In an increasingly competitive business environment, water treatment dealers are continuously looking for opportunities to increase revenues and profits. Dealers have long used salt delivery routes to increase revenues and provide for consistent cash flow. More recently, they have added routine service and maintenance routes on a regular basis, including servicing water softeners and conditioners and replacing filters in reverse osmosis (RO) systems and other filtration devices.
Just as important as increased revenue, if not more so, is the opportunity to build a base of satisfied customers. Many dealers follow the old adage: “Word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective advertising of all.”
Pro Products provides examples of how water treatment dealers can improve their bottom line with maintenance products. Two of these products, Rust Out and Softener Mate, are designed for routine maintenance of resin beds in water softeners and conditioners, and are available in convenient one-dose packets and in larger containers.
Rust Out was developed for water softeners and conditioners installed on iron-bearing water supplies. It can be used on service calls to clean severely iron-fouled resin beds. Additionally, layering one packet of Rust Out with each bag of salt will keep the resin bed clean on a continuous basis. If on a typical salt delivery route a dealer delivers four 40-lb bags of salt, a dealer would layer one packet of Rust Out between each layer of salt. Based on three salt deliveries annually, by adding one packet of Rust Out ($2.50 each) with each bag of salt, a dealer would increase revenue from that one customer by $30. With a base of 400 customers on a salt route, this would add an additional $12,000 in revenue.
Softener Mate is designed for cleaning the resin beds in softeners and conditioners on municipal water systems—a long neglected market. When municipal water companies routinely flush water mains, they normally send a notice to consumers to bypass all water filtration devices. Unfortunately for most consumers, bypassing their softeners and conditioners is not something they always remember to do, even if they know how. The result is a resin bed fouled with organics, oils, dirt, silt metal particles and iron. Even if they place their unit in bypass, these impurities continue flowing through the water mains and foul the resin beds.
Softener Mate is designed to clean these impurities from the resin bed and, when used in the same way as Rust Out, will maintain the resin bed in the customer’s softener or conditioner. Again, this is a good opportunity for additional revenues on regular salt delivery or maintenance routes.
There is increasing concern and awareness by both water treatment dealers and consumers concerning sanitization of water softeners, conditioners, RO systems and other drinking water filters. Relatively new on the market, Sani System was developed as a simple way to sanitize water treatment equipment. It comes in a disposable packet and features no mixing of chemicals. To sanitize a water softener, simply open the package, pour the solution into the brine well and begin a regeneration.
An additional benefit is that Sani System will not harm resin or other mechanical parts like chlorine bleach or other oxidizer-type products. Sani System carries NSF 60 certification for water treatment equipment, and is EPA-registered. Sanitizing a customer’s water treatment equipment should be done during initial installation, upon completion of repairs or during regular maintenance routes—again, an opportunity to generate additional income streams.
Successful water treatment dealers are committed to doing a complete in-home water test and demonstration. Virtually without exception, dealers report substantially higher closing ratios when conducting a thorough in-home demonstration. In-home demonstration kits and test kits designed for service technicians, used in conjunction with a soap pack such as LanoSoft, help consumers realize the full benefits of soft, conditioned water. In addition, customers are sure to give a glowing reference to their friends and neighbors.
It is taking advantage of these little opportunities for a professional sales presentation, developing a routine service route with each customer and maintaining water treatment equipment on a regular basis that will separate a dealer from the competition. In the process, dealers can build a profitable revenue stream.