Dec 28, 2000

Dreaming the Dream, Selling the Show

Last month, we discussed feeling customers' pain, which builds desire for change, but change to what? This month, we will discuss dreaming the dream, making the customer visualize enjoying the benefits of your products and services.

Commercials on TV always show someone enjoying a much better life from using the product being advertised. Take the example of dandruff shampoo. Dandruff does not cause physical harm. But they show us how bad dandruff makes you feel and the social rejection it causes (feeling the pain). Then, they show you how amazingly the subject’s life has improved since using the product: a better job or a new relationship. As you can see, they are selling a dream, not the actual product.

How does this relate to water equipment? Don't sell the nuts and bolts, sell the dream. You might ask your customer to picture how happy he will be when he won't have to scrub the tub after every bath due to the soft water. Ask him what he would do with the extra leisure time. Get him to picture himself enjoying it.

When discussing saving money, ask the customer to picture how happy his next trip to the supermarket will be when he spend less because he needs fewer cleaning products.

If you are demonstrating a POU cooler to an office manager, ask him to tell you how great it will feel when fellow workers tell him what a wise decision he made by having great water while saving money.

Dreaming involves encouraging the customer to picture himself using the product. It also involves having him picture the reaction of others to his good decision.

Are these techniques effective? Spend an evening analyzing TV commercials and you will see how powerful it is. The desire for a product is raised to the purchase point in less than 60 seconds.

The quality of the show in your demonstration effects the price the customer will pay. For example, in a fancy restaurant, a dish such as cherries jubilee might sell for $6.95 per serving. Why buy that when a gallon of cherry ice cream is $3? The answer is people are buying the show, not the nuts and bolts.

What can you do to build the show in your demonstration?

• Take the family into their bathroom and put on a black light. It lights up the spots on the sink, tub and toilet and lets them see the debris left by hard water that can harbor germs.

• The tea bag test. Boil raw water and your softener or RO water in separate containers. Place an orange pekoe tea bag in each container and show the family the difference in quality.

These are just two examples; the list includes many standard demonstrations such as the bubble bath, taste test, and rubbing butter on a glass surface and cleaning half with raw water and half with improved water. If the customer isn't willing to make the purchase, was it caused because your demo left out the show that it could have had?

Take a look at your demonstration, are you are dreaming the dream and selling the show? This technique builds desire and makes the client see the price as a good value.

About the Author
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;

About the author