Why some home demonstrations don’t end up in a purchase

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Why do some home demos fail?
I can of course only legitimately explain the reasons from the perspective based on my direct personal experiences rather than supposition. The reasons for a sale not occurring at the conclusion of a home demo usually fall into the following relatively broad categories:
  1. My intervention has been successful in creating one or more differences but that in my opinion those differences cannot legitimately be considered improvements. I usually explain this via my mantra that “For something to be better, it has to be different whereas a difference does not automatically translate into an improvement” Or …
  2. I have through my intervention created a series of noticeable and worthwhile improvements but these do not in my opinion represent particularly good value and I feel obliged to say so. Or …
  3. I arrive at the home to discover that the customer has forgotten to tell me something - or has been suffered an inept installation which in turn means that I can significantly improve the system by rectifying cock-ups at no charge. I gain considerable satisfaction from this.
  4. One example from many was merely removing a stack of mains filtering nonsense (I'm not including mains regeneration in this) and plugging the system back into the conventional wall sockets (a transformation to a Levinson Reference System with Wilson WP series #7 where the customer had been royally tucked up by two other dealers who really should have known better). Another was merely getting the polarity correct on one pair of speaker connections. In those 2 examples, charging nothing was ethically appropriate and anyway, the extent of the improvement was greater than could be achieved by getting them to buy more equipment. Or …
  5. The sound is so dreadful that without a massive and inappropriate change, there’s nothing practical that I can achieve. A classical example being that of one owner of a pair ghastly horn speakers which are both bass light and nasally shouting in the mid range with a rock-boring treble. No amount of farting around is going to correct a fundamentally flawed design that should have never exited from the original designer’s ego. Or …
  6. The sound is so good (and the owner really underplayed and/or underestimated this) that the best thing is for me to sit down, relax, have a cup of tea and listen to the music and no unpack the gear from my car. This reason is quite rare these days. Quite common though when I was acquiring my skills at Subjective Audio. Or ..
  7. The prospective customer is in fact thinking of becoming a dealer and wants to see first hand how to undertake a home demo and/or wants to attempt to buy cheap from the importers, the makers or European retailers.
One instance that springs to mind was a 5 hour demo in North London where I went through numerous combinations of Ayre pre and power amps and Nagra pre and power amps and the Nagra DAC. Judging from subsequent emails, the time-waster wanted a serious discount to incentivse him to buy. He did in fact become a retailer so I'm told. Complete tosser.
Having said this, during the past 36 months, 7 out of 9 home demonstrrations resulted in a sale. And of course there is the added advantage of me increasing my knowledge bank through listening to combinations on site and noting which intervention produces which result. Not a bad life really.
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