Tom Johnson, president of Digital-AV, a Scala reseller and dynamic digital signage company in Indianapolis, talks about handling customer concerns when selling digital signage solutions:
SELL EASE OF USE: For our customers, it's about control. Most of our customers are corporate clients and they have to deal with complexities of the system. Who will be the champion of the system internally? Who will be controlling the network and the content? We help them understand that the Scala system lets anyone take control. There's no need to wait for the IT staff or the engineering department to take care of the system.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE: Most customers understand the requirements for having a digital signage network. Some may choose to operate on their own existing WAN or LAN. Our job becomes one in which we have to show the customer how to utilize the system within their network.
UNDERSTAND BUDGETS: For many of our customers, the budget is limited during the traditional financial year, with some money becoming available at the end of the fiscal year. We usually see a surge in orders in the fourth quarter. Since we know it's coming, we prepare for that. We bulk up inventory and staff. It's not that uncommon to bring on an extra person or two during this time. We also offer flexible packages. We don't get into negotiations on software or hardware. We help the customer achieve cost utilization.
PITCH ALTERNATE USES: It's a challenge to educate customers. We help them identify unique ways to use the network after deployment. We've had customers who went in designing a corporate communication network for the lobby, break rooms, hallways and general high-traffic areas. The progressive customers began to understand the potential of shifting to the engineering department. In a manufacturing environment, the system can directly communicate with the databases to display status of operations.
THINK UPGRADE: When looking at our packages, customers often remove items that may be considered expendable. At the end of the year, we see many items added that had been removed from the original procurement order. Because Scala is scalable, there are no issues after the initial rollout. ... We work out the initial rollout to fit the budget, and then look at the list of items to be added.