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Topic:
SONOS discount Microsoft Employees
This thread has 24 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 18:12
Mr. Stanley
Elite Member
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...So going over the plans with a client... huge house.

(Keep in mind most of our clients are from Microsoft--- we are about 5 minutes away)...

SONOS comes up in the conversation. Client informs me his wife works for Microsoft.

Guess what? All Microsoft employees get A 20% discount on any SONOS product.

Cool, huh? Wow. Thanks, SONOS!
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 2 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 19:22
Audiophiliac
Super Member
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I get a discount on my car insurance for having a paypal account. So what? : p
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared." - Ron Swanson
Post 3 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 20:21
longshot16
Super Member
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3,432
make it up in amps and better speakers.


I hate crap like that but I bet you can recoup
The Unicorn Whisperer
OP | Post 4 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 20:22
Mr. Stanley
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On June 7, 2013 at 19:22, Audiophiliac said...
I get a discount on my car insurance for having a paypal account. So what? : p

I think it is lame that SONOS would do this... especially since there are 3 big SONOS dealers within 5 minutes of their campus... Magnolia, Definitive Audio and us... The other thing is, the average Microsoft salary is like $125,000 K - like they really need a discount!?!?!


8>(
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 5 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 20:59
cgav
Select Member
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Even weirder since there is no app for Windows Phone.
OP | Post 6 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 21:11
Mr. Stanley
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On June 7, 2013 at 20:21, longshot16 said...
make it up in amps and better speakers.

I hate crap like that but I bet you can recoup

Ha ha yes actually that is true... and maybe the installation rate!

I guess it's all good. Still surprising they would do this...
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 7 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 21:15
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On June 7, 2013 at 19:22, Audiophiliac said...
I get a discount on my car insurance for having a paypal account. So what? : p

20%? Just sayin'!
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 8 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 21:43
vwpower44
Super Member
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3,662
We also have a branch of the Dept of Energy here, and they also get the same 20% discount.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish...
Post 9 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 22:35
cb1
Select Member
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1,663
Phonos app for windows phones, works well
why have a nice system if you cant operate it, program the remote the right way the FIRST time!
Post 10 made on Friday June 7, 2013 at 22:57
Indigo
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2,040
Discount for Microsoft's employee may be bigger than major Sonos dealers' margin <(
Post 11 made on Sunday June 9, 2013 at 01:14
bcf1963
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On June 7, 2013 at 18:12, Mr. Stanley said...
...So going over the plans with a client... huge house.

(Keep in mind most of our clients are from Microsoft--- we are about 5 minutes away)...

SONOS comes up in the conversation. Client informs me his wife works for Microsoft.

Guess what? All Microsoft employees get A 20% discount on any SONOS product.

Cool, huh? Wow. Thanks, SONOS!

So, if they were worth less, this would be ok? Because they are well to do, they should pay more?

Sorry, but I probably fall into the "well to do" camp, and I'll tell you that if I have a chance to pay less, I'm going to do it! Call me cheap if you like. My investments make more money for me each year, than I pull in. In my opinion, Ben had it all wrong... after taxes a penny saved is worth more than a penny earned!

Now, I'm a reasonable person. If I think I'm getting something in return for paying more, I may decide to do so. But, with the margin you make on Sonos, what special service would I receive?

I think the business model of most of the CI's here is failing. There is so little money to be made on most TV's, receivers, Sonos, etc, why not scrap the old business model, and sidestep the issue entirely? Why not just sell your services, as an installer / integrator, and if they can get the equipment somewhere else more cheaply let them. Just make them sign an agreement that it must be the exact model you contracted to install, and if you show up and it is wrong, they will pay for travel time, and some amount of hourly rate? This puts it on them if they want to shop for all the items, or wish to buy from you. This allows you to sell what your real product is.

Car salesmen love to talk about how much of a monthly payment the car will be, as it gets the customer away from knowing what the true total is. Anyone buying a car knows how slimy a tactic this is. Yet most of the CI's here seem to think there is noting wrong with this tactic when discussing an install with your customers. Put yourself in their shoes. They don't necessarily know if you are great at what you do. (How would they? They're not a pro at this.) They don't know how trustworthy you are. So many will turn to the only place they have to determine if they are getting a decent rate, the internet. So you've put them in this position, where they then have to doubt if your rates on the equipment are so high, are your rates for the install overpriced as well? In the end, if you educate the consumer, they'll be willing to pay a fair price. Pricing the goods separately, and offering them separately from your services serves to inform the customer of what you do, how much time it takes, and what the true cost is. Why wouldn't more here want to do this, unless you don't think what you do is really worth what you'd have to charge?

I'm sure I'll get flamed by several here... But if you read the above, and try and understand the reasoning, you'll have a better feel for what thought process your customers are going through. So, I've got my Nomex on, so flame away!
Post 12 made on Sunday June 9, 2013 at 07:52
BobL
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No flame here and you are correct in many ways. We stopped selling TVs several years ago but we specialize in projectors so it has never been our main focus as it is for other CIs. We have specified specific models for customers but invariably they talk to the salesman at the store or read some online reviews by non-professionals and buy a different model.

The other danger of letting a customer get their own equipment is someone will undercut them on the install and you will lose the job. Like you said they don't know how good you are and an install is an install. Many CIs have lost money price matching low matching items like TVs to get the job. If you know this your other costs are going to be higher to compensate for the price matching. In general most consumers are fixated on price of the component and not the value of the overall system.

I hear very frequently what is the lowest price 60" TV or whatever size. They also choke on smaller TVs that the cost to install it is more than the TV cost. The shift from looking at quality has been replaced by price as the main object of the consumer. You have to try an educate them but that is getting tougher with so many consumers focused on price.

I do think CIs need a better business model but the labor only model will be tough for many consumers to swallow. Especially, if it turns into charging for phone consults like lawyers do. Call and ask me what you should buy for equipment and that 15 minute phone call is billable.

The internet is not going away and something we have to live with. Our company just dropped what used to be a CI speaker company for having to price match AVS on a couple 5 figure speaker system. The problem is to price match we had to subtract out the state tax and made only a few hundred dollars on these systems. One had a bad subwoofer and we ate the shipping cost to return it to get it repaired. We should have just let AVS sell it to them and let the customer deal with it. But, that is never good relations nor good service.

It is easy to say just charge the labor for install but until consumers are ready for higher priced labor rates I'm not sure how well it will be accepted. I'm definitely open to suggestions for business models.
OP | Post 13 made on Sunday June 9, 2013 at 11:56
Mr. Stanley
Elite Member
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On June 9, 2013 at 01:14, bcf1963 said...
So, if they were worth less, this would be ok? Because they are well to do, they should pay more?

No, I'm just saying that I was shocked to see a supplier do this. Does SONOS really need to do this? Seems like they are already doing just fine, without undercutting their dealers I Redmond / Bellevue / Seattle.


Sorry, but I probably fall into the "well to do" camp, and I'll tell you that if I have a chance to pay less, I'm going to do it! Call me cheap if you like. My investments make more money for me each year, than I pull in. In my opinion, Ben had it all wrong... after taxes a penny saved is worth more than a penny earned!

Now, I'm a reasonable person. If I think I'm getting something in return for paying more, I may decide to do so. But, with the margin you make on Sonos, what special service would I receive?

I think the business model of most of the CI's here is failing. There is so little money to be made on most TV's, receivers, Sonos, etc, why not scrap the old business model, and sidestep the issue entirely? Why not just sell your services, as an installer / integrator, and if they can get the equipment somewhere else more cheaply let them. Just make them sign an agreement that it must be the exact model you contracted to install, and if you show up and it is wrong, they will pay for travel time, and some amount of hourly rate? This puts it on them if they want to shop for all the items, or wish to buy from you. This allows you to sell what your real product is.

I have another idea. Don't sell product that can be purchased online.



Car salesmen love to talk about how much of a monthly payment the car will be, as it gets the customer away from knowing what the true total is. Anyone buying a car knows how slimy a tactic this is. Yet most of the CI's here seem to think there is noting wrong with this tactic when discussing an install with your customers. Put yourself in their shoes. They don't necessarily know if you are great at what you do. (How would they? They're not a pro at this.) They don't know how trustworthy you are. So many will turn to the only place they have to determine if they are getting a decent rate, the internet. So you've put them in this position, where they then have to doubt if your rates on the equipment are so high, are your rates for the install overpriced as well? In the end, if you educate the consumer, they'll be willing to pay a fair price. Pricing the goods separately, and offering them separately from your services serves to inform the customer of what you do, how much time it takes, and what the true cost is. Why wouldn't more here want to do this, unless you don't think what you do is really worth what you'd have to charge?

I'm having trouble following the above comparison. How does the car salesman tactic apply to our rates? I don't get it.

I'm sure I'll get flamed by several here... But if you read the above, and try and understand the reasoning, you'll have a better feel for what thought process your customers are going through. So, I've got my Nomex on, so flame away!
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
OP | Post 14 made on Sunday June 9, 2013 at 12:21
Mr. Stanley
Elite Member
Joined:
Posts:
January 2006
16,954
...

Last edited by Mr. Stanley on June 9, 2013 12:36.
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 15 made on Sunday June 9, 2013 at 12:24
cma
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2003
3,044
Almost all large corps have discounts for various items. I have had several clients over the years get discounts on Sony and Panasonic through work as an "Employee Perk". One company being Cisco. Sports players are the worst, they get everything at cost in exchange for the manufacturers being able to use their names in lit. The discount in the case of both was essentially my cost via distribution.
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