Coming soon in the February issue of Water Technology, Marianne R. Metzger writes about the differences between a water treatment salesperson and a water treatment professional. In this article, Metzger stresses the importance of veering away from hard sell techniques in attempt to close a sale on the first appointment; but rather, offer prospects an honest, thorough education on water quality and treatment options, making sure to answer any concerns/questions that may arise, ensuring happier, more knowledgeable customers and prospects.
"Typically when making a larger purchase for the home, consumers want to know they are getting the best value; this means they will want to research your product and compare against other options," says Metzger. "If you are a professional and educate the prospect on water quality and how treatment works, you have a better chance of making a sale as well as gaining a long-term client."
When it comes to educating prospects on water quality and treatment solutions, performing and/or explaining, water tests are important.
Selling prospects on testing
A variety of testing approaches have been used within the water treatment industry to help secure sales, such as sludge and precipitator tests, performing tests for hardness, pH and iron, as well as laboratory analyses.
There are good testing methods and bad testing methods for closing sales. For example, sludge tests and precipitator tests, shares Metzger in the article, are still used to mislead prospects into thinking the water is dangerous; e.g., for a sludge test — where a chemical is added to the water, resulting in the formation of sludge — a type of flocculant can be added, which combines with minerals and begins to precipitate, resulting in the formed sludge to be comprised of harmless minerals. An unethical salesperson may mislead a prospect into thinking this formed sludge is unsafe.
WQA, as well as many water treatment companies, assert that tests, like the sludge and precipitator tests, should not be used "as they are unethical and lead to mistrust of the water treatment industry as a whole," adds Metzger.
However, performing ethical, honest water tests not only helps ensure safe water, but also establishes a level of trust between the prospect and the water treatment professional. Explain why certain tests like pH are better to perform on-site, whereas other tests, specifically regarding potentially unsafe water, may need a comprehensive laboratory analysis. And, since specific tests may be more expensive, such as a laboratory analysis, Metzger suggests offering prospects and customers "good, better and best" options for testing their water, while providing a full explanation of why each option is recommended, helping them make the best decision that is right for them.
"Gone are the days of trying to close a sale on the first appointment," says Metzger. "Give your prospects what the need: An education on water quality and the time to make an informed decision."
To learn more about water treatment professionals and testing methods to help close sales be sure to check out Water Technology‘s February issue.