The question of “how do I sell more water features” has to be on the top ten list of questions I get asked. It’s a great question, and the answer is simpler than most think.
First though let me ask you, how have you sold water features in the past? Did you actually “sell” them? Or did you just answer the phone and respond to a customer request? There is a big difference between fulfilling a request and actively selling a product/service. If you take the right approach to sales, you can not only have fun selling, but it will be beneficial for you and the customer. Instead of looking at growing the number of projects you sell each year as becoming a better “salesman”, try coming at it from the direction of doing a better job of sharing what you love. As soon as you make a personal connection with your client the sales guy leaves the situation and you become a consultant or facilitator for their dream.
So what’s the first step? Easy, install a water feature at your home. If you already have a water feature you know what I’m talking about. The best way to have confidence of maintaining your pond or water feature is to live with one daily. Very soon you will find yourself telling stories about your pond to everyone you meet. Nothing helps you sell like confidence and knowledge. My grandfather was a salesman for many years. As I was growing up he always told me “if you don’t know, you can’t tell, if you can’t tell, you can’t sell”. this is as true today as it was the first time I heard it. Make sure you are living with a water feature and you will be one step ahead.
Next thing is what product or service are you selling now. How did you sell it? What process did you use? Do you have a record of who you sold to in the past? This is a great place to kick start your new venture. Today it’s even easier than ever to market to this group. Create accounts on various social media sites. Connect with your former customers, and start showing them with photos and videos the new water feature you have created at your home. Let them learn through you. By interacting each day with your water feature and sharing that on social media you will grow your business.
Sound easy enough so far? Let’s take this one step further, now that you have built your first feature and gained some needed confidence, it’s time to move forward with the business side. Look for a local business that would benefit from having a water feature installed. Make them an offer to install it at a prorated price as long as you can put a small sign with your company information next to it. This is the fastest way to increase sales, we buy what we see. You can paint a great mental image, you can show it on social media, but if they can enjoy the water feature at their favorite restaurant or coffee house, it won’t be long before they want one at home.
Finally, here is the secret to the advice above. Use a complete kit for any display you install. Some of your new leads will want to try their hand at doing it themselves. Most will want you to do it for them. Either way, if it is a ready to go complete kit, it’s consistent and easy to replicate.
Good luck with increasing water feature sales going forward. Keep in mind these are just a few starter ideas to get you moving. For more ideas and information please visit Atlantic Water Gardens University. If you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to comment, we will get back to you and lend a hand.
About the Author:
Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company. When it comes to water features, Sean is your guy!