Free! Water Test

Utilizing water tests helps make the sale.

If you don’t believe in testing water, you’ll never make what you should be making in our industry. Despite this fact, many salespeople feel, deep down inside, that it’s just a gimmick to sell our product ... that asking to do the test is just a come on. Here is a simple test:

• Have you tested the water in your home in the last six months?
• Have you tested the water of all your relatives and friends?

If you answered "No" to either question, you really don’t believe. Let’s review some of the reasons why you should believe in testing until you would never drink from a tap without testing first.

They Don’t Need the Test–The Government Tests the Water
You need to realize two important things. First, the government does a good job at what they do. They never claim to purify water–that’s why they call most plants treatment plants, not purification plants. Their job is to treat the water until it is safe enough to prevent widespread diseases. If that is what you want, that’s fine. If you want water that is held to a higher standard, the government cannot do it for you. Secondly, the EPA reports that in 1996 (the last year for which figures are available) 8 percent of all water treatment plants tested failed to meet government standards. That was the times they caught violators. Just as you may often have exceeded the speed limit and not been caught, there may be some treatment plants that have violated standards and not been caught. For these reasons and many more, it is logical to have your water tested occasionally by someone other than the government.

They Don’t Need the Test–All Water in the Area Is the Same
This just isn’t true. In the county I live in, the water all starts out the same, but some towns in the county have PVC supply pipes, some have 150-year-old wooden pipes and some have asbestos and cement pipes from the 1950s. In addition, breaks in the pipe dramatically can affect water quality. An older home could have lead or black iron pipes. The water that needs to be tested is the water that comes out of the tap at the point of use. Also, when most of us think of the water treatment plant, we picture very high tech environment with controls like a nuclear generating plant and lots of highly trained people in white suits. Take a tour. You may be surprised.

We Really Don’t Test for Anything Important
Maybe hardness isn’t a safety factor, but it is important financially. I recommend you test for lead, as that is critically important. Even minute amounts of lead can affect the health of every member of the household. Whatever you test for, I recommend you test for total dissolved solids (TDS). High TDS or turbidity is a warning sign of potential problems and the homeowner should know if TDS is high and have alternatives explained. I highly recommend you test for nitrates. Agricultural run off can make nitrates higher than expected at certain times of year and excessive nitrates especially can be dangerous to babies. I also recommend you test on municipal water for chlorine. Chlorine counts fluctuate wildly in many areas. I personally have tested municipal water that tested zero for chlorine.

The fact is that many things you test for are important to the family’s financial and physical health. Even families who drink bottled water should have their water tested. To find out why, try this experiment. Weigh yourself tomorrow just before you shower, take a shower and weigh yourself again. Most people gain one to two pounds just from showering. Why? That’s the weight of the water that gets into your skin through your open pores. If you absorb water through your pores, then the water in your home should be tested since most people don’t use bottled water to bathe. Most reasonable people would not want to drink or bathe in water that has not been tested.

The Test Isn’t Worth Anything
Actually, it is worth a lot in time, convenience and money. Today, I looked up water testing companies on-line and Yahoo pointed me toward 176 of them. People pay these companies and many more to test their water. I called a local lab in my town and to test for hardness, iron, nitrates, lead and TDS, they charge $120 and you have to drive into town and drop off the sample. Check the rates in your town. It could be more or less but no matter how much it is, you are saving people time, money and inconvenience every time you do the water test. Just because your company allows you to do it for free doesn’t mean it is worthless.

If you were walking along the street and saw a purple pill on the ground would you pick it up and eat it? If you were in a park and saw a small unattended tray of sandwiches with a sign that read, "Free Sandwiches" would you eat one? Most of us would say such choices are extremely dangerous and yet those choices are very similar to drinking, cooking and bathing in water that has never been tested at the point of use.

There once was a great salesperson in our industry who used to take homeowners into their backyard as part of the demo. He would look around for an indent in the earth with water in it. Then, he would take two wrapped and sanitary straws from his coat pocket and ask the homeowners to bend down and drink the water from the hole. They would always refuse saying, "Are you nuts? We don’t know what’s in that water." He would say, "Ah, but you drink water every day that you have no idea of its content."

So be proud of the tests your company allows you to offer. If we sell equipment from discussing the results, that doesn’t make the test any less valid. If a doctor sells you a $100,000 bypass operation after he tests your heart, does that make the heart test a cheap scam to drum up business performed by a person with a vested interest? In the same way, the fact that you will offer a solution to improve the family’s water doesn’t diminish the value of your test. I think the public should be thankful that companies are willing to send well-trained experts with expensive testing equipment to their home to perform a free test that is vital to their physical and financial well being. Offer it every chance you get. You are helping people and giving yourself more opportunity to earn by solving their problems. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, which provides sales and management training designed exclusively for the water equipment industry. For more than 13 years, he has helped more than 1,400 companies in seven countries. For a free demonstration tape and catalog, contact the company at 800-941-0068; www.salesco.net.

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