It’s been a tough couple of years for the financing industry. Homeowners, once considered the safest borrowers, were defaulting on loans as foreclosures increased. This factor alone has caused finance companies to rethink credit models and underwriting guidelines.
Tips from a finance company’s perspective
Mike Guidara, president and founder of Truckee Meadows Water Systems Inc. (TMWS) in Reno, Nev., got his start in the water industry more than 25 years ago when he was living in Pebble Beach, Calif., and was offered a manager trainee position at a large bottled water company.
He struck out on his own, founded TMWS in 1988 and currently employs 12 people. The company’s service area covers northern Nevada and northern California.
WQP’s Dealer of the Year shares tips for success
Social media is on the rise, and water dealers are beginning to join the conversation to reach out to customers. Rich Anderson, founder and CEO of ClearView Water, Denver, discussed how he uses social media with Water Quality Products Associate Editor Kate Cline.
Kate Cline: What kind of social media do you use?
Rich Anderson: In terms of social media, I use what most people regard as the big three. I use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Actually, throw a fourth one in—YouTube as well.
Sometimes we chase customers so hard that we forget to make it easy for them to buy from us. Consumers are always weighing the hassle of buying versus the problems they endure. Making it easy to buy can make a big difference in your sales. Let’s take a look at ways you can make the process smoother for your customers.
Make It Easy to Meet With You
Simple steps to ease into a sale
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
The two best ways to bar yourself from new ideas in sales and sales management training are to label a trainer as “old school” and decide that people in your market do not like the techniques discussed. Both of these allow a person to stay the way they are without being upset by new ideas.
Do You Want to Stay the Same?
Do ‘old school’ sales techniques still work?