One of the most exciting new technological capabilities we have is the ability to find people online who are exhibiting interest in pianos. Accommodating existing interest is crucial to efficient harvesting and sales, BUT that is only half the battle.
Why? Because no matter how good the harvesting machinery is, if there is not enough existing interest, that machinery will appear to let you down when in fact it would do pretty well if the demand was there.
Why the manufacturers, and subsequently the dealers, have placed 99.9% of their time and energy (yes, there are exceptions to every rule) into selling the unit instead of promoting the need and benefits of the unit I don’t know but let’s be honest, this is a fact. YES! Some of the dealers do workshops and concerts but the return is equal to the investment, and there is not nearly enough outreach into the community espousing the benefits of playing the piano in today’s crowded world of recreational choices. IN FACT, learning itself, and the value of the learning experience, has been distorted in today’s instant gratification, “let’s just get past the exam” culture. If the goal is just to get to the next fun thing instead of also valuing what the learning experience does to enrich us as total well-balanced people, then we have lost our way.
Most all of us who have been in this industry a while remember when all the studies about the benefits of playing came out: how much better students learned in other subjects as well, the value of the discipline, the mental health, physical health and well-being, how it gives the player a chance to get in touch with their creative and spiritual sides and on and on the list goes. Yet let’s admit it, we forget to tell the most important story that there is… the personal advantages of playing, which are not only relative to the beginner or intermediate pianist but also to those wanting to justify the purchase of a premium piano. If we concentrate too much on “getting the sales” that are out there, we ignore our future and THAT is what has been happening to the industry. It simply doesn’t matter how many reasons you give a person to buy if the passion to own hasn’t been instilled first.
We must engage and instill in many instances before we sell. This is why it is important to engage targeted individuals through social media online and through engagement programs and pique their interest, even if they haven’t been proactive enough to Google any key words or visit any piano information related sites. Ladies and Gents here is the stark, hard reality: there is enough piano interest and curiosity no only to survive, but to thrive online; it’s what we do with it after we engage that matters most. If it’s all about what we sell today, and we are unwilling to be evangelists and create excitement about the most fundamentally important instrument in the world, then we deserve what we get. If immediate ROI is all we care about then we should find some widgets to sell, be honest about it to ourselves, and abandon the greater good. If you’re in this only for the revenue, then you’ve missed the point. Yes, it is a business, but most businesses thrive when their employees are passionate and excited about what they sell. Remember this fact and you can compete with any electronic, techy gadget or recreational option you are up against: “People don’t buy a thing, they buy what a thing does for them!” Nothing can compare to the list of benefits given the individual, society, heck…the world for that matter, as to what music can provide. The spiritual, mental, creative and educational qualities of learning have no competition. Let’s get that message out emphatically, loud and clear, and just see what that does to bless our mission of making a living by placing music in as many people’s lives as possible. You’ll be amazed!
Let’s not merely accommodate. Let’s create, generate and grow alongside it. The entire world will benefit from that mission. Nothing can really compete with music for the benefits and joy it brings into one’s life. You can disagree with me and we all have the right to our own views, but then you’ll have to disagree with this guy too:
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music – Albert Einstein.