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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

December 24 Client Types

Posted on December 24, 2010 at 1:07 PM

My dad just called me. He asked how business was going around the holidays. Normally that answer would be something like, “Fairly slow, you know, just taking care of those last minute, super-ultra-crisis service calls of, ‘Please! Dear God! PLEASE help me! I have a house full of guests and I can’t get Little Drummer Boy to play on the audio system! Help!’” But today we are actually kind of busy. So I thought I would describe four different CTA client-types that I’ve encountered so far today.


Client 1: Super, zealy, loves this stuff, mid-30s guy. Wanted to buy his parents a gift certificate for me to perform an ISF color calibration. He purchased said cert even despite my medium-best efforts to semi-quasi talk him out of it.


“Really? You want to spend $350 to calibrate your parent’s $900 TV?”

“Oh, yeah! Absolutely!”

“OK. But, I’ve found that sometimes older people don’t like the way a calibrated set looks. Because it is usually so much dimmer.”

“Oh, no. They’ll love it.”

“OK. Cause, when I correct the grayscale to D65 and adjust the contrast and brightness it is dimmer.”

“Yeah. But way more accurate. Totally! Let’s do it!”


So, I sold that. And this guy was just so passionate about A/V and home theater that he started my day off to a great, fired-up high. I *really* wanted to demo our big sound room for him, cranking that Trinity sub up to bowel liquefying levels where each cannon blast leaves a small but permanent sonic impression on your internals. But his parents were waiting out in the car. When I told he we had the new Runco projector in our theater, he responded (correctly) with an overwhelming, “Oh, YES! I LOVE Runco!” This is clearly a man that needs a hug. From another man. Me. This is the kind of guy that you live to give demos for. Plus, he says he has saved up $20,000 for his own media room. Sadly, he lives in Philadelphia. But that’s OK. This is the guy you love giving a killer experience to just for the sake of experiencing something with another fellow human who shares the same passion and interest in our small, crazy 7.1 world.


Client 2:  Mid-20s guy with a serious long-Oooo accent from Ca-na-da, in town visiting his parents and his parent’s receiver seems to be broken. Even after being off all night, it is “burning hot” to the touch. That’s a red flag; things aren’t going well. He needs to get something he can install for them and reprogram their Harmony before next Wednesday when he returns to the Great White North. No problem, says I, but he is gonna be limited to what I have on hand in our store since it is Christmas Eve and all and pretty much nothing is gonna be getting shipped in between now and Wednesday without some big mojo shipping costs. He comes in to get them a new receiver and I take them through this whole sales pitch and got them all jazzed about the new Yamaha A700. Better audios, better warranties, better mo-betters, and even betterest: I have 2 new-in-the-box in back. Great! Until he says he needs a powered Zone 2 audio output. No problem. Let's step up $150 to the Yamaha A800 which does have powered Zone 2 audio output. What’s that? You need it to have XM radio? NOT Sirius? Uh, OK. Let’s step up another $600 to the Yamaha 2065. Now we're at $1300 but all your problems can disappear with magically delicious. Also sounds like they might have some other problem stuff going on, like an in-wall sub that only produces mumbly sound at max volume.


Client 3: Previous client, got a soundbar for Christmas, needs a cable to hook it up. Sadly, he didn’t bring his manuals, so I don’t know which of these parameters will help him: A) TV has optical output, soundbar had optical input, uses optical cable and all is well. B) TV has analog output, soundbar has analog input, uses analog cable and all is well. C) TV has analog output, soundbar has optical input, there is no cable, systems are incompatible and his soundbar no worky. But, he wants to add audio to his upstairs porch, so set up a future service call.


Client 4: The Custom Theater and Audio wealthy, type-A, I must have it working now, I want something good and I don’t care what it costs dream client. My dad asked me if we sold many TVs this time of year. And I said, no, not really. His first comment was, “Oh, too expensive, I guess.” No, but thanks for the vote of confidence, dad! More like too awesome! No, more like we don’t keep inventory on TVs because their pricing has the volatility of commodity trading, and today’s hot set is tomorrow’s kick-to-the-curb special. So we sell TVs on an order-in basis. If you want to walk in off the street and buy a TV today – right now! – we are not generally the right place. So, I sent some installers to a client’s house earlier in the week to check what we thought was an HDMI cable broken from so many repeated pluggings and unpluggings. Turns out the cable is fine, but the HDMI input board on his 2.5 year old TV is shot and he, By God! wants a new and better TV in by the time Bowl Games start. Guess what fits in his opening... Sony’s flagship 46-inch XBR. By 1/2-an-inch on the vertical, this $3150 set fits the bill and is in stock and shipping from Suwannee, Georgia and can be here in time for install before the Bowl Games and, winner-winner, chicken-dinner, sold!


And all this by 1 PM!

Categories: December 2010, CTA

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Reply Larry Rosenberger
10:34 AM on September 21, 2011 
Since 1988 I've encountered everyone of the clients you mention in your terrific article. LMAO!
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