AI – The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

I could have let Artificial Intelligence write this blog for me.  However, I would have considered that cheating.  But is it?  I’ve learned from a close Microsoft contact that she often lets AI create her slide decks.  She feeds CoPilot (a Microsoft tool that leverages AI) a small amount of information and it compiles a detailed, powerful PowerPoint presentation.  WOW!  Doesn’t sound like cheating to me.  More like working smart instead of hard.

Using AIArtificial Intelligence – it’s all the buzz!  By definition, artificial intelligence mimics brain behavior to perform tasks using data and algorithms quickly and effectively.  Some people are hesitant to use AI, so they say.  However, we are all using it in our everyday lives whether we realize it or not.  Who can finish your sentences besides your spouse? AI!  The same applies to automatic grammar corrections and spellcheck. No one wants their spouse correcting them, but why not AI?!  A simple Google search delivers you what you want instantly using AI.  The list goes on and on, from banking to Amazon recommendations, smart home devices and digital voice assistants.  I would go as far to say that we would be lost without the basic help of AI at this point in our lives.

As a Pro AV distributor, we have several vendors/partners whose very products depend on AI to deliver the best features, functionality, and experiences to meet the needs of all types of businesses around the world.  One of our newest offerings is Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR).  Microsoft is one of the biggest proponents of AI.  To use MTR in a business setting, you need compatible equipment for the best experience.  While many of you are familiar with standard PTZ cameras, AI has taken these cameras to the next level giving fantastic results.  “Computer Vision” works much like human vision.  Enabling computer vision in PTZ cameras allows the camera to analyze faster than the human eye for features like tracking and auto-framing.

We have experienced a rapid growth of remote workers over the last few years.  This has led to a significant increase in the use of online collaboration via tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.  Fast forward to our current status, we have a hybrid environment, meaning many employees are in the office part time and working from home often, as well.  So, how do we juggle interaction and communication when employees are often not in the same place?  How do we have seamless meetings that are as close to the “real thing” as possible, and with ease?  I think we all know by now, it’s from daily use (perhaps hourly!) of online collaboration.  To have the best experience when meeting with employees, customers, vendors and such, you need the right tools.  This is where we, at Exertis Almo, come in.  We not only have over 100 sales reps across the nation to assist in fulfilling your communication needs, but we also have a seasoned team of AV experts to help design the perfect experience in any office space.  We offer a group of professionals who will recommend the best solutions for all to meet from near or far.  Some of those offer AI functionality. This is where I return to PTZ cameras using AI to enhance your virtual meetings.  By using the right camera and taking advantage of the AI features, you will find your meetings are better received and much more impactful.

Embrace AI.  Use it to improve your efficiency and enhance your meetings.

If only I could use AI to do my three-mile walk each morning while I reap the benefits. One day perhaps, one day.

Want to know more about AI in AV? You might enjoy this recent blog: “Innovate Corporate Collaboration with AI-Powered Solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms”.

Lisa Lingo, BDM

About the Author

Lisa Lingo

Category Manager – Collaboration

Supported Product Category: Collaboration

Contact Exertis Almo for product info, inventory availability, or to start a quote.

What If We Really Listened

The Power of Listening

I was inspired recently by a member of our leadership team. I realized, as I carried on and on – he patiently listened. This is a routine for him. He truly takes it all in before he responds, and I admire this skill. It’s not only respectful, but also useful. Sure, you think you listen – we all do.  But do we really listen? Without interjecting? Imagine what you could accomplish if you took a moment, an extra moment, and paid close attention to every word that was spoken. Could you better help your children? Could you solve more problems? Would this reduce the amount of time you “go back to the drawing board”?

Discover Needs & Pain Points

I have sales reps call and say “the customer wants XYZ”. Why be an order taker? Listen, then ask questions, then listen again carefully to those answers. What problems are they trying to solve?

Many of us already have answers while someone is speaking. How is this possible? Do we know the full scope of their needs, pain points, and desires?  The answer is simply NO, so we must get the story.

man listening video call

Build Healthy Business Relationships

Let’s focus on business. In the Pro AV distribution world, perhaps many organizations are content selling boxes.  Unfortunately, that is not a full-service, value-add offering, not to mention all the money left on the table. We do not want to oversell to our customers, but we do need to help them with the full scope of required work. If we listen better and ask the proper questions, we will find we are a true value-add resource. Better service equals happier customers, and happier customers leads to great retention.

Case and point, we sell flat panels every day. We sell quite a few audio systems and PTZ cameras.  Many of our customers are building out various sized meeting rooms, training facilities, classrooms, and the like. Why not help make it a fully functional space from the beginning? Ask your customers what they are trying to accomplish. Ask them detailed questions about who is using these rooms and how. Get the answers!

Open Up the Dialogue.

Rob Ziv

For me, I am a Business Development Manager focusing solely on one product line. While my products are often needed, they are not always thought of by the sales reps, resellers, or the end user customers. However, it does not have to be an afterthought. Let’s say you are on a call that might go something like this… “Thank you for inquiring about our flat panels. Happy to help. Where are these panels being installed?  What is the scope of this project?” With these questions, you open the dialogue. Next, your customer shares the STORY. Listen to that story.

Share. Conference. Connect.

Who knows? That story may lead to several meetings rooms. Will they need touch screens, cameras, and audio? Do they know that we can offer Barco ClickShare, so they can share content with everyone quickly and easily in those rooms? Ask them if there will be a conference solution in the room, like Teams or Zoom. They will likely say “of course”. Who doesn’t use these services most days now?! Once you know what your customer already has and what they need to connect all of the pieces, you can offer solutions. You might start with, “Let me share what we can do for you now. We offer ClickShare units that bring everything together, and with a click of a button, you can not only share content on the main flat panel or touch screen, but you can integrate your conference solution, camera, and audio with that same quick connection.” I bet they will respond with a “WOW!”

Thank You for Listening

Sound simple? It really is that simple. Listening is the foundation for building relationships, to sales, to success. Don’t just be a good listener. BE A GREAT LISTENER.

About the Author

Lisa Lingo

Business Development Manager
Exertis Almo

Supported Applications: Barco ClickShare (West)

Lisa Lingo, BDM
Contact Exertis Almo for product info, inventory availability, or to start a quote.

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