As tech savvy as the world is today, LED sign technology is still uncharted territory for many people. Unfortunately, there are those in the industry who take advantage of this, bending the truth to suit their needs without much thought to the end users long term experience. I don’t see these bad apples going away anytime soon, so it’s up to the rest of us to set the bar and educate the truth to as many people who will listen. This means working a little harder on the high ground and resisting the temptation to take the easy way out by lowering the bar.
Take the extra time to educate a potential buyer on why you can’t quote an LED sign with an active matrix of exactly 5’ x 8’, or a sign with 100 Quadrillion colors. More importantly, why the other guy can’t either. You are the expert, you are the authority. Own it, and use it.
Authority can be defined in a couple of different ways. Some people are perceived to have authority, so others follow regardless if they actually know what they are doing. Others may have expert knowledge of a subject, but are not perceived to be the authority and are consequently not followed. If you were to just look at these two aspects, the choice is easy: be the perceived authority and make the sale. However, the third and most powerful option is to be both. You are the authority, the expert, AND a great communicator rolled into a trusted “go-to guy” for LED signs.
Communication and Trust are key concepts. If you can communicate your expert authority effectively, the people will trust you. They will respect your dedication to the truth and will be more likely to believe you over the other guy, as long as you can communicate on their level. Mike and Deacon both have posted some great advice on this subject, and are both very good communicators and trusted authorities themselves.
Being a trusted authority doesn’t mean you have a perfect knowledge. If you are trusted to provide accurate information, then do it, even if it means admitting that you need to confirm with a team member or consult a factory rep. People feel comfortable with a single point of contact who isn’t afraid to do this. It builds trust and confidence that your pride won’t get in the way of accurate information.
We all win when the industry is promoting truth. This might be difficult to see in the short term, especially if you’ve ever lost a sale to a competitor selling and LED sign with the solution to world peace. But history has proven that when industries work together to build trust, growth follows rapidly as people feel more comfortable to invest their hard earned money in products of the industry.
The willingness to sacrifice a little individually to grow and flourish as a group is one of the keys to a civilized society and exemplifies the best in humanity. Our industry goal should be to sacrifice the “win at all costs” mentality to produce a better educated customer, higher quality products in the market, and ultimately more sales for everyone. Own your authority, educate the truth, and help the industry grow by walking the high ground and raising the bar.
I hope this post has been informative and helpful. As usual, I welcome ALL constructive comments. Please feel free to comment and add anything I’ve missed, or additional tips you may have regarding this topic. Please visit www.vantageled.com for many other resources, white papers, and of course: Great looking LED Signs!
**All posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.