No water dealership should ever use scare tactics as a marketing strategy. In Pinellas County, Fla. the municipality actually cautions homeowners in their markets to be aware of companies who try to scare consumers under the guise of public awareness. In Minnesota, the Department of Health is warning homeowners to beware of companies using bottle drops accompanied with misleading and frightening statistics about the local water quality. Our own industry organization, the Water Quality Association also takes a hard stance against scare tactics in the WQA Code of Ethics.
But every time another instance of water contamination occurs, it reaffirms people’s concerns with their water. They worry about the levels of prescription drugs and fertilizer run-off in their water and how it might affect their families. They worry about the taste and smell of their water. They worry about studies in the news equating levels of lead or arsenic with their children’s development.
The truth of the matter is that the high visibility of water quality in the news does make this a very good time for water dealerships to market.
I always suggest that dealers keep a couple of thousand marketing cards on hand for times like this, and mail them out as soon as water quality anywhere in the country becomes a public issue. It’s a great opportunity for brand awareness and a reminder that your dealership is there for them.
This is your opportunity for your dealership to be viewed as a resource, where your people balance educating a homeowner about legitimate water concerns, but not coming across as trying to scare them.
I read an article by Kelly Thompson from Moti-Vitality who suggests that sales professionals focus on the aesthetics of the water (tastes good, looks good, smells good), but also provide a customer with objective resources that will help educate them on issues like chlorine byproducts, lead, nitrates, arsenic, etc. In those markets that do have a toxic substance present in the water, it would be a disservice to not discuss these things with the consumer. Kelly recommends that the sales professional discuss these issues with the customer as objectively as possible while encouraging the customer to independently verify any water analysis results.
Market away and market smart. For water quality dealers, this is a great time to market!