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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.


Last week a friend and I went to check out Taco Tuesday at a new hotspot down by my favorite watering hole in Lauderdale by the Sea.  I expected to enjoy dinner and a drink surrounded by sunshine and music at the open-air bar.  I did NOT expect the chance to geek out after hours with an AV/how to create stress-free collaboration chat, but that’s just what happened.

He’s a sales rep for commercial grade office furniture, and had a big meeting coming up that week.  “You work in PowerPoint, don’t you?” he asked. Ah-ha!  An ulterior motive!  I fully expected him to ask for help with his transitions or animation.  He followed up with, “how do you show your PowerPoint on a TV in a conference room?”  I ignored my initial instinct to correct him on the term “TV” and instead reveled at the chance to talk shop.  He rattled off the familiar complaints about meetings we are all familiar with. People unengaged and even checked out. Meetings can never start on time because it takes too long to set up presentations and project to the displays or screen.  And on and on.

Well!  Isn’t this right up my alley?  As the resident Barco ClickShare expert for the Florida office I am a big fan of the simple technology that makes sharing content and collaborating easy for anyone in any meeting.  I was more than happy to launch into the features and benefits of ClickShare, and how Barco has been changing how meetings are conducted for the past few years with full BYOD support and zero obstacles for downloading software.  IT departments pretty much anywhere can jump on board thanks to the 3 levels of security built into the technology.  And now that they have the CSE-200+ and CSE-800 that does touch back, annotation, and blackboarding for touch panels, the sky’s the limit when it comes to presenting and collaboration.

My friend was intrigued. One device that can easily alleviate all the meeting issues he described?  Not a mythical unicorn!

Unfortunately the company my friend was calling on did not have a ClickShare-enabled conference room, so he was left tethered to the display via an unattractive HDMI cord draped from the conference room table.  Great for impromptu limbo parties, but cumbersome and awkward for presentations and sales pitches.  Fortunately, he still landed the sale.

If he keeps inviting me for dinner on Taco Tuesday I’ll invite him into our office for a personal demo.  In the meantime, he’s going to have to keep wowing his customers with his winning personality

“Hiding the unseen: Spreading the word, while remaining silent”

The cat is finally out of the bag.  After an extended period under NDA, we can now start saying the word “UniSee” without using hushed tones, closing doors, or looking over our shoulders.  For those of you that missed the launch, Barco’s UniSee leverages multiple innovations that change how we install, service, maintain, and even see LCD video walls.

I first saw a sneak peak of the UniSee concept during a closed-door meeting at InfoComm 2017.  In this meeting, I witnessed:


Plus, UniSee includes Barco’s Sense X automatic calibration providing visual consistency throughout the wall – even as displays age at different rates – ensuring the installation looks as good in year five as it did on day one.

Yes, we’ve all heard similar stories before (yawn) – but this was different (yeah!)
By far, this was my #1 highlight from InfoComm. 🙂  But I had to remain silent. 🙁

We had a more significant challenge in that we had to generate attendees for the October product launch without letting anyone know about the product itself.  Barco and our marketing department, talented as they are, came up with some great ideas.  Part of this included mailing a “teaser tool” to a limited group of qualified video wall integrators – garnering some industry attention in itself.


[Did you get yours?  We have a very limited number left.  Shoot me an email if you are interested in one of these future collectors’ items, and we’ll see what we can dig up.]

However, even with the teaser, we still needed to get people to attend the launch of a product that we were not able to discuss.  While trying to figure this out, I asked our sales team for the names of their top videowall customers without an explanation.  This caused some curiosity.  When they get curious, they ask questions.  When you tell them that you can’t answer the question, they become more curious…. and this curiosity starts to build momentum.  They were thrilled when they eventually learned this was for Barco.  They know that we are the world’s largest distributor for Barco and that anything Barco is about to launch under NDA has got to be mega cool…. so they lit the fires of enthusiasm and integrators started registering in large numbers for the event.

To paraphrase Gerben Van den Berg of Barco on the day of the launch; before 1492, many people thought the world was flat.  Then someone decided to set sail, challenge our reality and changed our understanding of the world forever.  Barco set out on a new course for videowalls with UniSee that changes our industry going forward.

It’s liberating to finally talk about UniSee openly and to share my excitement.  If you have not done so already, take a look at UniSee and Discover the Unseen.

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