“Teach Your Salesmen Well”

By | Anthony's Blog

“Teach Your Salesmen Well”

Why Manufacturers Need Product Training Programs

It has been a few months since I’ve posted a blog but Friday night, during a two-hour conversation with Richard Vandersteen, I was inspired. (Richard has a way of inspiring people!) We were talking about the fact that finally, after eight miserable years, 2-channel business seems to be making a comeback. Problem is, most of the old-time salesmen with a deep understanding of sound and equipment have either retired or uhhmmm… died. And since the audio business has been on life support for the past few years, dealers haven’t exactly been offering vast sums of money to entice a new generation of qualified HiFi salesmen.

As a result, we’re now confronted with a situation whereby consumers once again want to buy high end audio but there aren’t many individuals qualified to sell it. As the remaining “Old Guard” retailers (…and hopefully a few new ones!) gear up to court a new crop of stereo customers, they’re going to have to staff their showrooms with salespeople. But, since HiFi is, at best, an “Esoteric” discipline, the salespeople with which we’re likely to wind up might be experienced at selling Luxury Goods—cars, watches, pens—but know as much about High End Audio as I do about brevity.

It’s too late for us to do much about it: the industry didn’t incentivize educated young men and women to become professional High End salesmen, so we just don’t have any. Instead, we can draw from a pool of well-groomed, well-spoken luxury goods hawkers, most of whom have never owned a great HiFi and even fewer of whom know what makes a HiFi great. The challenge becomes training these newbies so that their audio knowledge approaches their sales ability.

So, who’s going to train these guys? Dealers will have to provide some instruction, magazines will be helpful and the customers themselves will offer guidance but it won’t be enough. And then, it occurred to me: this is the ideal opportunity for manufacturers to offer training as a means of gaining an advantage on their dealers’ sales floors!

In terms of audio knowledge, these “New Recruits” are a blank sheet upon which manufacturers can write their stories…and boost their sales. Let’s say a dealer offers three brands of loudspeakers. If only one of those three vendors offers sales training, you can bet that—all things being equal—the brand that trains will sell best. Dealers will welcome this service, as their training resources have always been marginal (dealers have historically hired enthusiasts who came to the industry with strong product knowledge). Problem is, very few manufacturers have developed comprehensive training programs. This should be easy enough to remedy and the benefits, as described, are obvious.

The lesson here is simple: product training is good business. The first vendors to develop training programs will be the most successful. Let’s get to work!

Specialty Sound & Vision 2017 CES Show Guide

By | Newsletters


See the best and brightest stars in high-end audio and video products for 2017… at CES 2017!!!                                   

 Brought to you by Specialty Sound and Vision

 ARCAM (The Sound Organisation): Venetian Tower Suite 30-210

ARCAM will be showing and demonstrating their top-of-line AVR850 ($6000 MSRP), which features “Dirac Live” Room Correction, the most highly regarded Room EQ available, Class G amplification, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. ARCAM will also be showing their latest Solo Music ($2250 MSRP) and Solo Movie ($3000 MSRP) compact lifestyle systems, their A39 integrated amplifier; which all now incorporate ARCAM’s latest refinement of Class G amplification. In addition, ARCAM will be showing the UDP411 Universal Disc player. ARCAM will be introducing their NEW rPlay – Play-Fi streaming DAC, along with the NEW rPhono Phono Preamp.

Bel Canto: Venetian Tower Suite 29-318

Bel Canto will be showing their “Black-Series” ACI-600 Integrated Amplifier, the latest addition to their State-of-the-Art Black System.

Brinkmann : Venetian Tower Suite 29-201 & 29-203

Brinkmann will be showing their NEW Nyquist DAC, along with the Bardo turntable paired with their 10.0 tonearm, Pi Phono Cartridge, Integrated Amp and Fein Phono Preamp.  Additional Brinkmann products will be featured in live demos with the following manufacturers: DeVore Fidelity (Suite 30-116) – Spyder with the 10.5 tonearm. VTL (Suite 30-102) – Balance with 12.1 tonearm and  RöNt. Nagra (Suite 29-121) – Bardo, 10.0 tonearm and Pi Phono Cartridge.

Dynaudio: Venetian Tower Suite 30-136

Dynaudio will be showcasing their newly released Contour Series; including the Contour 60, Contour 30 and Contour 20 Loudspeakers ($10,000, $7500 and $5000 MSRP respectively). Dynaudio will also be showing the latest addition to their best in class wireless speakers, Xeo Series; the Xeo 2 ($1599 per pair MSRP) compact bookshelf/wall-mount mount features Bluetooth connectivity in addition to a host of standard inputs!  Dynaudio will be demonstrating their Contour 60 speakers with the Octave MRE 220 Mono Amps an HP 700 Preamp.

Gallo Acoustics: Venetian Tower Suite 30-103

CES 2017 marks the relaunch of Gallo Acoustics. Gallo Acoustics will be showing their complete line of speakers that will start shipping in January 2017.

Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS): Venetian Tower Suite 29-203

HRS will be featuring their reference level VXR Audio Stand. HRS will also be showing their new Vortex Footers and new S3 Isolation Base.  HRS will be displaying their lineup of industry leading MXR, SXRC, SXR and RXR audio stands, M3X isolation bases, R Series Shelves and noise reduction products.
HRS products will also be on active demo in several other manufacturers rooms.

Shunyata Research: Venetian Tower Suite 30-333

Shunyata Research will be doing things different for this CES and will meeting by appointment only.

Please let us know if you would like to make an appointment with the Shunyata Research team.

 Simaudio Ltd.: Venetian Tower Suite 29-139

Simaudio will be debuting their newest, their hugest, most enormous, massive and mighty 888 Monaural Amplifier. Conservatively rated at 1.2hp and weighing in at 250 pounds!! Some may think that Simaudio has gone off the deep-end… the 888 also carries a SIX figure $$$ price tag.  Simaudio will also be showing their complete lineup of MOON Neo and Evolution series of high-performance preamps, amplifiers, DAC/CD transports, DACs, network audio streamers and headphone amplifiers.

Straight Wire: Venetian Tower Suite 29-212

Straight Wire will be debuting several new products; the Pro Thunder Power Cord, Black Thunder II Power Cord, Expressivo Grande II Speaker Cable, LHDS and CHL 4K HDMI Cables and USBF-Power Only USB Cable.  Straight Wire will also be showing their comprehensive lineup of high performance interconnects and speaker cables, HDMI cables, power cables, USB cables and custom installation solutions.

Vandersteen Audio: Venetian Tower Suite 29-201

Vandersteen Audio will be featuring their Quatro Wood CT Loudspeakers.


To arrange an appointment with our manufacturer partners, or for a printer-friendly version of this e-mail please call or e-mail Caitlin at our office.

201-690-9006 caitlin@ssvreps.com

CES 2017 Exhibit Dates and Hours

Thursday, January 5th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, January 6th: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 7th: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, January 8th: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Stereophile LOVES PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium Power Amp!

By | Reviews

Stereophile LOVES PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium Power Amp!

In the November, 2016 issue of Stereophile, just released, reviewer Herb Reichert raves about the PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium Power Amplifier.

His conclusion: PrimaLuna’s ProLogue Premium has become my new reference for low-power, high-value amplification. Class A sound at a Class C price” It doesn’t get any better than that!

The Fun begins on Page 83: please check it out!