Finding A Piano In The San Francisco Bay Area
Finding a piano in the San Francisco Bay Area seems as easy as anything. It’s not!!!
I have talked to so many people in the past few months that have searched and searched for the perfect piano and it seems to be a very difficult task. Some tell me stories that are so difficult to believe. They tell me of the sales pitches and misleading information and I just stand in amazement sometimes.
Finding a piano in the San Francisco Bay Area is challenging because there is so many places to choose from. Most of the dealers are reputable and there is plenty of piano business in the Bay Area to go around. Most every piano company is represented here. Some lines have multiple locations too. For the most part if you have a particular piano brand in mind it’s here.
The big differences are how we approach the process of helping you find your perfect instrument. For some of us the piano business is personal. Is that smart? Not necessarily. My goals are more long range. My goal is for you to have a pleasant experience and find the piano that is right for you. I want you to understand what you are buying AND feeling happy to refer any one of your friends or family members to me.
Finding The Right Piano
Several years ago I had a family of three come into my store. I greeted them and we walked through what they were looking for and they told me what they thought was the right piano for them. They had looked around and decided for themselves they would need to spend $10,000 to $12,000 to get the piano they thought they needed.
After asking many questions and having the student play for me, listening to what he (the student) was saying to me, I determined that what they were asking for and what they needed were two entirely different things. They were looking at a higher end piano, they felt they couldn’t afford, and what they actually needed was a piano that was much more affordable for them and met their needs.
A couple of years later they returned because I had steered them right to begin with. They traded that piano in for the same model they had looked at a couple of years before. The student had worked very hard to get to the next step and now he wanted to step up.
The moral is that if you treat people right to begin with, they will continue to come back and also send people in to meet you and find the right piano for them as well.
There are so many choices in pianos these days. This adds to the complication of having to choose which one you want and who you want to deal with. For
example, R. Kassman handles Baldwin and Ritmuller in the more affordable category and Estonia, Grotrian and Steingraeber in the Fine European category.
I have a competitor in town that carries Kawai and another one carries Yamaha. Across the Bay there is a Steinway dealer. Each of us has different lines and different approaches to the business.
For R. Kassman the point is that the customer is satisfied to the point of wanting to tell their friends and family where they should go and find their piano. The sale today is important but the impression is much more important. Yes, with my approach sometimes people buy from another place BUT they send their friends in to see me. I win in the end.
Recently, a customer asked me if I ever had any customers that were to difficult to please. No, I have not. Customers are easy to please when you realize your limitations. If you are not going to be able to satisfy their needs, you need to help them find another dealer to go to. I recommend my competitors on a regular basis because there are limitation that I can not meet and I want the customer to be happy.
This is one of the reasons I chose to work alone. I, Ric Overton, am solely responsible for what happens here. I take care of the customers and see to it that the pianos are prepared to the level the customers are expecting. It my job to find the things the customer never would and address them. I take great pleasure in knowing that we have provided the very best service before, during and after the sale.
One of the things I was faced with when I came here was deciding which lines I wanted to carry. Mr. Kassman and I worked very closely to be sure I was making the right choices and assisted in making sure I had each franchise locked in. There were several lines available at the time. I looked at each of them and found the lines that I wanted to represent based on my prior experiences with these companies.
The Best Piano Store In The Bay Area
I wanted to continue to represent the very best in Fine European Pianos and wanted that to be the focus of my business. Naturally, with Mr. Kassman’s success with Grotrian and Estonia I wanted to continue to carry those two lines. I had to choose between Sauter and Grotrian and I decided on Grotrian because of my personal relationship to the Grotrian line. I have known and/or been associated with them for many years and I had a comfort level with them.
I also realized that while Fine European Pianos were going to be my main focus, they couldn’t be my only focus. I needed at least one or two lines that were more affordable. I used to work for Baldwin U.S. so Baldwin was a natural choice for me. Additionally, I worked with Ritmuller for at least 15 years and have always been extremely satisfied with their services.
Since I came here the only line I have added is Wilh. Steinberg line. They are made in a small town named Eisenberg in the middle of Germany. I have had success with these pianos and still carry a small amount of them.
Since 1979 R. Kassman Piano in Berkeley has been considered by some to be the best piano store in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ric Overton is committed to continuing the legacy.
Drop by and see the R. Kassman collection of pianos. You will be glad you did. See the difference.