For 18 months, I hadn’t set foot on a plane or seen the inside of a hotel room. And then something changed. Our clients suddenly wanted video projects completed in preparation for a busy 2022. So I, being the resident video producer at The Get Smart Group, hit the road.
Since mid-September, I’ve been to 8 states and 11 Pool & Spa retailers and have had amazing conversations with the business owners about their trials and tribulations over the past few years. From the uncertainty of March 2020, through the jubilation of that summer – to the crushing reality that supply chains were going to be messed up for months, if not years.
One thing is for certain though. The best pool & spa retailers were able to turn on a dime, come up with creative ways to serve their customers and they’ve come out of the pandemic (or at least to where we are now) stronger than at the start. I could write a whole series on some of these creative solutions (and I just might do that), but what struck me these past few weeks on the road are the unique approaches to selling hot tubs. Here is how we got into the pool & spa industry, and some of my top hot tub sales tips I’ve learned along the way.
How we got into hot tub sales
Ali and I were thrust into the Pool & Spa industry way back in 2011 during the early years of The Get Smart Group. We quickly went from asking, “the what industry?” to being invited to manufacture annual meetings and joining our clients’ sale events and selling hot tubs and swim spas on the weekends.
As I’ve worked with more manufactures and retailers over the years, a few things have become clear, which have been especially reinforced over the last few weeks from the best performing stores in the past 18 months:
Hot Tub Sales Tip #1 – Customers are visiting your competitors
Gone are the days of landing a deposit on the first visit. Sure it still happens, but likely only after they’ve spent hours researching you online. Your sales team needs to plant the land mines, emphasize customer service and be relentless-yet-respectful with follow-up.
Hot Tub Sales Tip #2 – The showroom matters
The old saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is even more true in the age of online research, images of your store online, and supply chain issues. You need to have models representing all of your major price points and options on the floor. Ideally, you’ll also have all cabinet and acrylic colors represented as well.
Hot Tub Sales Tip #3 – Listen
Too many salespeople jump right into the presentation without taking the time to find out why the customer is there in the first place. Ask probing questions and then sit back and let the customer sell themselves on a new hot tub. If they plead ignorance, lead with a few of the broad-yet-key questions like how many people they expect to use the spa at once and whether they float. The latter question can quickly eliminate lounges from the equation.
Hot Tub Sales Tip #4 – After-sale support matters while selling
Customers are placing an even higher premium on maintenance and time commitments once they actually own the spa. Make them comfortable that the process is simple and your team is there to answer questions whenever they have one. Consider a low-effort water care system like Serum Watercare.
Hot Tub Sales Tip #5 – Practice the sales presentation
Once you’re done listening (see above), you need to nail the presentation. Don’t speak disparagingly of your competition, just make sure your potential customer knows why you chose the brand you did and why it’s superior. If you can deliver the entire presentation smoothly and with confidence, you’re much more likely to win the eventual sale.
Don’t forget the basics like filtration, insulation, power requirements, actual seating capacity, realistic maintenance work and the delivery process.
When you’ve got it nailed. Practice again. Try filming yourself in the presentation and look for areas to improve.
Hot Tub Sales Tip #6 – Complete the contract in sight of the customer
Once they’re committed, keep the confidence level high by filling out the order paperwork together with the customer. This ensures no surprises and completes the entire process with integrity.
I could go on for hours on the nitty-gritty details of the sales process, but if you’re at least running through the items above, you’ve got a much better chance of closing the deal than the competitor down the road.