was, a) more expensive, b) what I would have preferred at that point, c) and was a better performing unit.
Guess they didn't have any in stock!
 

WilliamG

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
513
I'm still shopping for all my gear (waiting on my tax return after my wife gave FULL APPROVAL -WITHOUT ME ASKING-to get my HT stuff, YESSSS!) and it seems that the salesmen that I talk to really seem to back away after they get the picture that I know what I'm talking about. Seriously, it's like they don't WANT to talk to me about it. And, I'm not coming off as a wise guy either. Once I begin to engage in a full-blown conversation - yes, THANKS to all the HTF'ers -it's like "hands off the guy" .. I just want to know the specifics, right?!
Oh, and the guys in BB REALLY hate to see me coming. It's gotten to where they ask if I've gotten all my information and am ready to buy yet

(and no, I'm not planning on actually buying there, just getting a feel for my needs
)
 

Scott Hauer

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2
I'll second that..Last week someone at Best Buy told me that their AR component cables were not capable of carrying a "high definition signal", and that I would HAVE to get the Monster component cables with the special "HDTV" sticker on the packaging for it to work with my TV....waaaaaaaa....what a crock! I do feel for the poor sods who don't know the difference.
 

David Judah

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 1999
Messages
1,479
It's like any type of work, really. You have people who have pride in their jobs and are commited to learning and improving themselves, and others who are just going through the motions to get a paycheck.

Unforunately, few companies in the consumer electronics business, especially large chains, take the time and expense to properly train their sales staffs, but there are individuals out there who take some initiative and learn on their own.

The HTF and industry magazines are great resources for enterprising salespeople, but it seems like alot them don't take advantage of those tools.

DJ
 

RajeeK

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 17, 1999
Messages
394
I'll second that..Last week someone at Best Buy told me that their AR component cables were not capable of carrying a "high definition signal", and that I would HAVE to get the Monster component cables with the special "HDTV" sticker on the packaging for it to work with my TV....waaaaaaaa....what a crock! I do feel for the poor sods who don't know the difference.
Considering you were at Best Buy, I think you did pretty well finding a salesperson who even knew component video cable existed.
 

DonnyD

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,145
I can certainly agree with the "going through the motions" statement. I was in professional sales for 20 years and always prided myself on the information concerning the features and benefits of the products I was selling. BTW, I sold industrial chemicals to the automotive assembly plants where they bought well over 1 mil per plant just from me....

With my customers, you either knew your stuff or you walked.

The company I was with had us go through several high dollar sales courses that really changed my ways. I found that a salesman is judged not by the answers but by the questions. Well placed, info gathering questions in order to sell to the needs.

I've always been an avid shopper and into photography, car stereo, home audio and some other expensive hobbys. I seldom found a salesman who knew what sales really was all about. Most of the time, I knew much more than any salesman about the product I wished to buy and would only buy from a true salesman who knew what he was doing.

This forum has been great at imparting some knowledge on HT and has allowed us to prepare ourselves when entering the buying mode. I remember several years ago (about 12) when I first got into HT, before the internet was so popular, info could only be found by avid research and reading the right books. Seldom was the info put in simple terms but could be broken down with the understanding of the premise of "surround sound".

The past few years, equipment changes has pretty much had us on our toes to keep up but again, thanks to the forums like HTF and HTS, most of us can keep up. And yes, that is a lot more than most of the sales persons you run into....
 

Jason F.

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
153
I amazed that you even found a associate that was willing to help you at best buy.
I had 1000 bucks to spend there last week on a washer and dryer and it took about an hour and a half to get someone to help me.
 

elMalloc

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 26, 2001
Messages
787
Real Name
Reuben
Jason

- Exactly. And some of them are ...for a better word, retarded. I went and ordered a black microwave oven to be delivered and installed. They come and deliver a white one...after I explicitly told them I wanted the black model when ordering.

I can hang around in the TV section for hours before someone comes to help me. I think they have notions of who has money and who doesn't...(I'm still in college and look like I am too..har)

-ELmO
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
AR component cables were not capable of carrying a "high definition signal",
Uhmmmm Scott - The sales guy may have been right about this.

Ordinary Component video signals max out at around 4 Mhz. But HD signals go up to 35 Mhz. And the higher frequency are MORE sensitive to the plug than the lower ones.

So unless the AR packages specifically states that the cables are built for HD signals, I would not use them for HD/Progressive signals.
 

Michael Lee

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 7, 1998
Messages
652
Having been an owner of an HT business that shares space with a place that sells high-end appliances, I can assure you that this thread is being painted with a broad brush. I do not pretend to know everything, but I do know a thing or two about HT. I am also a Sunfire and Atlantic Technology dealer..how's that for irony. I understand there are tons of less-than-knowledgable salespeople out there, but let's remember there are quite a few members of this forum that are in the business and in the know also.
 

Kevin_Kr

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 9, 2001
Messages
886
I just love the thread where people say av salespeople know nothing. Tell that to the customer that comes in and wastes all your time to learn about about a product and buys it on line and then comes back to you for help. I would have to say for a chain store Ultimate Electronics has one of the best overall knowledgeable sales staffs. They at least take the initiative to send all salespeople regardless of experience to three weeks of training before they hit the floor. Also every day different trainings are done as well as on a weekly basis vendor training dvds are viewed. Do the salespeople there know everything, not a chance, better help than most, without a doubt, and yes I work for them.
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
I understand there are tons of less-than-knowledgable salespeople out there, but let's remember there are quite a few members of this forum that are in the business and in the know also.
Michael,
Point taken. Perhaps I was a bit harsh with my generalizations. Sometimes a broad brush covers more than intended. For that I apologize (and for those who don't know this, I'm acquainted with Michael).
However, it has been my experience that in an attempt to cash in on the "home theater" craze or whatever it's called many companies have resorted to hiring people who actually do the industry a disservice by either misleading, outright lying, or providing incorrect information about many products. The "tons" of duds out there unfavorably affect the good people in the industry.
And it becomes very difficult for the average consumer who wants some answers to get reliable advice. You can find good and bad people in the same establishment. And then there are also those who tend to talk down to people who "only" want to spend X number of dollars. I've seen examples of "Economic Profiling" that would make my blood boil - usually by people who knew less than the "victim."
One of the best things that we can do here at the HTF and similar places is to provide people with examples of good shopping experiences as well as bad ones. It's just that people tend to talk more about the poor service and advice since good news is usually no news to some.
So to all the "good" A/V people out there I apologize if I offended you. But, at the same time, I must remind people that just because a person sounds like he or she knows what they are talking about is no guarantee of this. And, unfortunately, "I really know what I'm talking about" is not something that a salesperson has tattooed on his or her forehead. The consumer has to be savvy enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
And that's where we come in (and I think the main point of this thread.)
O.K.?
 

Duke H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
86
OK, my 2 cents. I work at Best Buy, and admit that I do get the occasional customer who knows a bit more than me. (Especially all the HTFer's out there
). On the other hand, I feel that I deserve a bit more respect than what I seem to be getting. Sure, there are sucky salesmen out there...there are also sucky lawyers, and sucky accountants, etc. I get paid 8 bucks an hour to spend my day listening to people tell me that Bose speakers kick ass, JBL speakers suck, and Aiwa makes great receivers. When I try to make a suggestion, no one wants to here it, because I'm only a salesman. I CAN'T POSSIBLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT I SELL, RIGHT? Here's a question, if Best Buy employees are, quote, "retarded," then why even shop there? If you've already made up your mind about me, why not just order everything online? Oh, yeah...I should also point out that I do know more about what I sell than 99% of the people who walk into my store. Even the diehard Bose fans
. Oh, and Scott, as was mentioned before, AR cables carry a component signal...not a high-def signal. I had a display sen up showing Monster S-video and AR s-video side by side, and there was a definate diference.
Now, onto the whole "stereotyping" bit. How can I be accused of not helping someone because I don't think they will be spending any money. I'm a college kid, with a total of 8 body peircings, who dresses in thrift store clothes, and drives a "getto fab" '85 Olds, complete with 15 or so bumper stickers. If I were to go by stereotypes, I'd have a KLH stereo and a Daewoo TV! Also, isn't it a stereotype to suggest that salesmen won't look at you if you don't look like you have cash? Sure, some won't, but MOST will. I love it when pots start calling kettles black!
 

Chris Tsutsui

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,865
I worked retail as well in an electronics dept and If I was to be totally honest with the customers, I probably wouldn't get too many sales. I would often find too many good deals on the internet or find sales at other places to redirect them. Or I would tell them how to DIY and research more before buying.
I knew that wasn't the proper attitude, but it felt like the right thing to do.
For instance, I could tell someone how the shimano ultegras are the best bang per buck as bike components, and tell them they are only saving 70 grams by going with dura-ace. I would save ppl $200 but I wouldn't sell any dura-ace.
I'm using bikes as an example because there are probably ppl reading this that won't know a front derailleur from a bar-end shifter. (like you HTF ppl)

Oh, and to work in sales there are companies that will ask you "Will you break the law to make a sale?". If you answer no, it will only count against you since they believe you will not trespass and sell door to door.
man...
 

Kimmo Jaskari

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 27, 2000
Messages
1,528
It's not a crime for a salesman to know less than the customer. What should be a crime is to a; have an attitude and think you know everything and b; be condescending and/or patronizing to the customer.
That said, one does need to know the basics of what one is selling, at the very least.
I used to do sales myself (thankfully by now it's been a few years to recover from that trauma
) and have to sort of side with Chris, above, on this one.
If you think obnoxious sales people are bad, then try dealing with obnoxious customers every single day...
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
I'm using bikes as an example because there are probably ppl reading this that won't know a front derailleur from a bar-end shifter. (like you HTF ppl)

Chris,
Actually this 60 year old is a Jamus Komodo kinda guy.
 

Bill Lucas

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 20, 1999
Messages
530
RAF,

As we all know, retailers don't pay well. What kind of knowledge can one expect to get from a person that is just trying to earn beer and date money?

The knowledge in the industry in heavily geared towards the custom installation side (yes, I own and operate a custom installation business). Our people are professional, EXTREMELY knowledgeable and can design and install complex systems that would make even the most knowledgeable heads on this forum spin. There is a price to pay for our expertise and most people on the Internet are more concerned with the bottom line than with superlative service and deisgn and installation services. You guys don't get to see the cream of the crop when you shop for gear. Believe me, it's out there. Regards.
 

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