This is very use full for salespeople with little or no AV knowledge, this short text is intended to be inspiration for clients meeting, it is not always about price, cheap equipment cost more on support and frustrated users
Meeting a client is very important to make a good impression, here are some key points that sound obvious but it is my experience that not all salespeople follow them, and they give you a good start with your client.
- Arrive on time
- be prepared
- make notes (measure the room, take pictures, ask many questions)
- Keep a good dialog during the process
Let me explain the reason behind this few points:
Arriving on time, or maybe before time gives you time to get a sense of the place, imagine that your client is a big university, and you are called in to give a bid of a classroom or a auditorium, you have time to find one or more of the rooms, on campus and have a look on how they are designed, maybe they use a specific brand of loudspeakers or projectors, this is something you can ask about, when you meet the client, and it shows that you are prepared.
When you meet with the client, ask to visit the room or rooms, and make notes, make a drawing of the room, measure the length, width and height, the distance to the front row, and backrow, also note which type of ceiling it is (is it concrete or a hanging ceiling or something else) try to find out the distance below the hanging ceiling, and also if there are raceways for the cables, and if there is room for your AV cables.
It is a very good idea to take plenty of photos of the room, maybe you overlooked a detail when visiting the room or rooms, and then it is very handy to have the pictures, you also have the opportunity to ask a colleague or a technician about advice, also for the technician who is going to do the installation, it is very handy to have photos together with the description of the work he is going to do.
During the whole project it is a key to success to keep dialog with your client, specially when you run into problems, it is better to involve your client if there are any change in the project, specially with big projects it is almost impossible to avoid problems or delay, it can be AV equipment that got damaged in transport, time schedules that was not followed by other craftsman, etc.
Ask the client what the purpose of the room will be, will it be distance learning, normal classroom, meeting room, if they want a projector ask what they will show on the project/screen.
Explain to the client that it is a good idea to look at the total cost of the system, if they buy cheap components they might fail often and they might have to cancel important meeting, use time in supporting the systems, cheap components may not last for many years, so a good advice is to spend a bit more in quality components and the user design of the system to lower the support time and frustration from the users.
One example is a board room with videoconference, imagine that each time they need to use the system they have to book a technician to start up the system, and maybe spend time to get it to work, a good designed system can be used without a technician.
you can get more inspiration from this 2 articles:
Steps for designing a meeting room
Steps for designing a classroom