What to know about indoor air quality services

Jan. 1, 2013

The calendar year has flipped, but many of a water treatment dealer’s marketing messages to customers will remain: Protect your family and building occupants by …

The calendar year has flipped, but many of a water treatment dealer’s marketing messages to customers will remain: Protect your family and building occupants by being mindful of potential contaminants. And, another selling point you will want to stress is the importance of drinking high quality water for these individuals’ health and well-bring. As your company embarks on a new year, consider that these marketing and sales issues as well as critical customer customers ring true when providing a growing add-on service: Indoor air quality (IAQ) specialist.

According to a recent Water Technology survey, 52 percent of respondents currently provide or have interest in providing air quality services. Additionally, similar to water treatment, the statistics and customer trend reports show that IAQ is a growing and profitable industry. However, IAQ treatment also has something else in common with our industry — low-end competition, via the Internet and over sources, as well as the big-box effect.

Similar to most items these days, consumers who are mindful of IAQ issues and potential health effects on their families or employees can simply walk into most mega-retail stores, purchase a product in a box, place it somewhere in the house or building, push a button and, voila, fresh air. Similar to do-it-yourself water treatment, results can vary.

Instead, successful water treatment dealers can lead with knowledge and growing community awareness when selling IAQ to close the sale. One way to convince those interested in air quality to invest the time and money in a qualified specialist with leading products is to educate them. This article contains some known facts and findings about IAQ from reputable resources as well as commentary from an IAQ expert.

Indoor air target audience             

Outdoor air is typically cleaner than indoor air and considering Americans spend the majority of their day indoors, examining air quality and cleaning it up are necessary steps. Furthermore, as a society we have become more focused on energy efficiency, sealing such openings as doors and windows, and many of today’s buildings and homes have less ventilation. Still don’t think your area is affected by poor IAQ or maybe the customer pool is too small and not in need of a specialist?

“Perhaps the most staggering statistic is that over 96 percent of homes have an indoor air quality problem,” explains Ryan Richie, national sales manager for Healthway Products. “This means that nearly every one of your customers can benefit from the improvement of their air quality.”

According to Richie, dealers should be selective when conveying statistics to customers. Since some IAQ findings and research can be alarming to some customers and prospects, your presentation shouldn’t be conceived as scare tactics.  

IAQ information to share, not scare

Although customers will respond differently to the facts and findings you present, they have the right to know about the severity of the issue in order to make educated buying decisions. Dealers should focus on information presented by respectable organizations and agencies that homeowners and building owners are familiar with. Examples of research to include are:

  • Air pollution contributes to lung disease, including respiratory tract infections, asthma and lung cancer. Lung disease claims more than 349,000 lives in America every year and is the third leading cause of death in this country. — American Lung Association
  • 87 percent of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes that outdoors. — American Lung Association
  • The three most important methods of improving indoor air quality are source removal, air cleaning and increased ventilation.

Also, water treatment dealers who are new to the air quality treatment market or its products and equipment, should initially consult with water treatment industry peers who have had firsthand experience in IAQ treatment.

“Talking to others who have ventured into this arena is perhaps the most beneficial place to start. Speaking to those dealerships that are successful in this market by using quality and effective products will give a good idea if this is the right move for you,” advises Richie. “Another good place to start is with your current customers. Ask them for their feedback to gauge if there is interest in IAQ solutions.”

Have you explored this market or are you interested in learning more? Water Technology is planning on publishing several more articles throughout this year in print and online regarding this topic. If you have some best practices to share, please let us know.   

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