By Dale Filhaber

Every water dealer is a business owner and entrepreneur by nature. As a business owner, there are a few critical tasks that you need to turn into a daily habit in order for your dealership to keep moving in the right direction and to make you money. Dealers have to wear many hats in their business. While there are many things you can delegate to others in order for the dealership to run smoothly, there are a few things that you must do yourself. If you can create a habit of performing these five things every day, even if just for a few minutes, then you will see your dealership grow right alongside your dreams.

1. Plan for the future a few minutes each day.
Assume another downturn in the economy. In what direction will you take your company next? What new income stream can you add? This is a time for planning and making notes in preparation for the future. You don’t necessarily have to take action on these items, but you need to think about them daily in order to bring out the golden ideas.

2. Work on your marketing in some aspect every day to get new customers.
If your prospective customers don’t know about you, they won’t buy from you. Work on creating profiles of your best prospects. Go narrow. Match your marketing message to your target group. Work on getting your message out every day. Reaching out to new people every day must become your mantra. This is key, especially in today’s environment.

3. Work on closing a sale every single day.
Whether you are doing this online, on the phone, through the mail, or face-to-face, you need to be selling every day. Without the close of a sale, there is no business. This is not something that you can delegate all the time. Even if you have a sales force, you still need to be out there looking for new opportunities; you need to be out there getting a feel for the general mood in your territory.

4. Develop or strengthen your business network.
Join or create a business network where you can help others and they can help you. This is a great place to acquire customers through referrals, and an excellent mentoring opportunity. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and local charities that interest you. Put the annual WQA conference on your schedule. Next year, the conference is March 8-11 in San Antonio, TX. Plan to attend.

5. Contact your current customers.
Don’t ever forget about the people that have already purchased from you. These are your best customers. They already like what you have to sell and they don’t cost anything to acquire. Contact your current customers frequently, even if you are just saying hello. This is your chance to sell them service, salt or even a new system. Remember, they won’t seek you out. You must go to them.

About the author
S Dale Filhaber, President of Dataman Group Direct Mail & Telemarketing Lists based in Boca Raton, FL, is also President of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. ‘DataDale,’ as she is known in the industry, has been a guest lecturer at several WQA, national and regional water conferences. She has published numerous articles about marketing in the water and home industries and is the author of ‘Ask DataDale’, a popular blog for the direct-marketing community.

Filhaber will be presenting ‘Top Direct Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses’ on Wednesday morning, March 9, 2011 at WQA. She can be reached by phone, (800) 771-3282 or email, dale@datamangroup.com. Visit the section of the company’s website dedicated to water quality dealers, www.datamangroup.com/water_conditioning.asp.

 

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