Dec 30, 2003

What Interests Your Customer?

Many of us get hung up on only one or two reasons why people would be interested in our products. Too often, we get in the habit of using these reasons all the time and fail to customize our approach to each individual. Usually, the reasons are saving money for softeners and health for ROs. Are these the only reasons people might be interested? Is everyone interested in these benefits? Not at all. Let's take a look at other reasons that might interest and motivate potential buyers.

"I'm just not interested." Youch! Those are the words we hate to hear. We don't even get to tell them anything before our first rejection. Here is a look at how you can use the interests of your customers to make the sale.

One quick counter to keep a customer off balance when he says he is not interested is, "Of course you aren't interested. If you were, you'd own our equipment already. None of our customers are interested when we arrive, but what they find is that they did not know enough about their water to be interested. Let me show you what I mean...."

This won't work with everyone, but it is worth a try. Let's take a look at a legitimate reason why many customers truly are not interested.

Many of us get hung up on only one or two reasons why people would be interested in our products. Too often, we get in the habit of using these reasons all the time and fail to customize our approach to each individual. Usually, the reasons are saving money for softeners and health for ROs. Are these the only reasons people might be interested? Is everyone interested in these benefits? Not at all. Let's take a look at other reasons that might interest and motivate potential buyers.

Pets and Plants

Some people aren't interested in saving money but will do anything for their pets. If you see a customer who is really attached to his pet, you might stress the benefits of conditioned and RO water for his pets. What benefits? Some pets get itchy scaly skin and improved water can help this condition. Pets dislike the taste of chlorine. Why pay for premium pet food and serve it with bad tasting water? There are many articles by veterinarians stating the benefits of improved water on prolonging pet life. Find them online and carry them with you. Also, get letters and testimonials from people who know that improved water helps their pets, fish and plants. Next time you see a customer with a 50-gallon aquarium or a room filled with prize orchids, you will have a way to generate interest.

Appearance

Did you know our products dramatically improve a customer's appearance? They do, and many people will spend lavishly for a slight improvement in their appearance. Water that has chlorine removed will make colored hair stay the correct color twice as long. (Chlorine is bleach and it changes colored hair quickly.) If a person pays $60 per month to get their hair colored, this longevity of color alone is enough to pay for the equipment. But that's not all. Hair washed with conditioned water is brighter and more manageable. Conditioned water means you won't have a bad hair day. That's worth a lot to the right customer.

Skin

Many people suffer from rashes, dandruff and other conditions that can be improved by conditioned water. Use the face cloth test to show this. Don't just tell them about it. Ask to borrow a clean, laundered face cloth. Put it in a bowl of conditioned water and let it sit while you show other things. After a few minutes, squeeze the cloth in the water a few times. You will see lots of suds come out of the cloth. What is that? It's the gray gunk you can show with your flask demonstration. It's the excess soap they use to try to get things clean with hard water. It's the hardness and soap scum that stays on their clothes all day and causes rashes as it rubs the skin all day long. For more emphasis, take the bowl of water you have squeezed the cloth into and hold it about 2 feet above a glass. Slowly pour water from the bowl into the glass. The long drop makes the water suds up dramatically and really shows how much soap was in that clean cloth. This is powerful stuff for anyone who cares about skin.

Guest Perceptions Matter

If you notice sets of beautiful crystal and silverware, you have a customer who cares about appearances when they entertain. They may not be interested in skin or savings but they really may be impressed with how clean and sparkling better water can make everything they use to serve. That reflects well with guests. You may do the classic glass washing. You may show them the black light. You may polish a few pieces of silver. Make sure you emphasize how the improvement will reflect upon them to create interest.

I could go on with many more examples, but the point is that every person has his own "hot buttons." How do you find them? By observing and asking. Don't try to sell everyone with the same old tired reasons. Your presentation has to be of interest to them, not to you. So, if you are getting a lot of people who "just aren't interested" try giving your presentation a customized face lift.

About the author

Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions Inc. a company that specializes in training, recruiting and consulting for the water equipment industry. For more than 20 years, 4,000 companies in seven countries have used his services to increase sales and profits. To comment on this article, or for more information, you can reach Carl at [email protected] or 800-941-0068. For more information, visit www.carldavidson.com.

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