Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

North America: ASSE-certified products accepted in Missouri

Monday, April 15th, 2019

ASSE International announced that Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources now accepts ASSE-certified backflow protection products. As a result, ASSE manufacturing clients that list their backflow prevention products with ASSE are now able to market and sell their assemblies for installation in the state of Missouri. Effective February 28, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources adopted language allowing models of double-check valve assemblies (DC) and reduced-pressure principle backflow prevention assemblies (RPZ) that have been certified by ASSE.

North America: Rebates announced for water-leak products

Monday, April 15th, 2019

To stem the tide of household leaks and help boost water conservation in the community, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) announced it will offer rebates to residents who purchase devices that can detect leaks and monitor their household water use. The launch of the Smart Leak Detector Program coincided with the annual observance of Fix a Leak Week, March 18-24, presented locally by the SNWA in conjunction with US EPA’s WaterSense program.

North America: NSF certification for Voltea announced

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Voltea has received NSF/ANSI 42 certification and listing for its DiUse© and DiEntry© water treatment systems. This will make it possible for the company to sell these units for potable drinking-water purification in residences, restaurants, hotels, cafes and all drinking-water applications.

North America: Florida WQA convention

Monday, April 15th, 2019

The Florida WQA annual convention will be held June 5-7 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean Front Resort. The event will start with a golf tournament, followed by numerous educational sessions, the tradeshow and a silent auction. For details, visit https://fwqa.com/event/2019-fwqa-convention/.

Viewpoint: Spring brings a lot of changes

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

In much of the US, springtime has finally arrived, in spite of a punishing El Nino winter. For those who can’t wait to get out into the sunshine, be ready for other weather changes that may well impact both your life and your business. Warmer temperatures mean removing winter weatherproofing, planting gardens and watering lawns, all of which mean water quality is still the most important consideration.
We’ve heard much over the past few years about emerging contaminants and now find ourselves staring down double barrels. PFAS contamination is rampant and only now being considered a disaster to be reckoned with throughout the world. Lead poisoning is still occurring far too often due to failing infrastructure, old piping and lead solder. It will involve high costs and strong political motivation to overcome these issues . Until that is accomplished, consumers need to be able to rely on water treatment dealers and manufacturers to keep their water supplies safe.
In this issue, Gary Battenberg of Parker Hannifin provides an introspective and comprehensive look at PFAS and lead contamination, what can be done and how. It cannot be stressed strongly enough just how dangerous and difficult this devil’s duo will continue to be for some time to come. As water treatment specialists, there are a range of treatment and equipment options you should be ready to deploy for clients who are being affected.
Due to the WQA Annual Convention & Exposition being held in April this year, an updated schedule is being presented, with the latest information possible. Golf, educational sessions, committee meetings, certification classes and exams, Boot Camp…there’s a large number of offerings for every level of water treatment. Be sure to boost your knowledge and enhance your bottom line by taking advantage of every opportunity afforded by attending. With the large number of contamination stories in the press, consumers will be looking for certified professionals…they should be knocking on your doors!
Candice Wentling of Certified Action, Bill Blades of William Blades, Inc. and Gary Coon come together in this issue to offer a wide variety of sales and marketing tips and tricks. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Take advantage of the wisdom imparted by these marketing specialists to help bring your sales teams up a few rungs on the success ladder.
While US water quality issues are governed by US EPA and other regulatory agencies, it’s important to know that the rest of the world adheres to World Health Organization guidance. While there are differences between the two, a conjunction exists for many aspects of water quality and treatment. Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Public Health Editor, provides both summary and insight in her article about risk management to reduce waterborne disease.
It won’t be long after you receive this issue that we will see you in Las Vegas, April 23-25, hopefully. Stop by Booth 846 or catch us as we make our rounds of the educational sessions and tradeshow floor. Keep an eye on today with the other focused on the future by taking in the wide variety of new products on display.

Risk-Management Strategies to Reduce Waterborne Disease

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

Every year on March 22, we celebrate World Water Day around the globe. This year’s theme is Leaving No One Behind. World Water Day serves as a reminder that sustainability of a safe, available water supply is not trivial or automatic, but requires constant monitoring, management and action. The World Health Organization continues to provide resources and protocols for managing drinking-water quality and availability, most recently using a Water Safety Plan (WSP) model. Building on a risk management strategy, the WSP approach is being adopted worldwide and appears to be adaptable to highly variable drinking-water systems.

Water quality concerns
Globally, about one-sixth of the population lacks access to an improved water supply within one kilometer (0.62 miles) of their homes. Diarrheal disease from contaminated water results in up to two million deaths per year and is the fourth leading cause of early death and disability around the world, affecting children and developing nations disproportionately.(1) The call for improved water safety is heard around the world in both developing and developed nations.
Within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goal 6 is: “Ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”(2) The goal of Target 6.1 is: “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking-water for all” and to ensure that populations are “using safely managed drinking-water services.” Previously, the Millennium Development Goals focused on providing access to water but lacked provisions for improved water quality. This was a gap in efforts needed to move forward in achieving SDG 6.
Important in reaching these development goals is the implementation of WSPs along with an understanding of how they effectively address water sustainability, sanitation and hygiene issues leading to the production of consistent and safe drinking-water supplies. To be successful, a supportive organizational culture is critical among water suppliers and WSP stakeholders. In other words, implementation of this new risk-management process should be perceived as a net benefit and not a punishment for water suppliers.(2)

Improvement guidelines
Although WSPs have been utilized previously, in 2004, the World Health Organization published the third revision of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality to highlight a broad-spectrum WSP approach for managing drinking-water quality and risks from catchment to consumer. Since then, numerous add-on guides have been published, including a step-by-step risk management manual for drinking-water suppliers.(3) The general WSP steps include:
1. Preparation
a. Preliminary actions, including assembling the WSP team
2. System assessment
a. Describe the water supply system.
b. Identify hazards and risks.
c. Determine and validate control measures, reassess and prioritize risks.
d. Develop, implement and maintain an improvement/upgrade plan.
3. Operational monitoring
a. Define monitoring and control measures.
b. Verify the effectiveness of the WSP (are health-based targets being met?).
4. Management and communication
a. Prepare management procedures.
b. Develop supporting programs.
Steps associated with the system assessment/upgrade plan include the identification of financial investment needs for major system modification. Part of the management and communication follow-up is to periodically review the WSP for any changes required or system changes that evolved over time. Additionally, any incidents that occur along the way, as either part of the operational monitoring discoveries or an event emergency (i.e., an outbreak or illness case), require an immediate revision of the WSP to address the incident causes.
Key to the success of a WSP is the dynamic nature of the procedure, which requires consistent evaluation, verification and response to adapt to specific utility needs. The WHO WSP guideline is applicable to a range of supply types including: large-scale, urban water treatment utilities, shared rural-piped supply stations or individual wells.

Implementation barriers
WSP benefits include assessment and management of supplies from catchment to consumer and adaptability to local regions, while considering the inherent challenges within those regions. Implementation of the WSP approach has been rapid for some but not all countries and regions. In the 15 years since publication of the 2004 WHO WSP guidance, more than 93 countries have implemented WSPs.(4) Evidence of WSP adaptability is that nearly 72 percent of countries implementing the approach are doing so in limited-resource, rural settings.
A recent article in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health reviewed some of the barriers and resources available for WSP capacity building and training for utilities, governments and other stakeholders.(2) (Barriers to implementation continue to be financial, where sustainable investments, labor and training, and auditing practices are limited.) A variety of tools have been used to overcome site-specific barriers.(5) Online training helped to launch the implementation of WSPs in some countries. Additionally, manuals were created in local languages to improve use. Financial incentives proved effective for others. For example, in Scotland, only suppliers with a risk-assessment plan were eligible for utility improvement grants. For many regions, the biggest adoption of WSPs occurred only after national, enforceable regulations required such compliance.
Data is building in support of WSPs, not only as a health risk management tool but also a cost benefit.(5) For example, significant operational expense savings have been reported from adopters in Australia, with an estimated savings from reduced operational expenses of $7,500 to $38,000 per incident. Public utilities in Portugal reported a 56-percent reduction in laboratory testing and operating costs following WSP implementation.

Proactive solutions
Solving the world’s water crisis requires a multidisciplinary approach from experts in water harnessing; supply management; effective treatment; safe distribution; storage and consumption. Population increases in regions where water availability does not support demand require political negotiations to navigate how upstream harvesting effects downstream needs. The complexities of these issues are compounded by unpredictable changes in rainfall and hydrological cycles.
A WSP formalizes the process for controlling hazards that can be addressed and planning ahead for what is needed to address the next targeted contaminants or events. Even in developed countries with sophisticated infrastructure and well-monitored systems, risk management can fail, resulting in waterborne disease outbreaks. Increased use of WSPs is expected to reduce these risks and help to improve public health. POU water-treatment devices continue to provide risk-management solutions within the control of the consumer and are utilized by some utilities as best-practice interventions. As WSPs develop, the POU industry should consider their role in supporting utility risk-reduction targets.

References
(1) The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “What is the Global Burden of Disease (GBD)? Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.” The University of Washington. www.healthdata.org/infographic/what-global-burden-disease-gbd. Published 2019. Accessed March 10, 2019.
(2) Ferrero G, Setty K, Rickert B, et al. “Capacity building and training approaches for water safety plans: A comprehensive literature review.” Int J Hyg Environ Health. February 2019. doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.01.011.
(3) Bartram J, Corrales L, Davison A, et al. “Water Safety Plan Manual: Step-by-Step Risk Management for Drinking-Water—World Health Organization, International Water Association—Google Books.” Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. https://books.google.com/books?id=iVCV0Hd2ElYC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed March 16, 2019.
(4) Rinehold A. “GLOBAL STATUS REPORT ON WATER SAFETY PLANS: A Review of Proactive Risk Assessment and Risk Management Practices to Ensure the Safety of Drinking-Water.” 2017. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255649/WHO-FWC-WSH-17.03-eng.pdf;jsessionid=F2E31C0F087AE72E7896D3CEBDF5881E?sequence=1. Accessed March 10, 2019.
(5) Baum R, Bartram J. “A systematic literature review of the enabling environment elements to improve implementation of water safety plans in high-income countries.” J Water Health. 2018;16(1):14-24. doi:10.2166/wh.2017.175.

About the author
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds is a University of Arizona Professor at the College of Public Health; Chair of Community, Environment and Policy; Program Director of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC). She holds a Master of Science Degree in public health (MSPH) from the University of South Florida and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arizona. Reynolds is WC&P’s Public Health Editor and a former member of the Technical Review Committee. She can be reached via email at reynolds@u.arizona.edu

Quality Evaluation of Post-Mix Beverage Water Treatment Systems

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By Rick Andrew

The quality of post-mix beverages is often highly dependent on the quality of the water treatment equipment installed and operated upstream of the post-mix machine. The locally available tap water that is mixed with CO2 and concentrated beverage syrup to produce our favorite soft drinks onsite may have certain characteristics that require treatment. If that locally available tap water has characteristics that will negatively affect the appearance, odor and/or taste of the soft drink, this may result in unacceptable quality of the post-mix beverage. Recognizing this opportunity to contribute value through improving beverage quality, treatment manufacturers have developed specialized product lines focused around treatment of water used in post-mix beverage applications.

Water treatment for post-mix beverages
Locally available tap water can contain excess particles and sediment, residual disinfectants at concentrations above the taste threshold, significant hardness, high TDS and possibly other contaminants that can affect post-mix beverages. As such, water treatment for post-mix beverage production can include sediment filters, carbon filters including carbon blocks and granular activated carbon, scale control cartridges, RO and hollow-fiber membranes. Additionally, some applications may include softening, UV and/or ion exchange. Application of these technologies is optimized by water treatment professionals utilizing data describing source water characteristics and on water characteristics desired for the particular post-mix beverage dispensing application.
Beverage producers have typically evaluated water sources and levels of water quality and effects on quality of the resulting post-mix beverages. Through these evaluations, they have developed guidelines for optimal water chemistry for their specific products. These beverage producers know exactly which commonly varying aspects of water chemistry influence the taste of their beverages, both positively and negatively. Leveraging this information, along with knowledge about water treatment technologies, has led manufacturers of water treatment equipment to the development of highly specialized products for post-mix beverage applications. Likewise, water treatment professionals have learned how to best apply these technologies to various conditions of source water to achieve desired treated water quality.

A standard for post-mix water treatment equipment
Requirements for post-mix, commercial modular water treatment systems were first introduced into NSF/ANSI 42 in 2005. These requirements are specific to the types of equipment utilized in post-mix systems. The definition of commercial modular water treatment systems (Figure 1) makes it clear that these requirements were developed specifically for post-mix beverage dispensing applications.
This definition makes it clear that commercial modular systems are not intended to be used in consumer installations. The reason for this restriction is that these systems are configurable in the field by qualified water treatment professionals to customize the installation to provide quality water in a variety of local water conditions. Commercial modular systems typically include an array of possible treatment elements that can fit into specially designed manifolds to provide highly configurable treatment systems. This open-ended configuration would be very confusing to consumers and could allow them to unintentionally end up with some inappropriate and ineffective installations. For example, a consumer could end up accidentally installing two dissimilar modular elements in a parallel flow configuration, thus leading to uneven flow, bypass and incomplete treatment.
Proper installation and application of commercial modular systems is critical to their effectiveness, which is addressed through the standard requirement that these systems be installed exclusively by an authorized plumber or authorized agent of the manufacturer. The standard requires that this provision be communicated directly on the modular elements themselves (Figure 2).
NSF/ANSI 42 is structured this way in order to allow for a clear method of evaluation for these systems, which can have so many permutations of configurations that application of typical standard requirements can become unclear. This approach includes the ability of the manufacturer to provide claims and capacity information specific to a modular element on the element itself, as opposed to attempting to identify and uniquely name and label each possible system permutation associated with a given manifold system.
Additionally, the manufacturer then has the option to provide a performance data sheet for each modular element, instead of being required to develop a performance data sheet for each possible system permutation. This approach leads to much fewer performance data sheets being necessary and therefore greater simplicity and clarity. Information specific to these modular systems is required to be included in the performance data sheet for these modular elements or systems (Figure 3).

Quality through certification
Standards define the characteristics and attributes necessary for products to conform. There are, however, many ways to conduct evaluation of products to the standard. One approach is self-evaluation by manufacturers and self-declaration of conformance. With this approach, there is no independent verification of conformance. A second approach is independent testing through an outside laboratory. This approach is more robust than self-declaration because of the independence of the testing laboratory. A third approach, third-party certification, takes independent evaluation a step further than simply testing at an independent laboratory, to a more comprehensive evaluation. The advantages of certification include:
• Conformity assessment beyond a single point in time. Testing is an evaluation at only one point in time. A simple test does not address changes to the product over time, whether those changes be intentional on the part of the manufacturer or unintentional changes brought about by the supply chain and unbeknownst to the manufacturer. Some of these changes can significantly impact conformance of the product to the standard. Certification includes evaluation of product changes through documentation requirements, manufacturing facility audits and periodic product retesting.
• Evaluation of all relevant product attributes. Certification requires testing of multiple attributes of a product, including safety of materials in contact with drinking water, structural integrity and contaminant reduction, as opposed to a single test focusing on a single product attribute. Certification also helps assure that product specifications and use instructions are adequately and clearly communicated to the professionals who are installing and maintaining these complex systems.
• Independent accreditation. Accredited third-party certification means that an accreditation body is assessing the certification to assure that it is handled appropriately and that all requirements of the certifier’s policies and the accreditation standard are being met through the certification. So, there is oversight on the third-party certifier as a greater assurance of quality in the certification and evaluation process.

Certification helps assure post-mix beverage quality
Recognizing market needs, water treatment manufacturers have developed sophisticated and specialized treatment technologies for post-mix beverage dispensing applications. They allow qualified water treatment professionals to configure systems that help assure consistent quality and pleasing taste for post-mix dispensed beverages. The combination of effective treatment technology and water treatment expertise is what provides this desired outcome of consistent, high-quality post-mix beverages. If one or the other element is missing, the result may not be as positive.
Accredited third-party certification of post-mix water treatment equipment to the NSF/ANSI DWTU Standards is a comprehensive approach to assuring product quality. Certification provides ongoing evaluation that the treatment products conform to the full requirements of the standard, including safety of materials in contact with water, structural integrity, contaminant-reduction performance and clear labeling and presentation of product specifications and use instructions.

About the author
Rick Andrew is NSF’s Director of Global Business Development–Water Systems. Previously, he served as General Manager of NSF’s Drinking Water Treatment Units (POU/POE), ERS (Protocols) and Biosafety Cabinetry Programs. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at (800) NSF-MARK or email: Andrew@nsf.org

‘Work Hard and Never Give Up’

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By Donna Kreutz

Jay Hellenbrand grew up in a family-owned water treatment business in Wisconsin founded by his parents. After graduating from high school, he knew he wanted to start his own company. “I really wanted to go for a master’s appliance license so I could go out on my own,” he said.
But those plans were delayed. Hellenbrand and his twin sister were the youngest of seven children and his parents encouraged them to go to college. “It turned out to be a great move,” he said. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1994 with a degree in marketing.
I knew I wanted to work in the water treatment industry or start my own water treatment company,” which he thought would be in the Midwest. “Then I got an offer to work in California at a wholesale water treatment company. I never thought I would end up in California but after a visit to Santa Barbara and checking out the job, I decided to accept it and move to Santa Barbara. Shortly after, I decided to start Advanced Water Solutions on the side. I worked full-time during the day at the wholesale company while working nights and weekends to get Advanced Water Solutions going. I absolutely love the water business and being in business for myself.
“I attribute my success to my Mom and Dad (Jim and Florence Hellenbrand) for teaching me how to work hard and never give up. Another motivating factor was how expensive it was to live in Santa Barbara. I figured the only way I could really get ahead and control my destiny was to start my own business. I was discouraged by my older brother, who thought California was not a great place to start or run a business. He even had my parents call to question me. I remember telling my Mom and Dad that if others could do it, I could too. I told them they had taught me well and I thought I could make it in California, because it seemed that the old-fashioned Midwest service that I was used to was not the case in California. I told them: ‘You know I will give 150 percent because that is how you raised me.’ I guess things have worked out because we just passed our 21st year in business and are still going strong.”
Hellenbrand said his company serves both residential and commercial customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, along with some areas of Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties. “We take the time to educate the customers. We are in a water-scarce state and we have water shortages in our area because of the severe drought we’ve experienced for the past several years. We are always addressing drought issues, even when we get lots of rain. Water is scarce. It is a big issue.
“We know this will always be a problem in our service area, so we strive to put in the best, most efficient systems that minimize water being wasted to treat our customers’ water conditions. We continue to test no-salt alternatives and try to be optimistic that something will be developed that actually works fairly well that doesn’t use salt or potassium to reduce or remove calcium and magnesium hardness minerals from the water.”
He said hard water, chlorine and chloramines are the biggest problems they encounter with city water. “The average water hardness in our area is 18 to 25 grains per gallon. Some areas on municipal water have 45 to 55 grains per gallon. We not only sell and rent water softeners but also do whole-house filtration systems to reduce the chlorine and chloramines for most customers.
“On well water, we run into all kinds of problems, such as iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, arsenic, high TDS and brackish water. We typically custom-design a treatment system for these applications, which includes pH correction, oxidation, filtration, softening, whole-house RO, as well as bacteria and virus protection.
“Some of the biggest challenges we face are the cities that have banned salt-based softeners. That limits us on what we can offer these customers. We have not found a great alternative to salt-based softeners to remove hardness from the water. Reverse osmosis works the best but it is not that practical to put in a whole-house RO system to reduce the hardness because of the large cost—and the bigger problem is the amount of water wasted with these RO systems.
“I anticipate that more regulations on salt discharge and water efficiencies will be put in place on water treatment products. We have to continue to find new products that not only effectively work to treat customers’ water problems but reduce the amount of water it takes to operate these systems. We need to sell and rent systems that are a lot more efficient, looking at how much water and salt they use, for a much smaller footprint on the environment,” he said.
Hellenbrand is a Certified Water Specialist, Certified Installer and has specialty certifications in RO, deionization, filtration and ultrafiltration. When he started Advanced Water Solutions in 1997, he tried hiring people from within the industry. “Early on, my thought process was that it would be easier to get people trained by another dealer. But it seems they come with bad habits, things that are difficult to change. So I found it was a lot easier to hire from scratch and train them completely on how we need to have things done.
“We prefer to train our employees and teach them our way about installing and servicing our products and how we want our customers taken care of. We offer in-house, manufacturer and WQA training, and some of our employees are WQA-certified. We really strive to make our customers completely satisfied. Our turnover is pretty low; my two top installation/service guys have been with me 18 and 19 years. We are very proud of our employees and everyone works as a team to provide the best customer service. That’s something my Mom and Dad instilled in me. We must be doing something right because our customers continue to tell us and show us with great Google and Yelp reviews.
“One of the rewarding things about owning my own business is that I get to create a future for not only myself but my employees. It is rewarding meeting new customers and seeing customers from 21 years ago who still appreciate our products and great service and continue to refer us to their friends, family and neighbors. It is so rewarding to see customers and hear them say good things about our company and the employees.
His twin Jodi also followed family tradition and works in the water treatment industry. “She works for two of my brothers in Dad’s business.” Will there be a third generation?
“I have two daughters, ages 16 and 13. The oldest helps a bit but is not showing too much interest. It would be cool if they did come around after college and after they are out in the real world for a while and then come back.
“In the last year, we expanded into the coffee business. We are now providing coffee, tea and espresso along with coffee brewers and equipment to coffee shops, restaurants and large business. We have been providing water treatment products to these customers for years, so it was a natural transition to provide them coffee and equipment as well. It is exciting to expand into this market. Over the next 10 years we plan to continue growing both the water treatment and coffee business, while maintaining our great customer service along the way.”

Daring to Be Different is the Key Difference

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By William Blades

How many salespeople do you know who acted on just six new skills this past year? Many get stuck in a comfort zone, achieving some success, then become content and stop growing. But, success and peak performance are not the same things. In this writing, I’ll share some ideas which you might think, “That’s not me” or might even frighten you. Even if you’re afraid of change, try new things on a regular basis and you’ll be delighted to find what was once scary becomes a great part of your everyday success. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Start by being weird and fun. I’ve found, over the decades, that being ‘out there’ a bit is extremely effective for getting appointments, developing relationships and obtaining a lot of business. Don’t be afraid of displaying a quirkier side, as it will differentiate you from hundreds of other salespeople who come off as robots. Almost everyone, even including some accountants, enjoy being with someone who is both interesting and fun. Every person and corporation goes through good and bad times but their doors fly open to gravitate to those who bring a sense of humor, creativity and value-add propositions. It is a small-number club you can join.
Here’s some things I have personally done and currently do for clients for creativity:
• I give away golf gloves with my logo instead of golf balls. Balls are lost and cut. Gloves stare at them on every shot.
• I don’t ask for an 8:00 a.m. appointment. I ask for 8:03 a.m., followed by a confirming note that states: “I’ll arrive at 7:59 a.m. for my 8:03 a.m.” It works every time. They are almost always in the lobby for two reasons: 1) to see what time I arrive and 2) to meet a weirdo.
• I use postage stamps with my photo.
• Instead of a lunch at a restaurant, I arrange for a gourmet caterer to serve it at the client’s desk. Invite all decision-makers. They love watching the presentation.
• Ten-minute chair massages for a small group works well. Who doesn’t have stress?
• I don’t send flowers. I send small cacti as I’ll then be there forever.
• I don’t just get a group out for a ball game. All of us meet at a great restaurant followed by a rental van to drop everyone at the ballpark entrance so clients don’t have to walk from a distant lot. I have a salesperson at our seating area hand out programs I’ve signed with a personal note. A salesperson goes to get the van again in the 7th inning to avoid clients having to walk to the parking lot. The very first time I did this, I landed a Fortune 100 client that day. As an added touch, we get a retired player to appear and sign balls while I sign books, provide complimentary consulting and set up appointments for the next few days for my client and me. This table has been set for success.
• I had a client whose logo was a general from the Civil War. I had a pottery maker prepare several liquor decanters painted to match the general. It beat the heck out of a generic gift they would have forgotten about…quickly.
• I was meeting with two clients, and they both loved my Italian dress shirt I was wearing. Me: “What size are you?” followed by: “Sorry, if it was your sizes I’d take it off and give it to one of you.” I called my shirt vendor and ordered two monogrammed shirts in their sizes. They both wore them on my next visit(s).
• I’ve arranged for a portable car-wash firm to pull into the client’s parking lot and wash all decision-makers cars. I’ve arranged for shoeshine stands brought in. Two spectacles that work.
• Since I speak for meetings, I have Bill Blades for Speaker bumper stickers, which I put on airplane walls and on the back of flight attendants. Too weird? I’ve landed clients that way.
• Even my roller bag reads, Got Sales? (like Got Milk?) along with my website. Views? Maybe 100,000+.
I’ll stop on creativity ideas because I know what some logical salespeople are thinking. But, I’ll add that if salespeople fought sin as hard as they fight creativity and humor, this would be a more wonderful place for a lot of people.

Extra-extra value-add propositions
I gave my first speech at One Times Square at the age of 22. I then gave my first convention speech, for my industry, at 24 years of age. It progressed to me speaking over 25 times annually for our industry meetings and for potential clients. I landed many Fortune 5000 clients by speaking on sales and leadership issues versus trying to sell them something.
One CEO, during the break, was talking to his executive staff. After all of us got back to the meeting room, he asked if he could speak. In front of his group, he said: “I invested over $1 million in educating this group last year and we all just agreed that we received more usable ideas in 90 minutes then all of last year. I have to ask, what do you want in return?” I said: “Just your X and Y business (their two largest items for which we were already approved) and I’d like to leave here with our first order today.” He asked: “What time is your flight?” After I told him the time, he replied: “Let’s leave here at 1:00 p.m. to go to the office and get it done.” It was about value.
Later, after I began speaking and consulting as a profession, I asked my clients to arrange for me to speak for their largest, potential clients. Every time, we gained an abundance of business. Why? We provided lucrative value-added services by giving them ideas on how to grow their people and their business. Their current vendor became irrelevant as they were just taking orders.
Often, I get my clients to arrange for me to meet with CEOs of their potential clients. The CEO has been encouraged to visit my site and to have some challenges to share with me. I open the meeting by signing one of my books, which sets up a good atmosphere. Sometimes I go alone and sometimes with my client’s salesperson, depending on the circumstances and the client’s wishes. This beats a routine call any day. And I always ask for business as we just earned it. Closing ratio? About 95 percent.

Conclusion
Scott Romeo (www.thestrategyexpert.com) wrote: “A sale is an outcome. It is the result of careful analysis of your potential clients and your own strategy for obtaining clients. Stop concentrating on the sale or the final outcome and start focusing on the strategies that can result in a sale.” That’s why the value-added services I mentioned above are not for every CEO. They are for select, targeted and progressive firms with whom we want a relationship and with those that prefer vendors who are fun, creative and value-oriented—whether they realize it or not. Otherwise, it’s tough to just try to sell stuff to anybody. Joy and value win hands down almost every time. Out are the ways of selling from long ago. In are the opportunities to be out there and more successful.

About the author
Bill Blades, CMC, CPSP, is a speaker and consultant specializing in sales and leadership. He can be contacted at bill@topgunbusinessadvisors.com or (480) 556-1467. Also visit www.billblades.com and www.TopGunBusinessAdvisors.com

I Became a Water Salesman When Life Threw Me a Curve

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By Gary Coon

As a child, I never imagined I would ever earn a living as a salesman. As a young boy, all I ever wanted to become was a commercial pilot. My father bought me a VHF radio that enabled me to eavesdrop on conversations between the pilots and the control tower. I spent hours at the Akron/Canton airport hanging on every word as I tried to guess which airplane the controller was contacting. Becoming a pilot became my passion. But childhood asthma followed me into my late teens and eventually put an end to my plans to enlist in the Air Force…the only avenue I knew leading to my dream.
So, my life changed. As I was remarkably without any vendible physical skills (I can still remember when I thought a claw hammer was a Kung Fu technique), I realized that I had to rely on my wits to make a living. I had little or no interest in business and even less in becoming a salesman. During high school, I can’t remember anyone ever expressing a desire to earn a business degree, only to stride jubilantly into a sales career. So, I coasted into college because I didn’t know where else to go. But at the time I entered college, less than one percent of college graduates actually planned to make selling a profession. And after I graduated, I quickly learned the only jobs readily available to liberal arts majors (I have a BA in English) were in sales or clerical work.
At first, I sought work as a clerk, as my only vivid recollection of a salesman was the unctuously cheerful door-to-door vendor who strained desperately to sell my mother an assortment of household cleaning brushes. The thought of having to earn a living by taxing the limits of anyone with my mother’s immeasurable civility weighed as heavily on my stomach as a clump of pig iron. This visage abruptly shattered, however, when during a new hire interview someone from HR escorted me to the clerical work area. There in the vast expanse of what looked like an enormous warehouse of used office furniture he showed me what was to be my unsequestered desk. ‘Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Batman,’ this was a far cry from my childhood dream. The clacking typewriters and clanging file drawers sounded like someone shooting at an army of mechanical ants, marching over a landscape of discarded hubcaps. Suddenly a career in sales didn’t seem so bad.
So, I became a salesman. And not just any kind of salesman, an in-home water treatment salesman. I became the very thing I cringed at the thought of as a child. And believe me, there’s not a day goes by that I’m not amused by the irony. The universe must have quite a sense of humor. But I became more than an in-home water treatment salesperson; I became a water evangelist. Saving as many as I could from the perils of nasty water became my mission. And that mission morphed into a passion that I carry with me to this day. So, in the aftermath of a child’s shattered hopes and dreams, the universe handed me one of life’s most valuable lessons: If you can’t follow your passion, then simply take your passion with you. I did, and it made all the difference in the world. Good luck and good selling.

About the author
Gary Coon, a 23-year veteran of the water conditioning industry, has successfully trained hundreds of water treatment sales professionals. His seminars, ‘What They Mean by What They Say’ and ‘The Theater of Selling Water’ offer instruction in closing methodologies and presentation techniques. Learn more by visiting wwwcurrencyofpersuasion.com

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