Seeing is Believing

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A picture is worth a thousand words, but many of us forget to use visual examples when selling water equipment. Placing pictures in your prospect’s mind is a powerful tool when selling. This article will discuss ways to get more sales by using visual examples to which your customers can relate.

The TDS Example

Many salespeople talk about total dissolved solids (TDS) in an unimaginative way, and customers often do not understand what they are talking about. When doing my demos, I have come to use a vivid example of what TDS is and how it affects customers that all of my prospects seem to understand.

To explain TDS to customers, I say, “What if you were cleaning your basement and you came to that spot behind your furnace that you just can’t see or get to. If you reached in and felt something there, would you pick it up and eat it?”

Let the horror of eating a ball of who-knows-what from behind the furnace set in. The customers will say they would never do that. You can reply, “But that is exactly what you do when you drink water with 800 parts per million (ppm) TDS. This means 800 ppm are something other than water. We do not know exactly what it is, but we do know it is not water. When you reach for a glass of water, I am guessing you would like to have just water, right?”

Another good visual along the same line is, “What if you were walking down the street and you saw an orange pill on the sidewalk; would you pick it up and eat it?” They will say no. You ask why not and they will usually say because they don’t know what it is. This is when you explain to them that the water they are drinking is full of unknown contents.

The Cost of Soap

Another great example of using visual techniques to strengthen your sales regards the soap-savings part of the demo. Savings mean little unless customers can see it in a powerful way.

Bring 24 $1 bills with you to every demo. When you do the soap-flask savings part of your demo, ask your customers to imagine that each drop of soap you add is actually $1 worth of soap that they buy and use. Give them each three $1 bills to “buy soap” with. Put three drops of soap on each flask and ask them to pay you. They will give you $3 each, which you place in separate piles on the table.

Shake the flasks. The conditioned water will have a great head of suds and the water will be clear. Their tap water will be grey and have no suds. Allow the family member with the tap water flask to “borrow” $6 to buy soap. Get them to pay you for the soap and leave the money in a pile in front of their flask.

Add six drops of soap and shake again. The flask still will not have good suds, so lend them $12 to buy more soap, get them to put it on the pile of bills and add 12 drops of soap. This time there will be suds, but the water will be a cloudy mess.

Ask the participant who has the conditioned water how much money they spent to get their laundry done. They will count the bills in front of them and say $3. Ask the participant with the tap water to count the bills. They will count out $21.

This is a visual lesson on the cost of unconditioned water. The ratio of 3-to-21 can be reduced to 1-to-7, which is a savings of 80%. This is what most dealers use to measure how much money customers save with conditioned water.

Using the right ratio makes the example much more believable, and I suggest you stick to these ratios exactly. Seeing actual money on the table makes this part of the demo much more powerful than just talking about abstract savings.

These are just a few examples of how using visual aids that your customers can relate to can increase your sales and closing rates. Try to work visuals into your demonstrations and you will close more deals and your demos will become more enjoyable.

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About the author

Carl Davidson is director of Sales and Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training, recruiting and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. A free demonstration video and list of products and topics is available at 800.941.0068. Send comments on this article to him at [email protected];