April 2020
Selling More Water Features By Sean Bell

Increasing water feature sales in your IGC is easier than you think.

“How do I sell more water features in my store?” has to be on the top 10 list of questions I get asked most often. It’s a great question, and the answer is simpler than most people think.

First, how have you sold water features in the past? Did you actually “sell” them? Or did you just answer and respond to a customer request after they entered the store? There is a big difference between fulfilling a request and actively selling a product or service. If you take the right approach to sales, you can not only have fun selling, but it will be beneficial for you and the customer.

Instead of looking at growing the number of projects you sell each year as becoming a better salesperson, try approaching it from the direction of doing a better job of sharing what you love. As soon as you make a personal connection with your client, the salesperson leaves the situation and you become a consultant or facilitator for their dream. You will know when this happens — the conversation will change and it will be two people interested in the same thing sharing ideas.

Increasing water feature sales in your independent garden center is easier than you think.Show and Tell

So what’s the first step? Easy — install a water feature at your store. If you already have a water feature installed, you know what I’m talking about. The best way to have confidence in selling a pond or water feature is to live with one daily.

Very soon you will find yourself telling stories about your pond to everyone you meet. Nothing helps you sell like confidence and knowledge. My grandfather was a salesman for many years. As I was growing up, he always told me, “If you don’t know, you can’t tell; if you can’t tell, you can’t sell.” This is as true today as it was the first time I heard it. Make sure you are living with a water feature and you will be one step ahead.

Review Your Process

The next step is to consider what products or services you are selling now. How did you sell them? What process did you use? Do you have a record of who you sold to in the past? This is a great place to kickstart your new venture.

Today, it’s even easier than ever to market to this group. Create accounts on various social media sites. Connect with your former customers and start showing them photos and videos of the new water feature you have created at your store. Let them learn through you. By interacting each day with your water feature and sharing that on social media, you will grow your business. Customers buy what they see. If you are not the one showing them, then you will not be the one selling them.

Increasing water feature sales in your independent garden center is easier than you think.Partner Up

Sound easy enough so far? Let’s take this one step further. Now that you have built your first feature and gained some needed confidence, it’s time to move forward with the business side. Look for other local businesses that would benefit from having a water feature installed. Make them an offer to install it at a prorated price as long as you can put a small sign with your company information next to it. This is the fastest way to increase sales — we buy what we see, remember? You can paint a great mental image and you can show it on social media, but if they can enjoy the water feature at their favorite restaurant or coffee house, it won’t be long before they want one at home.

Box it Up

Finally, here is the secret to the advice above. Use a complete kit for any display you install. Some of your new leads will want to try their hand at doing it themselves; most will want you to do it for them. Either way, if it is a ready-to-go complete kit, it’s consistent and easy to replicate. The best way to sell a pond in a retail setting is to point to the pond then to the kit box and simply say, everything you need to build that pond is in this box except for the rocks.

Good luck with increasing water feature sales going forward. Keep in mind these are just a few starter ideas to get you moving. For more ideas and information please visit Atlantic Water Gardens University at www. atlanticwatergardens.com/university. There you will find a complete online educational program at no cost.

Sean Bell

Sean Bell is eastern regional sales manager at Atlantic-OASE. For more information, visit www.ATLANTIC-OASE.com.


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