In the past few months I had the opportunity to represent NDT at international trade-shows. The nice thing about these shows is to see how other people market their brand or product.

Some go overboard with information, displays, heaps of give-aways, leaflets, slide-show presentations and when they get hold of a poor potential customer, they do not stop talking: going on and on about how fantastic they are, essentially bombarding you with information, hoping that you will buy their product or service.

Others like to keep things simple with an informative display and a well thought-out “discussion” of what they can do for the client. They ask the relevant questions; listen to the client and then clinch the deal.

Then you get the ones with a low budget display. Personnel that could not be bothered to get up when you approach, don’t care about asking your name or which industry you are in. All they want is for you to walk on by so they may continue reading, whatever they are reading.

As a technician on site, whenever you speak to a client – everybody you speak to are potential clients – please keep this in mind. You are selling NDT.

What you say is as important as how you say it. Rambling on senselessly in a monotone voice will irritate the potential client. Saying too little, may seem like you don’t care. And even if we are able to provide a better service, that client will go somewhere else.

You almost have to prepare a little sales speech beforehand.

Engage your mind before you speak. Think about what exactly you want this person to convey to his colleagues and emphasise that information. A mild, friendly “chatting” attitude does wonders and the odd joke never hurt anybody.

Now go sell NDT.

Hennie de Wet