Business is Great When Your Customers Look Good

March 27, 2008

About the author: Carl Davidson is director of Sales and Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training, recruiting and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. A free demonstration video and list of products and topics is available at 800.941.0068. Send comments on this article to him at [email protected];

Markets change and so do people. Over the last few years, our customers have evolved, but have you evolved with them? Customers today care more about their appearance than ever before. They want to look good and they don’t care what it costs. That is why old-style sales demonstrations that sell based on savings and technology are not as effective as those that speak to the wants of today’s buyers.

As mirrors, photos and video have become part of everyday life, so has the desire to look good. Can water equipment make customers look better? You bet it can, and in an era when people spend thousands of dollars on hair implants and plastic surgery, there is a lot of interest in water treatment products.

The Power of Improving Hair

My wife tells me that a hairstyling chain called Bangs offers a $50 treatment to counter the damaging effects of chlorine on hair. Its treatment restores hair luster and manageability that chlorinated water removes.

The water equipment we sell offers our customers the same benefits. They won’t be shampooing in chlorinated water with our conditioners. Think of the savings in time and money and, more importantly, the improvement in their hair and appearance.

My wife also told me that Bangs offers a $50 treatment to counter the effects of well water on hair. Saving customers from the horrors of well water on hair goes a long way toward paying for a system.

But in all my years, I have rarely seen this pointed out by salespeople in our industry.

According to a Nov. 28, 2007, article in the British newspaper, the Telegram, “The average female spends three years getting ready to leave the house. That’s three years during their whole lifetime.”

The article goes on to say that an average woman spends $55,000 in her lifetime on her hair. I say this to point out the power of appearance in buying decisions.

Hair Color Sells Conditioners

According to a survey by Miss Clairol, 55% of women color their hair and many men do as well. These people face a serious problem that we can help. People who shampoo with chlorinated water find their hair color does not last as long as their hairdresser or the product box claims. The reason is that they are actually bleaching their hair every time they shampoo. If they shampoo daily, their hair color will fade almost twice as fast as the product claims.

Conditioned water means customers will never have a bad hair day. The clean rinsing of dirt and chemicals from hair eliminates brassiness and makes hair softer and shinier, and that is a powerful inducement to own what we sell.

Younger, Smoother Skin

I am always surprised at how much women spend on their skin. From a very young age, most women invest in oils and creams that help them have younger, smoother skin.

It is important to point this out to customers and to do the hand washing at every demonstration. If they feel the difference, they will want your equipment and the price won’t matter.

These are just a few examples of how our customers have evolved over the years. If you or your team are still using the “scary magic show” style demonstration or no demo at all, you are making it more difficult to sell. If you are concentrating on how much they will save on dishwasher detergent in an era where your customers spend $5,000 to have fuller lips, you could be selling what the customer is not interested in buying.

Salespeople who talk about technical features and savings will face more objections and price challenges. The market is evolving and so are your customers. We need to evolve from a demo that was designed by men in a boardroom 25 years ago. If you can help your customers feel better about their appearance, they will be happy to do business with you. You will be helping them and helping yourself as well.

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About the Author

Carl Davidson

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