Was I Expecting Too Much

Hi everyone.  I'm looking for a heading check with a situation I encountered yesterday.  


I'm planning to upgrade my turntable later this year - Q3 is my target.  After my research, I've narrowed down to AMG and Brinkmann.  I was able to audition an AMG Viella yesterday, and was looking to audition a Bardo or Taurus for comparison.  I know my thought of trying to fit in a Brinkmann demo was last-minute, and some dealers are particular when it comes to appointments and allowing them time to setup their demo.  

The Situation:

So I called the local Brinkmann dealer and inquired to see if a bardo or taurus happened to be setup.  The salesman I spoke with said they had both, and he was going to check if a demo was possible.  After a few minutes, I get a phone call back from the owner who seemed rather dismissive of my request.  I explained that I'm currently doing my research and looking to hear some demos to help down-select, and that my purchase would be a few months from now.  He asked for my budget which I found strange as I already stated what I was interested in demoing.  Then the conversation turned to what gear I already own, which I understand sort-of.  Then the owner basically said it doesn't make sense for me to demo anything now and to call back when I'm ready to purchase.  

How am I going to know what I want to purchase without demoing the options?

Was I expecting too much by asking to hear equipment that I'm interested in?  My opinion is a sale isn't guaranteed and an audio dealer, just like any other dealer, needs to invest some reasonable amount of time to capture a sale.  You don't capture all the sales, but I didn't think I was being unreasonable in my request and certainly was not trying to waste anyone's time.  I was pretty transparent with where I'm at and I guess he was reciprocating my transparency by telling me to go away.  I felt "less-than" by this experience.  As if I wasn't worth investing any time into.





All good points.  And as @markimiller suggests, IF this is the dealer in question, he might be an old burnt out purveyor of audio hardware that's ready to trade in his surplus gear for a golf cart.

My intent is not to win (or, lose) an argument here but, rather, inject a viewpoint based on decades of experience for consideration.  I mentioned in an earlier post that it is unfortunate that the dealer missed an opportunity for a face-to-face with this (potential) customer.  It could have paid off for both of them?

My approach to potential customers was one where neither party was over-leveraged, or under-leveraged.  This seemed to work out well for me, and my customers.  Your example of a job interview does fit into the dynamic.  The dealer's career objectives (both short term and long term) does depend on the outcome(s).  The dealer's career is enhanced (or, diminished) by what is about to happen so, yes, he does have a vested interest in who is is "interviewing".  In this regard, whether we're aware of it our not, everyone we do business with (where there is a lot at stake) is going thru a mental checklist to see if they really want to do business with us.  Our portfolio included providing technology, home theater, distributed audio, etc. and using your contractor example, we were given the advice that if the customer/client is badmouthing the other trades on the job, it's probably best to bow out of the project.  They aren't going to like you, either.  And we may be unintentionally communicating the wrong messages to the dealer, contractor, etc. and disqualify ourselves before we even get started.  Probably the best outcome, for all concerned.

In my career, I had to look under every rock to discover business opportunities and was never in a position to pick and choose only elite customers/clients.  But I'll say, looking back, after 70+ hour average work weeks, I should have had a better filter on whom I did business with.  I missed a lot of life and living.  But, I did offer an extraordinary level of service.  Wonder if that will be included in my o'bit?


If you have a brick & mortar location your first job is to generate foot traffic and people willing to come in and sniff at whatever it is you are selling. That achieved, your next job is to have the sales staff to be able to actually be sales staff and make the sale, close the deal, get it done, satisfy a customer so that they have no reason to go elsewhere. It's freakin high-end retail 101. Hell, it's general retail 101. I worked retail at higher end shops (not audio) for decades and customer service was always dealing with tire kickers, but being damn smart enough not to piss anyone off. Must be tough these days with much of the world buying online, and coming into a store just to fondle the gear and then go search online for the lowest price. It doesn't matter if a "demo" or listening session is not really a benefit for most purchases, you as a dealer do it as it is the right thing to do. Make the customer feel like the purchase is an elevating experience among fellow enthusiasts. If you can't close the sale enough of the time you deserve to go away. That said, must be tough to be selling audio gear these days when there is more snake oil and fallacies than ever before to deal with, and people have drank all the Kool Aid that contradicts electrical principles!!!!! :-) 


Years ago I worked with a country bumpkin sort of guy who was single and lived very modestly. He walked into a bank and asked for the President (back when there actually were bank Presidents). They asked why he needed to see him and he explained he wanted to open an account. They blew him off and he left. He went to another bank and asked the same question. The bank President came out and greeted him and invited him into his office. The guy asked the President the maximum amount of an insured account. The President told him and he opened an an account with the maximum deposit. You see, he was raised by parents who were also frugal and left him money. He also traded in classic automobiles as a hobby. This is the kind of guy that everything he did turned to gold. The moral of the story is, you never know who has money and you can't judge people by their appearance. I would argue that if you're looking for a high end product, you already know the price point or you wouldn't be asking about it. The other things is, the shop owner doesn't know who you know! 😉

It does seem the idea of a Brand attaining a large proportion of sales over their competitors is quite a challenge. There are always a selection of Brands to be seen on a Shortlist or offered up a suggestion as ones to consider. Attached to this are the Brands Models that fit into the constraint of the allowed for Budget. 

All Brands are seemingly needing to depend on there retail support to get their products into the widespread arena, where the products can be encountered and demonstrated to inquirers.

Does it not make sense that a Brand should have a basic guideline given to a retailer on how they wish for their product to be represented. I would assume as much exposure through demonstration would be key.

It would also be beneficial to the Brand if they had a means put in place, for a customer/prospective customer to report back on how they feel they have been dealt with in relation to retailer handling the preparations for a sale.

A info being shared of this type, will certainly assist a Brand in identifying where there is wriggle room for their potential customers to encounter a satisfying experience.

Not much in addition would be required to sift out any Hoax Reporting.   

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