The Edge - Q2 2012 - (Page 25)
COMPUTER DESIGN | by Robert Blanda TE
Adding to Your
Editor’s Note: Bob Blanda began using computer-aided design software a number of years ago. At the time, he was thrilled with the software and its sales results and said so in the first issue of The Edge. Has this type of software and sales presentation stood the test of time for Bob? Read on!
SIX YEARS AGO I scrapped the tra-
ditional two-dimensional pool and spa drawing at sales presentations for computer-aided, three-dimensional design. I added the “wow factor” to my presentations and never looked back. Since I’ve been using computer-aided design, this type of 3-D, full color, full audio presentation has become even more important as a new generation of pool customers has entered the market. These are younger customers born and bred with the Internet and social media. When I began using computer-aided design, I was ahead of my time. Few competitors offered similar presentations. While more use it now, I would guess that less than 50 percent of companies in my market capitalize on it. In other markets, like Las Vegas, for example, everyone is using 3-D design. Many of my prospects have never seen a pool or spa designed this way, but they are less surprised by it than five or six years ago because many have had their kitchens, baths or
other rooms in the house designed with the help of a computer. Nevertheless, they appreciate the completeness of the presentation and the ability to view the many options that are available and see them in action in living color and audio. Computeraided design makes a presenter look more professional and more able to cater to today’s marketplace.
PROGRAM BY STRUCTURES STUDIOS
I use a top of the line program by Structures Studios and I have become quite proficient. Because it is a “pay-by-the-month” software versus a one-time purchase, some of the money that is flowing into the company is put back into software improvements. About three or four times a year I get updates, and with each update I get more features and more improvements. Besides receiving additional database items such a more trees and shrubs, which I like, Structures Studios has also
partnered with other companies in the business. If you use Pebble Tec or Classic Tiles, for example, you can find their products within the software and apply them to the pool you are designing. If you are a Sun dealer, Viking dealer or San Juan dealer, you can pick these products from your software and put them into the design as well. The company is very open to suggestions from me and other users in the field on things we need. The software I use costs $95 a month. I pay by the month, but you can pay for the whole year and get further discounts.
THE VIRTUAL TOUR AROUND THE POOL
One of the great selling features of this soft ware is the virtual “walk” around the pool. A prospect can look at a house plan with rooms and a fireplace or a two-dimensional pool drawing, but you are never certain what they are grasping from it. Not everyone is capable of looking at something
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q2 2012
The President’s Message
Implementation of ADA
Service Gold At Pool World, ‘it’s customer service fi rst to last.’
Add Solar Heating to Your Off erings Th is Season
Adding to Your Sales Presentations With Computer-Aided Design
Index of Advertisers
The Edge - Q2 2012