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Yamaha Hosts Piano Pros Best Practices Training Session

by Victoria Wasylak • in
  • Supplier Scene
• Created: August 8, 2018

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Yamaha Corporation of America recently hosted a Piano Pros Best Practices training session as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to support its dealers.

Approximately 30 sales professionals from around the country attended the event to discuss the best sales techniques and strategies to leverage outside promotions to promote inside sales, according to Bob Heller, national sales director, Keyboard division. In addition to learning the “rules of the road” for Costco-specific events, topics included effective model mix, merchandising and booth display layout that can be incorporated into any venue where an outside promotion takes place.

The timing was perfect for Nicholas Estrada, manager of Fresno Piano Outlet and Fresno Piano Gallery.

“We were actually doing a Costco roadshow during the event. As the seminar was going on, I was texting and calling employees, telling them about the great Ideas I just learned!” he said.

Costco roadshows are 10-day events where Costco members get specially negotiated prices on select Yamaha instruments, typically the popular Clavinova and Disklavier technology-enhanced pianos.

“Outside promotions like this, along with events at malls, home shows and county fairs, are a great way to reach people who have never been exposed to this type of technology before,” Estrada said, noting that the Clavinova CVP-709 really draws the crowds in. This ultimate digital piano includes the sounds of the world-class Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial grand pianos, along with vintage electric pianos and “virtual musicians” to accompany the pianist in 40 different musical styles.

“Yamaha is using technology to open the door for anyone to learn a musical instrument,” Estrada continued. “In particular, people love the “Follow Lights” feature on the 709. Even if they have never played a note before, they can sit down and play an entire song by simply following the lights. We also get a great response from the 709’s “Kooky Karaoke” feature where people can alter their voice to sound like Popeye or some other character or artist. It’s the perfect family entertainment center.”

Raymond Blair of Falcetti Music in Springfield, Massachusetts also thought it was an extremely informative event.

“The strategies we learned are easy to initiate and we can start immediately with our Costco customers. They also translate to other types of outside promotions,” Blair said of the event. “Figuring out the best ways to draw people in was the most important strategy we discussed. We determined that the Clavinova CVP-709 should be the first launching point, followed by the Disklavier—the most technologically advanced and most accurate reproducing piano on the market today.”

When a Disklavier is paired with a big screen television, audiences are treated to the sheer spectacle of watching a performance by top artists like Elton John, Sarah McLachlan or The Piano Guys onscreen while seeing the keys and pedals on a Disklavier in the event space moving up and down, recreating the performance perfectly in sync with the performers.

“The Disklavier radio is also a pretty good attraction,” Blair said. “The classic rock channel features the music of Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd and another channel features standards from the 1940s and 50s. Artists like Frank Sinatra draw a lot of attention.”

Heller characterized the training event as an unqualified success.

“What excited me the most about this event was the number of new salespeople who attended the training. These high traffic sales events give dealers an opportunity to recruit, train and develop new sales talent, which is a very challenging task in a free-standing store.”

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