Succeeding in business today, including in residential and commercial water treatment sales, involves more than a smile, a sleek demo and a handshake. Your customers are busy and have changed from buyers to shoppers. And, the word-of-mouth referral strategy is how many water treatment dealers gain new customers.

The Internet offers plenty of good information, which is a great tool to use for dealers looking to share case studies and positive reviews. However, the Internet also offers a way for negative experiences to reach the masses. Oftentimes, compounding the issue for dealers, a customer is more likely to post a comment on business review websites about a negative experience over a positive one.

As the public becomes more aware of water contamination issues and water concerns in general, point-of-use (POU), point-of-entry (POE) and other water treatment related products, such as testing kits, are expected to yield stable sales. Inside and outside of this industry, people have been critical of water treatment dealers’ intentions and ethics when selling their products.

Fortunately, dealers have plenty of tools available today to tell the entire story of a customer’s problem water. In this month’s cover story, we speak with several industry professionals about visible and “hidden” contaminants in water and, more importantly, which safe sales practices can help win over skeptical customers and prospects.

Another way to improve or enhance your reputation in the community is to become an emergency preparedness specialist. Natural disasters and water emergencies can strike at any time and preparation before the event makes all the difference. We continue our coverage on how to be an expert in this area with two articles in this issue, starting here and here.

Also, as a reminder, please visit WaterTechOnline.com each day. Our editors produce online exclusive content on this site, including feature articles, Q&A interviews, quiz answers, audio interviews, profiles and much more. If you have not visited or registered for our website, you are not taking full advantage of our coverage and the platform to voice your opinions on industry issues.

In coming months, we will continue to bring some of these articles and sections to the print magazine as space allows. Stay plugged into the industry, do not deceive customers and you won’t have to worry about negative experiences affecting your potential customers’ views of your company.

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