The past year was a rough one for businesses in the U.S. and around the world. The economy continues to weigh heavily on everyone’s minds. This year, Water Quality Products conducted its fifth annual State of the Industry Survey to find out how the economy affected the water treatment industry. Once again, readers indicated that the down economy and depressed housing market were the factors that most negatively affected sales in the last year
It finally happened–you fired the toxic salesperson that has been a drain on your company for so long. But now you are the one running all of the sales calls in addition to running your business.
In a previous article (“Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are,” June 2011), I discussed how to find good candidates, but suggested that the interview process could take hours. How are you going to find the time? You ran an ad on Career Builder and Monster and have a ton of resumes, but now what?
Making the most of your employee search with a thorough interview process
Successful business blogs make a profound difference. They drive profit-enhancing website traffic, boost search engine results and showcase leadership and credibility. But blogs come and go. Many business bloggers start off with a bang and then quickly fade, even after just a handful of entries. A well-directed, focused blog, however, can achieve must-read status with influential industry heavyweights, customers and prospects.
Maintaining an interesting & profitable corporate blog
An increasing number of water treatment dealers have found themselves in the position of needing to add to their professional teams. Perhaps they got fed up with some of the toxicity in the organization and made the difficult decision to replace it with professionalism. Or, hopefully, the recovery of the economy has created a necessity for a larger professional team.
Finding qualified professionals
I am writing this article at the end of a week that saw record blizzards paralyze large sections of the country. I asked one of my coaching clients what he was doing during the slack period of the storm. He said he was doing nothing. Taking it easy. He sent his staff home to ride out the storm.
Making the most of down time
The start of a new year is a great time to examine our business life as well as other aspects of our lives. I want to encourage you to set your sights high enough in 2011. Those of us who do not plan to change in the coming year are doomed to repeat 2010’s level of success. The first step for those of us who want an increase in sales and profits is to set goals attached to activities and deadlines.
How Big Should We Dream?
What has the greatest impact on sales—is it low price, convenience, saving time or low environmental impact? What is going to get consumers’ attention and inspire them to spend their money? Any or all of the above factors impact sales; however, none are effective without proper presentation. Sales are often made because of a presentation.
Tips for an effective sales presentation
Dealers seem to be of two opinions when it comes to consumer finance companies: some can’t live with them and some can’t live without them. While some dealers thrive without offering any financing, most dealerships could benefit from a partnership with a finance company. Because of the tumultuous nature of the financing market over the past two years, it is understandable that some dealers are wary of finance companies.
But as the economy improves and credit starts flowing again, dealers who embrace financing in this new economy can pull ahead of competitors and close more sales.
Building strong finance company relationships
Al Lozier, CWS-VI, CI, CSR, learned the ropes of a running a successful water dealership from the ground up. He began selling residential filtration systems in 1988, and when his employer offered him the opportunity to start a satellite office the following year, Lozier gladly accepted. The result: Fresh KC Water, Shawnee, Kan.
“We wanted to be the different water treatment dealer—Water Quality Assn. trained, approaching the customer from the service side instead of the sales side and offering products that fit the customer, not the dealership,” Lozier said.
Water dealer builds his business on careful customer service
While it may not seem like it for many of us patiently waiting for the signs of economic recovery to hit us, there have been some positive consequences of the past few years. Most of those out-of-the-garage competitors that low-balled their prices and lied to customers about anything and everything have closed their doors and moved on to other things.
The importance of true professionalism for your staff