High end audio stores (and how they relate to wine)

I love high end audio. I like the older components. I like the texture of a vinyl record, and I love my older speakers. The sound is better, the richness is more complete, and when I take the time to sit down and listen to a favorite album I tend to put other things away and absorb the experience.

The problem? I don’t know much about high end audio, which is an intimidating world. To tell you the truth, I know nothing about it. I just know I like it.

Last night I went to a local high end audio store. Went something like this:

“Hi! How ya doing tonight!”

“Good, thanks for asking.”

“What brings you in?”

“Just bumming around. Like to look at the stuff. Only have five minutes.” (A lie, but I wanted an out if I needed one.)

“Cool, man. Anything in particular you’re looking for?”

“I don’t really know. I need some speakers. I don’t know much about high end audio, just that I like it.”

At this point they had an opportunity. I was honest about my lack of knowledge. I showed my hesitation and vulnerability.

Imagine if at this point he said “I can show you some stuff quick if you want, but also if you sign up for our newsletter you get a link to a publication we did called Welcome to High End Audio that will step you through some stuff. We also offer a free class every month to show why these components are different from others.”

Instead what I got was: “How much do you want to spend on speakers?”

“Don’t know. Maybe $300 or so?”

(Grimace face) “Uh huh. Hmmm … we have these over here for $400.”

“How are they? I’ve never heard of this brand.”

“Me either, actually. He’s a brochure.” And he literally handed me a brochure and walked away.

Okay, so let’s analyze this. A customer walks in, admits a lack of knowledge but a desire to learn, and only has more intimidation and frustration thrown at them. Sound familiar? This is what many fine wine shops do. The big problem is they don’t even realize that they are doing it.

Marketing is about interaction. Human interaction. It’s about bringing people into your fold and helping them learn.

Don’t miss this opportunity.

More on specific ways to help recognize and react to the opportunity later, but in the meantime brainstorm how can you bring people into your tribe easily and quickly, once they show their vulnerabilities.

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