Just a Click of the Mouse Away

Jan. 1, 2006
What dealers are saying about WQA’s Find a Water Professional online feature

About the author: Neda Simeonova is editor of Water Quality Products. She can be reached at 847.391.1007, or by e-mail at [email protected].

Anyone in the water business can confirm becoming successful is not a matter of coincidence or pure luck. It takes a lot of knowledge, effort and a hefty dose of passion.

Now manufacturers and water treatment dealers can help grow their business with a new tool, Find A Water Professional, available on the Water Quality Association (WQA) website (www.wqa.org).

The Find A Water Professional lead generation feature gives WQA members wider business exposure by allowing consumers to search for water professionals in their areas by entering state, zip code and country. With a simple click of the mouse, potential customers can locate water dealers, learn about their businesses by visiting their websites, and contact the dealer of their choice by phone.

According to the WQA, the feature averages 230,000 advertising impressions per month. These are prequalified customers specifically searching for water quality services. Additionally, an average of 3,500 WQA member companies receive a “click through” to their websites per month.

To better assess the effectiveness of this tool, Water Quality Products contacted water treatment dealers and asked them to provide feedback on the Find A Water Professional feature offered to WQA members.

Abendroth Water Conditioning

Abendroth Water Conditioning is a family owned and operated independent water treatment company located in Fort Atkinson, Wis. The company provides quality service, products and solutions to the residential, commercial and industrial water treatment markets.

“We have been in business since 1953 and a member of the WQA since its existence,” said Vincent Kent, president of Abendroth Water Conditioning. “I am a firm believer in the WQA. I use their logos and marketing pieces, and I think that the Find A Water Professional program is probably one of the best tools ever produced by the WQA.”

Although located in a small town, the WQA feature has generated significant job opportunities for Kent’s business.

“It has led to jobs that have resulted in large commercial sales; the biggest one was in Australia, which was a $20,000 job,” Kent said.

Ancillary Benefits

In addition to facilitating sales of iron filters, water softeners and drinking water systems, the feature has allowed Kent to help customers with problems they haven’t been able to get resolved elsewhere.

“It’s not just about the sale. Sometimes it is helping a person who is 1,000 miles away who can’t find a qualified person in their area or a member of the WQA, so they are skeptical and looking for assistance,” Kent said.

In one particular situation, a customer hired Kent as a consultant to put together what he felt was the best application. “I didn’t sell them a system. They went somewhere else to buy it, but they went in knowing what they needed,” he explained.

Another benefit Abendroth Water Conditioning has experienced from the WQA Find A Water Professional feature is that it assures customers they are dealing with a reputable business.

“By locating my website through the WQA, customers can see that I’m not just a fly-by-night company out there selling water treatment products. I am a legitimate business that has a care and a genuine concern about their water quality, and I only sell certified products through the WQA Gold Seal program,” Kent said.

Huemann Water Conditioning

Joseph Huemann, president of Huemann Water Conditioning, also has been able to take advantage of the Find A Water Professional feature through his WQA membership.

Located in McHenry, Ill., Huemann Water Conditioning was founded in 1963 by Thomas Huemann. It is a family-owned business serving residential and commercial water treatment needs in Northeast Illinois and Southeast Wisconsin.

According to Huemann, the lead generation feature is very beneficial because it has not only generated additional business, but it also has allowed him to refer relocating clients to WQA dealers in other states.

“We have found that some of our customers call us when they decide to move to a different state because they would like us to refer them to another certified dealer in the area,” Huemann said. “We are a Kinetico dealer, and just as some people are loyal to their cars, others are loyal to water equipment brands. The feature on the WQA website helps me refer these clients to other Kinetico dealers and WQA members in the U.S.”

Similar to Kent of Abendroth Water Conditioning, Huemann benefits from the WQA Find A Water Professional feature because it allows customers to learn more about his business by linking them to his dealership’s website.

“I get a lot of calls from people that have looked up our dealership through the WQA website and have seen that we have 14 certified people on staff. They have done the research and are comfortable knowing that we offer quality products and services.”

Soft Sell

Additionally, Huemann also tells customers to check his credentials by sending them to the WQA website to learn more about his business.

“It helps me reassure customers because they are free to look around and look up other certified water dealers in their area by going to the WQA website. This allows them to shop around and helps them make the best choice. Usually, these customers end up calling back. It is a soft sell, and the WQA Find a Water Professional feature is very helpful.”

Although Huemann doesn’t specifically track the total number of phone calls he receives through the WQA website, he said he generally gets at least one phone call per week through the WQA. In addition, he knows that customers are looking up his business online due to the frequent e-mails he receives.

“The feature is very beneficial because in addition to listing the dealership address and phone number, it offers a link to our website. I strongly recommend it to other dealers,” Huemann said.

Abendroth Water Conditioning’s Kent agreed; “I sometimes enjoy the fact that some of my non-WQA member competition doesn’t have access to this tool, but at the same time, I don’t think there should be a water treatment dealer who is not a member of the WQA and doesn’t take advantage of its benefits.”

About the Author

Neda Simeonova