Tag Archives: Cooper Ground Rods

Stop Telling and Start Selling

ListeningAs an electrical wholesaler, sales representative or manager, if during your sales presentations you are hearing your voice more so than your client. Then you are probably telling them what they want, without finding out what their key triggers are to make a buying decision.

What you may perceive as value or benefit, your electrical prospect may see as an objection. Therefore, talking less and listening more is a key strategy that will not only change the way you deliver your presentation, but the outcome by increasing your ability to close more sales.

Our mouth is what usually gets us into trouble. Make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. To put it into perspective. Let your prospect talk 80% of the time to your 20%, by asking questions and following up at the end with your solution and close.80 20 Rule 1

Why ask Questions?

  1. To qualify your prospect to see if your solution suits their requirement and if they are in a position to buy
  2. It allows us to gather intelligence. It helps us to identify their triggers to buy, and fine-tune your solution to close.
  3. It establishes a rapport as a solutions partners that is interested in solving rather than selling and builds a relationship of trust. Questions 1
  4. It allows you to pre-empt and avoid objections
  5. Allows you to better control the direction of the sale and the final outcome

 There are 7 types of questions

  1. Rapport Building Questions– Create and establish a trusting relationship.
  2. Need Questions–Identifies the problem that your prospect is trying to solve
  3. Uniqueness Questions– Tell us if the prospect has tried a solution in the past
  4. Budget Questions– To see what their financial ability and expectation is.
  5. Influence Questions– Confirm the prospects authority as the decision maker.
  6. Timeline Questions – Identify the urgency of the solution
  7. Confirmation Questions– Used to reinforce the solution to the problem. They can also be used to draw out the prospects real objections.

Examples of these type of questions are:

  1. Rapport Building Questions
  • How long have you been with the company? Questions
  • Tell me a little about what you do?
  1. Need Question:
    • What are you finding most challenging right now?
    • How is this problem affecting you?
  2. Uniqueness Question:
    • Have you tried to solve this problem in the past?
    • Are you evaluating other solutions?
  3. Budget Question:
    • Have you set aside a budget for this?
    • What are you expecting to invest in the solution?
  4. Influence Question:
    • Who else needs to be involved in making this decision?
    • Who else needs to approve this decision?
  5. Timeline Question:
    • What kind of deadline are we working with?
    • What timeframe are we looking at?
  6. Confirmation Question:
    • What are your thoughts so far?
    • Do you have any concerns so far?

 Here are 7 additional tips:

  1. Ask open ended questions
  2. Assume nothing, question everythingSolve me something
  3. Listen carefully
  4. Do not interrupt
  5. Write down key intelligence to use as part of your solution
  6. Add value to your solution that is relevant to your prospect

By focusing on strategic questions that gather intelligence, you are not just selling, but solving. Your electrical contractor or prospect will appreciate the opportunity to be heard and understood when querying earthing, grounding, surge, lightning protection etc… They will feel more comfortable in having a trusted solutions partner who is interested in their current problems and requirements. Making the difficult buying decision, easy!

For tips and support to win more sales contact Emmanuel Lardis from West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) on (08) 9353 5300 or email wapp1@wapp.com.au for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Copper Ground Rods

When it comes to choosing ground rods for an effective grounding system, you should know your facts and their application.

For a grounding system to operate effectively it is dependent on the ground rods. It is important that when you choose which ground rod to use, you consider many factors including their quality, resistance to corrosion, serviceable life and material costs. So, the decision should be based on these factors to make sure that the lightning protection systems and surge protection devices that rely on these aspects perform efficiently.

The condition of the ground where the ground rods are going to be driven into should also be taken into consideration in order to maximise the life and value of the grounding system.

Ground rods

There are different types of ground rods in use including copper-bonded, galvanized steel and stainless steel rods depending on the specific requirements.

The most commonly used ground rods are copper-bonded and galvanized steel rods. They both have a carbon steel core. The difference between these two rods is mainly due to their costs, service life (resistance to corrosion) and the materials used for / thickness of coating. ERICO’s copper-bonded rods are electrolytic coated with copper over a layer of nickel. Therefore they are known for better conductivity and high resistance to corrosion. Galvanized steel rods are coated with zinc which is prone to corrosion.

According to a study conducted by the National Electrical Grounding Research Project (NEGRP), the results showed that galvanized rods which were excavated after 8 to 12 years were a lot more corroded than copper-bonded rods. (As shown in the following photos).

Use of stainless steel rods are generally limited since they are very expensive compared to the rest by a large amount.  galvanized-ground-rods ground-rods

ground-rods_2Costs vs Benefits

Stainless steel is the most expensive one of all rods while copper-bonded are the least expensive. Stainless steel rods have the highest service life expectancy by a margin of 5 years compared to the copper-bonded rods whereas the margin of cost is much larger.

Copper-bonded rods have a longer serviceable life and a lower annual cost than galvanized rods.  Galvanized rods have a lower purchase price. But they can be more expensive than copper-bonded rods in the long term and their service life expectancy is also the shortest of all in comparison.  So, copper-bonded rods provide better value with longer service life.

Galvanized rods can be more beneficial in short term structures’ grounding systems that are stable.

But in certain cases, the ground rods to be used depend on their application and where they are going to be installed. This is because certain types of soils (highly corrosive soil) and land fill areas may not be well-suited with copper. Or in some cases where structures might be near an array of ground electrodes, stainless steel might be the best option. In these cases, we may have to go for the stainless steel rods but due to their high costs generally they are not widely used.

A technical report prepared by Chris Rempe (ERICO’s Grounding Products Manager) recommends that “galvanized ground rods are better suited for short-term, non-critical installations. For the majority of installations, copper-bonded and stainless steel rods provide better protection for people and equipment due to their longer service life.” (Rempe 2003).

Another report by Chris Rempe comparing copper and galvanized ground rods also suggests the same.

So, overall copper-bonded rods are more cost effective than galvanized rods and stainless steel rods also considering their longer serviceable life expectancy. (As shown in the graphs below).

ground-rod-annual-cost ground-rod-life-expectancy

Types of Ground Rods Costs Comparison Serviceable Life Expectancy Advantages Disadvantages Applications
ERICO’s Copper-bonded Higher purchase price than galvanized steel rods but less expensive than galvanized steel rods in the long term Lower service life expectancy in comparison to the stainless steel rods but only by 5 years Resistance to corrosion,Withstands repeated faults and surge currentLong service life Suitable for most driving / deep driving applications
Galvanized Steel Low purchase price, but more expensive than copper-bonded rods in the long term Lowest service life expectancy Lower initial cost /purchase price Vulnerable to corrosionShort service life Suitable for or non-critical, temporary,  short-term structures which may require shorter service life
Stainless Steel Most expensive of all Highest service life expectancy Longest service life High cost Better alternative for certain soils and land fill areas which are not compatible with copper


ERICO’s copper-bonded rods vs Inferior copper-cladded rods

ERICO’s copper-bonded ground rods have an electrolytic coating of copper over them. So, the molecular bond between the steel core and the copper coating is much stronger. Inferior rods are copper cladded which means they are just simply covered with a thin sheet of copper coating.

Under a certain pressure load, ERICO’s copper bonded rods will start to bend but they will not crack and the copper coating will not tear or slip when driven. Copper-cladded inferior rods can easily crack and crease to the outer cover while bending subjected to the same pressure load. This will damage the copper cladding when driven into the soil meaning it can put the whole grounding system at risk and considerably further decrease its serviceable life expectancy.

A document prepared by ERICO about maximising grounding system is available for you to read through this link: https://www.erico.com/catalog/literature/E1011B-WWEN.pdf

If you have any more queries on ground rods or need assistance in choosing the right ground rods for your use, please contact us on (08)9451 2199.

If you need more information on the different ground rods available, please go to the Ground Rods (or Earth Rods) page on our website.