Consider this scenario that some of you may have experienced yourselves: You are in a potential customer’s home. You have tested his water and recommended the best water treatment system for his needs.
It seems he is ready to make a purchase, but he then starts asking some slightly off-topic water treatment-related questions. Whether he is trying to test your expertise, quench his curiosity about a water issue he heard about on the news or clarify some Internet research he did, you realize that being able to answer his questions may be key to closing the sale.
This is the scenario presented by author John Vastyan in his article “Adventures in Reverse Osmosis” (page 16). In his hypothetical situation, the customers are poised to buy a reverse osmosis (RO) system for their home, but then they begin to ask questions about municipal-sized RO systems and veer slightly off topic to question the efficacy of hot water recirculation systems.
Being able to answer any and all questions a customer may pose to you about water treatment may not only help you close a sale—it also will help position you as the go-to water quality expert in your area. Being an expert requires not only gaining field experience, but also participating in ongoing education and staying up to date on the latest industry news and updates.
One of the best ways to educate yourself is to become involved with the Water Quality Assn. (WQA). Its new Modular Education Program combines more traditional learning with hands-on experience to create a well-rounded education—and ensure that all who become WQA certified have the field experience they need to give customers the best possible service.
As a relative newcomer to the water treatment industry, September Dealer of the Month Barbara Manfrediz has found membership in WQA to be helpful. “I view my WQA membership as a treasured asset and integral part of my personal development and success in business,” she said. “The WQA is a reputable resource where I can find answers, and because I am down here [in Mexico] on my own, it feels like my personal connection to the industry.”
Your regional association also can be a valuable source of ongoing education. Attending conferences and other events held by these associations can be helpful in keeping you up to date on the issues affecting your region, and allow you to network with dealers who are probably facing the same water quality concerns in their service areas.
Industry publications, like WQP, also are sources of education and updates via articles, newsletters and webinars. Whichever method you choose to educate yourself, you are certain to close more sales and gain a reputation as an expert in water quality issues.