How do I sell more water features?

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.SEAN BELL

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!

 

Social Media Tips & Tricks

Social Media these days is rapidly changing, and sometimes let’s be honest, it’s really hard to keep up! There are so many channels and there is always an update to be downloaded, or learned and let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to share this information with each other than it is for each of us to research it on our own.

So here are a few things that I’ve recently found to be helpful in my daily social media activities.

Facebook – Creating a Pixel:

facebookNow, I haven’t yet used this little gem, but my expectations of it are quite high. From what I’ve read, once you install the pixel code in the header of your website, you can track multiple things when a user clicks on your ad like what device they are using, where they are from, the average age of the user clicking on your ad, etc.

Here is a link to a page all about the Facebook pixel if you’d like to learn more.

Twitter – Tweeting Full Videos:

Now from what I’ve heard, not very many people know about tweeting full videos, only 30 second clips. Through one of the many Twitter webinars I’ve listened to or one of the many articles I’ve read, I came across a hack on how to tweet FULL videos. Hopefully if your company uses Twitter, you can use this to your advantage.

So here are the steps:

First visit your Twitter page and click on your profile icon in the top righthand corner and select “Twitter Ads”.Select Media

Next select “Creatives” and in the dropdown menu select “Media”.

On the left side of the page under “Library”, select “Videos”.

Select VideosSelect “Upload Media” and locate the video file you want to upload.

Unfortunately there is no capability as of now to schedule full video tweets in advance . You will have to follow these same steps to tweet full videos as needed.

Upload VideoInstagram – Use the Business Page to your advantage:

Instagram recently came out with Business pages, which is helpful if you use Instagram to push your brand recognition and get your name out in the open. It provides companies with the ability to add their contact information in their profile without being very limited to the content. Of course there still is some character limitations for this Information section, but at least now you don’t have to stuff that section with your contact information, website and about info.

Another great thing that they’ve introduced for business pages is the analytics side. You can now see your post impressions, reach and engagement on each photo or video that you post.

Not only do you get to see insights on posts, but your profile also offers insights on the percentage of which gender is following and interacting with you, the age range, locations, and the average time your followers are using Instagram each day. Pretty cool!Instagram for Business

If you haven’t already switched your profile over to a business profile, I highly encourage you to do so and start looking at your insights.

Pinterest – The Pinterest Tag:

pinterestAnother great trick that I have not yet implemented but plan to in 2017 is the Pinterest Tag. Similar to the Facebook Pixel, the Pinterest Tag allows your to track actions that users take even after they’ve clicked on your pin. Track things like actions taken or events that users have encountered like if they’ve added something to their cart, made a purchase, searched for something specific on your website, the list goes on with what this tag can do.

Here is a link if you’d like to learn more about the Pinterest Tag and step by step instructions on how to implement it.

If you know of anymore tips or tricks when it comes to these social media channels, or any others that you’d like to add, please add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered.

 


 About the Author:
Meet Shelby, AWG Graphic Designer and Social Media ExtraordinaireSHELBY SCUDERI

Atlantic Water Gardens Graphic Designer and Social Media Extraordinaire, Shelby has been with Atlantic since 2011. In addition to keeping up with social media trends and ensuring that the website and all social networks are running smoothly, Shelby also manages Atlantic’s advertising and marketing programs.

Feeling lost on Facebook?

Recently, Facebook has updated their layout and basically the functionality of how users manage their business’ Facebook pages. Like a lot of you, I also asked myself the questions; “How do I do this now?” and “Where did that go?”

After spending some time navigating through my Facebook pages, I got a handle on where everything I use as a resource is for managing our Facebook page.

Figuring that it was a little difficult for me to find out where everything was, and learning how to use this new functionality, I’d like to share with you some things that have changed, and how to use them now.

How does my page, “Like” other pages now?

After spending too much time trying to figure this out on my own, I left it to Google. It took some time to find instructions for the most recent update, but I did end up finding what I was looking for. Since you now technically can only use Facebook only as yourself in a sense, you cannot just LIKE a page without “Liking” it as yourself, Facebook added an extra step.

How to "Like" a page

Once you are the on the page that you want to “Like”, you will have to select the button with the three dots, and then select “Like as your page”. A prompt may then appear if you manage multiple pages,  asking you which page you would like to “Like” the current page as. I know, very confusing.

Where did my pages feed go?home_sidebar

Yet another inconvenient process I had to go through just to find my pages newsfeed. Before you would simply select which page you wanted to use Facebook as, and voila! Instant newsfeed. Now, to find your pages’ newsfeed, you will need to begin on your own newsfeed or “home” and select your page from the left hand side.

If you only manage one page, you will be able to just select “Pages Feed” and your pages’ newsfeed should display, but if you manage multiple pages, this may not be specific enough for you. All of the Page’s newsfeed that you manage will show up. You will need to take a couple additional steps to see a single Page’s newsfeed.

Continue to select the page that you would like to see a newsfeed for.

Select "See Pages Feed"

From there you will be brought to your timeline of your business page.  On the left hand side, under your profile picture, you will see things like, how many likes your page has, check-ins, or your post reach. In this section you will also see, “See Pages Feed”. Go ahead and select it and up will come all of that pages that you have liked, posts where you can like, comment and share, which brings me to my next point.

 

Liking and Commenting

Like, Comment, Share as yourself or your page

Yet another time consuming update that you may or may not have noticed, is when you want to post a comment, like or share something, you need to choose which user you want to do so as. You can switch between users or pages by selecting the dropdown arrow in the bottom righthand corner of a post and selecting which account you would like to interact with the post as. Remember, you will have to do this each time you want to like, comment or share a post.

I hope these few tips help with how you manage your business’ Facebook page and don’t leave you even more confused than you were before. If you have any other suggestions on how to better use Facebook after this new update, comment below. Or comment any questions and I will do my best to answer!


 About the Author:
Meet Shelby, AWG Graphic Designer and Social Media ExtraordinaireSHELBY SCUDERI

Atlantic Water Gardens Graphic Designer and Social Media Extraordinaire, Shelby has been with Atlantic since 2011. In addition to keeping up with social media trends and ensuring that the website and all social networks are running smoothly, Shelby also manages Atlantic’s advertising and marketing programs.

Spring is in the Air, Algae’s in your pond…

For most of the country, spring has sprung. People have started opening their water features and Mother Nature is now beginning to wreak havoc on your creations.

Cleaning out your water feature at the beginning of the season can be a daunting task, but with these helpful tips, your feature will be up and running in no time, and will be as beautiful as ever.

Pond in the SpringtimeBetween the months of March and May, ponds need tender loving care depending on which part of the country you are located in.

For pond owners, this time of the year can be a bit complicated, but with a little more attention, it can be easily managed. When opening your pond, be sure to remove all the left over fall debris to give your pond a fresh start to the season.

Although unlikely, some ponds may need to be completely drained and cleaned, this is costly and may be unnecessary. A good clean up with netting out leaves, debris, and string algae may do the job.

Once you’ve done some clean up and your skimmer, pump and biological filter are running, you will need to begin beneficial bacteria treatments which should continue until you close your pond in the Fall.

You may be wondering why you have string algae in your pond after the winter months, this is due to the amount of nutrients in the water being greater than the things that consume them, like plants, fish and beneficial bacteria.

Once it becomes balanced again, the string algae should clear itself up. Liquid and granular algaecides can help reduce growth, but your main goal should be to have your filter system and plants with the aid of beneficial bacteria, remove algae, naturally.

Adding aeration to your pond is another way to enhance the water clarity and quality.

When it comes to Pond-free applications or Fountains, although they will be easier to maintain, will still need your attention from March through May. Like opening a pond, you will need to clean up any leftover fall debris, and re-connect your pump to get the stagnant water moving again.

You may have a slight rotten egg smell, but once you turn on the feature, this should pass after about 24 hours of water circulation.

Mother Nature takes its toll on these types of water features also! Algae will start to form in the streambed of a waterfall and on a decorative piece.

Liquid and granular algaecides can help reduce the growth and keep the feature clear. Another great option for these features is a copper ionizer, which releases a small dose of copper ions into the water to ward off algae.

Remember, very small doses are all that would be needed (around .02ppm), so make sure you are testing your copper levels if you are using an ionizer.

Feel free to add your tips and suggestions about what you do to get your water features up and running for the Spring season!

 

How do you work with Mother Nature versus fighting Mother Nature?

 

 


About the Author:
Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens.
JIM CHUBB

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.