How can your wet leisure business sell more to your existing pool, sauna or hot tub customers and is that more profitable than marketing to new customers?
Surely my business needs to find new customers?
It’s very hard for any business to stand still. Businesses are either growing or shrinking, although the rate and speed of those changes may be so small and slow that it can be hard to see.
And of course, you want your business to be growing. So it’s easy to think that the only way to achieve that is to attract new customers.
Attracting new customers means that you have to be advertising and marketing your business and that means spending time, money and effort.
While you are doing that your existing customers are walking in and out of your doors, ringing you up and sending you emails.
Those people are already doing business with you; one of the easiest ways to grow your business is to get them to do more of it. Get them to buy more from you, upgrade to more profitable lines with a higher margin or get them to buy stuff from you that at the moment they are buying elsewhere.
Why concentrate on your existing customers?
When you are attracting new customers, one of the hardest things to achieve is to establish a relationship where they have trust and confidence in what you can provide for them.
With an existing customer that relationship is already in place.
They know something about you – that you are knowledgeable and can be trusted – and you know quite a lot about them. You know what sort of products they buy and therefore what they might be interested in. You also know their name, address, phone number or email address.
Compared to a new prospect looking at an advert of yours for the first time, that’s a pretty close relationship.
It will cost you so much less to sell to them.
Advertising and marketing are designed to attract the attention of potential new customers and slowly bring them close enough to your business so that you can sell to them.
Your existing customers are that close already.
Selling is all about listening to the problems that those people have, or the needs that they have and offering solutions that will solve or fulfil them.
Selling is about knowing your customers well enough so that you can tell them about or show them something that they will want to buy.
It’s easy to think that if the person that you sold a hot tub to wanted a cover lifter or some spa steps, or even some hot tub toys (because you know they have children) then they would ask for them, but that isn’t always the case.
People need reminding and people need things pointed out to them that can make their spa (or sauna or pool) a more enjoyable, safer or fun place.
If what you suggest is appropriate for them, they won’t see you as a pushy salesperson, they will see you as a friendly and helpful expert and that view will be endorsed by the fact that they already trust you and have confidence in your business.
For the customers you have regular contact with because they come into your showroom or you do service visits to them, there is no cost at all to this selling process.
For customers you don’t see so often, then a mailshot or even a phone call isn’t going to cost you a great deal.
More products can mean more sales and more profits.
If you have a pool showroom then you might think that pumps and filters and chemicals are the only sort of products that you should have on display there, but when customers walk in they are thinking about their pools and the fun and enjoyment that they get from them.
Goggles, loungers or even a poolside volleyball set may well grab their attention when they are in that frame of mind and get grabbed off the display and taken to the till.
Sauna accessories might be usually confined to buckets and ladles, timers and thermometers, but essences and essential oils might appeal and seduce a customer into a spontaneous purchase.
If you have a hot tub showroom then that’s an ideal place to display a range of plastic drinks glasses, a hammock or spa umbrella. And where else would anyone go to find a deck of waterproof playing cards?
Of course, there are other areas that you might choose to look at that your existing customers could be interested in, such as equipment upgrades or installing water saving or energy saving technologies.
Whatever approach you choose to take, selling more to your existing customers is a great way to grow your business.