Burned out hi fi salesman

Have any of you come across a burned out hi fi salesman? I was at my local dealer the other day and was talking to one of the sales guys. In my opinion he is damaged goods! According to him he has had all the equipment at different times one could imagine. He said that he came to the conclusion that all hi fi components are within 5 % of each other in terms of sound (All things being equal). The fact that he currently does not even OWN a stereo is not a good sign! How can you relate to your customers if you're not even into hi fi yourself? I would advise anyone to ask the sales person they are dealing with questions about his or her preference with repects to the equipment they themselves own. As I say, the gentleman I talked to was non caring, un-involved, bitter, etc... Don't make hi fi choices beased on the "Expert"advise of an individual such as this. The lesson for me? Ask questions about your sales person first........then ask about the various equipment! You'll have fun and make better choices! Cheers,

Move to Denver CO.

We have many execelent shops in town. Although most do HT also they still have an execelent assortment of Highend gear. Both for the HT enthusist and the Audiophool.


At 24, when I purchased my first new porsche, the first sales person did not even want to talk to me so I went down the cubes and found a sales person that wanted my business, this salesperson not only took me for a test drive but really sounded interested in working with me. I paid cash that day. Treat your clients as you would want to be treated. Simple but effective. (oh and back then 911s were only 30,000)
My experience with hi fi in NH was going into one of the few high end dealers (mostly home theater) and asking about tube amps. I was shown a Golden Tube tube SE 40 amp for about $1000, told all the Chinese stuff was junk, and told to buy this from them used with no warranty. This was the only tube amp in the store at the time. Lack of choice is a major reason I purchase on Audiogon. They also showed me a set of consignment speakers made by " Kestral 2 ". I advised them these were "Meadowlark" Kestral 2's, and let them know the manufacturer was out of business. Lack of knowledge was also an issue with me. Audiogon has been a lifesaver for me, and allowed me to assemble a system I could not have put together from any local dealers.
As a hi fi saleman of close to thirty years here's my take:
Don't go into a stereo store and waste a saleman's time if, regardless of what you hear, you are not going to buy from him or her and then rationalize your guilt and your ethical obligation away expose facto by saying that you weren't treated right. Tell the salesperson up front that you're not there to buy but to gather information and listen. If he's worth his salt and he has the time he'll spend it with you and enjoy the experience. But woe be tide unto you if you take the salesman away from his floor while he can be making money.

Our perceptions of value outside of nature are nothing more than an illusion and on a very real level buying something from anyone is nothing less than an act of kindness and humanity. The idea that you can quantify, by percentages, the quality of sound or the accuracy of sound or the joy derived from the sound is the silliest thing I have ever heard of. Stereo sales people burn out because they don't get traffic, they can't sell, or they don't love the hobby.

Burnout is a problem in all walks of professional life.
I traveled the country doing seminars, called 11 Hard Earned Lessons--annecdotal recitations of actual experiences I had had over the years of selling audio.
What separates the good from the great, the great from the spectacular, is passion, and self awareness, and frankly, pride.
When a salesman goes home each night, (audio or otherwise) he or she must, in the quiet moments, ask the question, "What did I do right today?", then "What did I do Wrong".
Oftentimes sales people do everything wrong during a sale, but the customer buys anyway, creating a false impression for the seller--he/she makes incorrect assumptions about the efficacy of his/her work.
Conversely the same sales people do everything right, and even if the customer has the proper ingredients, "money, motivation", (book exerpts) and he/she's established 'value perception' (another exerpt) they STILL may not buy. HOW CONFUSING!
So, the sales person has to be self aware enough to know the difference between, "hey I did it right, he or she just wasn't ready, and hey I did it wrong and, they bought anyway".
Self analysis, with some very astute counseling with a professional sales manager goes a long way toward knowing what happens.
Anacrusis, is the post above, points out that people shouldn't go into a store if 'regardless of what you hear, you're not going to purchase'. That is a good point but it misses the mark slightly.
All sales people dislike having the 'tire kickers' or the customer with the 'friend/expert advisor' who knows more about audio than any 'salesman' could possibly know... but these people ironically make up a great portion of buyers if handled in the right way. (This is hard to do, because time is money, is time, is money...)

Quick story, and absolutely true.
One day a man came into an Audio Store I happend to be in--he wanted the rubber surrounds on his 20 year old woofers redone, as they had rotted, and fallen apart--a $75. item or thereabouts, they were so old as to need rework as they were no longer available. I watched as the service guy took the obligatory information for this virtually unprofitable transaction.
I looked outside and saw the white Mercedez he had driven up in, then at the man's monographed cuffs on his shirt, along with the perfect 'break' in his tailor made pants.
I walked over and said, "Hey, I'm Larry, I'm with THIEL Audio, here to do a seminar, would you like to hear something cool while he's finishing the ticket?" The man said "Sure."
Half an hour later he owned a pair of CS6's and then within two weeks, a Krell Amp and CD player, altogether more than $15/$20K, I can't remember the exact amount.
Sounds simple when I state it this way, but it's not. It's just that, 'burned out' sales people hurt everyone, especially themselves, as they run customers off, sell short of the customers buying potential, and generally wreak havoc on the sales floor. It's hard work selling--being 'up' all the time, but its no harder in a curious way, than repeating the phrase thousands of nights, (if you're playing the lead in a Broadway rendition of the play Camelot), "The rain may never fall till after sundown. By eight the morning fog must disappear. In short, there's simply notA more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot." Telling the same story thousands of different ways, and remaining excited about it is hard work!
Selling is repitition, patience, truth, establishing value, and remembering that each, 'real' customer has a desire to purchase if you do your job correctly.
Sorry this was so long, but it is something that hard working sales people can hopefully identify with.