“Pay it forward”: Sonance CEO Ari Supran
Sonance has long been an industry leader when it comes to architectural speakers. So instead of expanding their dealer base even further, the company is focussing on improving business for their integrators and growing the market overall. Jacob Harris explains.
Sonance chief executive Ari Supran recently spent a couple of weeks Down Under, to meet with Australian dealers and integrators. While here, he took some time out to have a chat with the Connected team and pass on some advice on how integrators might sell DSP audio solutions to their clients more effectively.
“I’m a big subscriber to the concept of ‘start with why’. It was coined by a guy named Simon Sinek, and the concept is pretty simple: when a company or an individual is selling something there are three things they can talk about – why, what and how,” says Ari.
“In these situations (especially for those of us who come from a technical background) it’s all too easy to jump straight to the what – ‘it’s DSP audio, let me tell you all about it.’ Often we’ll then tell the client a bit about how it works – the nuts and bolts of how it installs or operates. Then, sometimes, we might finish with ‘why’ – why it exists, why it got built, why we recommend it.”
Ari explains that the problem with putting ‘why’ at the end, or forgetting it all together, is that when we’re talking about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, it doesn’t mean much to the client because we haven’t provided any context. If you begin by explaining that distributed audio will provide immersive sound and balanced volume coverage all around the space – so it’s comfortable to listen to the music and it’s easy to have a conversation while the music’s playing – you give context: the ‘why’.
Another aspect to consider when selling DSP audio is aesthetics. Ari explains that this gives the integrator a different ‘knob’ to turn. Instead of constantly turning the fidelity/audiophile knob and having the client explain they don’t need audiophile sound as background music in their dining room, integrators should focus on making the technology invisible.
This way, integrators can position themselves as a conduit between the design team (architect and interior designer) and the trades and have a foot in both worlds by making sure that the design team’s vision is not disrupted by technology.
“People tend to think audio performance in terms of fidelity but I think it’s more than that. It’s really more about how well it does its job. When it comes to two channel audio, performance is about creating the stereo image and the sound stage. But with distributed audio, the speakers are in the ceiling so that’s all out the window – so what is performance?
“Sure it’s partly fidelity, but it’s more about creating an environment – that experience where you don’t really know where the sound is coming from, it’s immersive and just seems like it’s coming from all around. Add to that the recognition that distributed audio is not being installed in a dedicated space – it’s not a theatre or a two channel listening room – it’s a kitchen or a dining room so has to be perfectly hidden within the interior design or we haven’t done our job properly. All these elements combined contribute the overall ‘performance’ of a DSP system.”