By Jack Barber

The growing concern for healthy water and changing consumer demand toward water treatment and purification products provides an excellent opportunity for marketing point-of-use (POU) distillation systems.

In-home presentation
Direct sales is a very effective method for the water treatment market, especially for residential distillation. Direct sellers can demonstrate their product in a prospective buyer’s home, utilizing the prospect’s own water. The buyer can see how the water treatment device will look and fit in the home and is able to see, taste and smell the improvements in their drinking water.

Most consumers will ask themselves, “Do I really need to make this purchase?” By fully explaining the distillation process and illustrating all the features and benefits, you’ll make it easy for the buyer to make the wise choice for water purification. The fact is buying a water treatment system is confusing for most people. And perhaps the best place to identify the problem, present a solution and close a sale is the place the prospect feels most comfortable—his or her home. They’re more likely to become a participant in the presentation than a spectator.

Automatic vs. batch units
There are two basic types of POU distillers—an automatic distiller, which requires a simple water connection, and a batch-type or manual-fill countertop distiller. Know the benefits of each and which one is more beneficial for a particular application. Many customers may eventually upgrade or want a more portable unit. The better educated you are, the better you can market your products.

User friendliness is a primary concern to the buyer, as well as installation and maintenance. A product demonstration is also a good way to familiarize a prospective customer with how to operate the system. Be sure to make the buyer aware of the exceptional value in quality of water produced.

Customer service
Customer service, parts and accessory availability are equally as important to the consumer. He or she must feel comfortable with the product’s performance, quality and personal support of your company before making a commitment to a purchase.

Keep current with local water conditions and news within the industry as valuable marketing tools.

Conclusion
Following basic marketing techniques and adding POU distillation systems to your product mix is one means of reacting proactively to today’s consumer needs.

About the author
Jack Barber is president and CEO of WaterWise Inc., a supplier of drinking and shower water treatment devices. Waterwise Inc. is based in Leesburg, Fla. Mr. Barber can be reached at (352) 787-5008, (352) 787-8123 (fax) or email: waterwise3@aol.com 10 Marketing Tips for POU Distillation Systems
• Know your product—Demonstrate the installation and product ease-of-use.
• Identify your customer—Discuss the true value of the product with your buyer.
• Recognize the need—Determine and understand the application of each of your products.
• Present product features and benefits—Discuss the product and its value in a clear fashion, using product literature, brochures and/or flyers (testimonials or related articles) to illustrate your points.
• The price—Do be confident of the superiority of your product’s quality and benefits. Don’t skirt around the issue. Face it squarely and boldly.
• Follow-up service—Develop sales and service evaluations. Ask for suggestions and referrals.
• Thank your customers—Delighted customers refer new buyers.
• Handle problems fast and efficiently—Diagnose complaints and convert into relationship opportunities. Return calls promptly.
• Keep in touch—Send postcard service reminders and holiday greetings cards, drop a flyer when you’re in the neighborhood, call to see if you can serve them in any other way (it may turn into a referral). Dazzle them with your attention to detail!

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