Dec 28, 2000

Marketing to New Industries

Tired of the same old grind? Do you wish there was an area in which to sell that your competitors weren't working everyday? Do you wish there were more appointments you could be making in the daytime? Good news! There are other industries with acres of diamonds that you can sell to with just a little effort and imagination.

Any company that uses water as part of their process can usually benefit from using purified water. Let me give you a few examples that have come up for me.

A few years ago, we sold an RO system to a gentleman who made dentures. Excited with the results, he called us to say that he took is jug of RO water from home to his lab and used it to mix with the powder that makes dentures. He found that using RO water gave him an extra 20 minutes to work with the material before it hardened. Apparently, this is a big advantage in the manufacturing process.

I knew another person had just moved to our area and started a greenhouse. He found that all of the seedlings of one type of plant were turning brown and dying. Just to see what would happen, I installed an RO system and asked him to water a few plants with the treated water. The plants that were nourished with purified water recovered; we later found out it was the chlorine in municipal water that was affecting the sick plants. The result? We sold that company many large carbon filters and were able to use his written
recommendation to sell many others in the area.

What Does This Mean?

These stories demonstrate the tremendous potential we all have to sell our products to any industry that uses water, if we can show them a benefit.

How Do You Find Industries to Approach?

Ask and research. I came across an article in a veterinary magazine that discussed how feeding purified water to chickens dramatically increased egg production. It also mentioned that purified water can increase milk production in animals as well.

How Could You Use This Information to Start Making Money in a New Industry?

Find one person in the industry, for example, a farmer, who will accept a free rental of an RO system or softener (yes, even removing iron from cattle water increases milk production) in exchange for the farmer feeding a control group the purified water and keeping track of production of the control group and the regular group. If there is a dramatic difference, ask the farmer to give you a letter stating the results of the test. Perhaps you could get a local college that specializes in agriculture to do the test for you. Be sure to translate the results into how much more the producer could be making.

For example, talk about a 35 percent increase in production. Armed with the information about making more money, along with a recommendation from a college or local producer, you should be able to interest a large portion of people in the industry to purchase equipment.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work every time. I have tried many industries to which purified water made no difference. However, there are many companies that would be very interested in the difference purified water could make to their production.

As I was writing this article, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. He was asked how to care for a cigar. Mr. Limbaugh went in to a long discussion that included storing a cigar in a plastic bag with a moistened paper towel. He then said, "Don't use tap water, use distilled or purified water as tap water puts green spots on the [cigar] wrapper."

There is another example; cigar manufacturers should be using purified water. Not every industry you approach will benefit, but when you find one that really can improve with your equipment, there is a lot of money to be made. The possibilities from this approach are exciting.

There are two key elements to the success of this process. The first is
to find a user of water in an industry, give them a free rental for a few weeks, and conduct a test to see if better water affects production. If it does, get a recommendation, convert your proof to show how much money a company would be saving and then contact the other people in the industry.

The second key element in the process is to demonstrate real savings. Be prepared to perform a test to show them results. Talk to your present customers. Find out where they work and what water uses they have at the company. Surf the net and visit the library. Find companies and industrial processes that use water for manufacturing or production. You will be amazed at how much
money there is in selling small companies softeners, carbon filters, RO systems, etc.

These companies make great daytime appointments. Consider giving each sales person on your team one or two industries to call on and be responsible for. Once again, we see that the potential in our industry is tremendous and is limited only by our own imagination. ·

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, they have helped more than 1,400 companies in seven countries from small one-person operations to U.S. Filter. For a free demonstration tape and catalogue, contact them at 800-941-0068. See their website at

About the author