In terms of cost, you can revisit the way you frame your pricing. Don’t compete solely on price. Maybe you can revise your price structure and offer a no-frills filter, with options for add-ons. Or, you may want to itemize all the pieces that go into your system, both from a product and service perspective, to create a discounted “everything” price. Depending on your competition, you might use that itemized list together to show your prospect all the pieces you are including in your system that your competition may not be offering. If your dealership offers financing, how are you spelling out your finance opportunities? Is the verbiage clear and easy-to-understand? Are the terms transparent?

Be Honest About What Your Filter Can Do

Closing the sale also may be a factor of urgency. While the public knows there are problems with public water, it is highly likely they are not up to speed on the specifics about the water quality in their own area. Make sure you have the latest U.S. EPA studies and information about water quality in their area. Your marketing collateral should include an easy-to-read list that includes the contaminant and whether your product filters it out. Many consumers assume a water filter will purify everything. You need to explain what your system can and cannot do and have the backup marketing collateral to show it. If your dealership is not a household name, you need to develop a strong brand in your area and make sure you take everyone opportunity to showcase yourself and your business.

Be everywhere your customer is

If they are in the local PTA, be in the PTA. If they are going to home shows, take a booth at a home show. We know they read their mail—get your message into the right homes with a well-designed mailer.

Think of your website as your electronic business card and catalog. All of your marketing efforts are driving your customers and prospects to it. Make sure your website looks good and your information is up to date. Your reviews section is important. Studies show that 91% of consumers will read a company’s reviews before making a purchase.

Your reputation is a huge part of your brand. If you sell your customer on the benefits your water system will provide, you need to deliver. If you advertise your customer service, your technician needs to be at their appointments on time. This is your community. You will see your customers at the grocery store or at your children’s birthday parties.

Market your guarantee and credentials

Does your guarantee inspire confidence? Consumers are immune to generic guarantees that say, “If you’re not satisfied with our product, return it within 30 days and your money back.” That type of guarantee automatically starts a timer to return the product before the time expires. And, you’re changing the conversation so you don’t compete on price.

According to 2019 WQA Consumer Opinion Study, consumers are interested in a 100% guarantee and a strong warranty. What is a 100% guarantee anyway? It has to do with the trust you have in your product and in its quality. When you offer a 100% or a lifetime guarantee, you are offering your customers the ultimate confidence in their purchase. It means you have their back. While a guarantee does not necessarily mean money back, it can mean service, repairs or discounted systems upgrades. It means you are guaranteeing to make your customer happy. The truth is that most of your customers will never even ask for it, but a lifetime guarantee will put your brand in a strong position for customer satisfaction and help you close the sale.

Make sure your website and collateral material include your certifications

Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce? Proudly display your WQA Membership logo and if your technicians are certified, show those off as well. You also will want to highlight any products you offer that are WQA Gold Seal certified or made in the U.S. Using identifiable logos conveys credibility and trustworthiness. People buy from people they trust.

Live up to your brand commitment

You need to brand your dealership as a company that understands that someone is not a transaction, but a valued customer. This also means that your entire organization has a responsibility to live up to that commitment. Outstanding customer service, including timeliness, professional dress, easy-to-digest use instructions, and transparent credit agreements help you brand your dealership with excellence.

You never want to compete on price. If your company is perceived as excellent, customer-service oriented, friendly and helpful, cost is no longer the compelling motivator in a sale.

Don’t Compete On Price originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Water Quality Products