Griffin added that in today’s mobile-device-heavy market, dealers have no choice but to demonstrate connectivity in Smart TVs and then use the demos to sell off of the concept. “You either sell the improved customer experience or be relegated to selling leaders,” he said, citing connectivity as the “emerging mega trend,” with the rise of popularity of tablet PCs, energy management and monitoring, and retrofitting in the custom integration business sector as profitable corollary trends. He stressed that connectivity isn’t limited to viewing movies. “It’s whatever your customer wants, and it’s up to you to find out what that is. Accessing a thermostat from a computer has nothing to do with Netflix; it’s a different customer set altogether. The possibilities are endless, and they don’t stop with the TV.”
For dealers who are hesitant to sign onto connectivity as a salesfloor tactic, DSI said it fully intends to walk those who need assistance through the process with its large staff of dedicated account managers.
That sentiment was echoed by former Toshiba executive Jerry Satoren, who recently joined DSI as its senior vice president of CE business development. “The best part about this company is that we’re national and very large, which is important to vendors; we’re an efficient choice. But why we’re different is that on the dealer-facing side, our DNA is still very local, very personal. We have 150 people calling on independents and selling them they way they used to be sold by manufacturers.” He added that full-service distributors like DSI are even more valuable “since the TV business has gone from 80 percent delivery to 80 percent take-with. And as margins continue to deteriorate, surviving is now about turning inventory. Six turns a year is no longer viable; dealers need 10 to 12 turns to compete and maintain profitability.”