When customers are ready to buy a hot tub, many don’t think about all the fun and functional products that can help make the spa experience better. Retailers need to have a savvy strategy for these extras such as booster seats, cushions, pillows and tables.
Joe Nicholson, director of sales and marketing for Byron Originals, which manufactures steps, handrails and other accessories, says its most popular products are its SureStep II, SureStep Handrail and Ultralift Vision.
A dealer can have one or two of its handrails and big storage step on display, Nicholson says, and if customers want them, the company can send them. “We make it work for our dealers because we don’t require minimum purchase orders,” he adds. “We try to make it easy for them to be successful.”
Leisure Concepts manufacturers a host of extra spa products, such as its Safe-T-Rail and SmartRail, Spa Caddy and SmartBar, Towel Bar, SmartDeck, SmartStep, drawers and cover lifts.
“All of these products are designed to ensure the customer is completely satisfied with their spa purchase,” says Mike Genova, president of Leisure Concepts. “Each of these accessories is designed to meet the everyday needs of spa users — where to place and store cell phones, beverages, books, towels and more — all within arm’s reach.”
Water Tech offers the Volt FX-2, an affordable solution for pool and spa cleaning. It attaches to any standard telescopic pool pole, and is equipped with a reusable all-purpose filter bag and two optional micro filter bags allowing the Volt FX-2 vacuum to clean all types of debris.
“Spa retailers ultimately need to be sure that their clients enjoy their spas,” says Guy Erlich, president of the company. “The goal is to make the spa easy to maintain and enjoyable to use. The best way to sell this product is to display it right next to the spa — to ensure consumers realize it’s the perfect way to keep the spa clean.”
Water Tech offers attractive display pricing and provide a two-year limited warranty to consumers, making it easier to sell.
Genova says a key to selling accessories is to put them front and center, so customers see them as vital. Extras should be displayed out of their packaging to help the customer visualize the functionality and benefits of each product.
Kensey Steinhausen, manager of A-Tex Family Fun Center in Georgetown, Texas, says she does product staging throughout her showroom.
“I have booster seats in select hot tubs, pillows on smaller spas that have only one pillow, and side tables set up with glasses and/or sales aids and marketing materials,” she says. “Product placement is key to help overcome common objections on different spa models.”
Making the Move
Sometimes it’s smart to talk up extras during the initial sale, but other times it makes more sense to bring them up when a customer comes back to buy more chemicals. Steinhausen says it’s all about reading her audience.
“Most customers will voice their concerns about the different spa models, which in turn opens the door for the salesperson to mention the add-ons,” Steinhausen says. “Instead of being seen as one more thing they have to buy, these products are now viewed as a solution and/or necessity.”
For instance, if a customer is short and climbs into a spa that has a deeper seating layout, more than likely they will make a comment about their height. That’s the perfect time to bring up the booster seat.
“Unless they are already familiar with the product, most customers think I’m joking at first, until I show them one displayed in a spa — then suddenly it’s a genius idea, and problem solved,” Steinhausen says.
Another common customer concern is whether a particular hot tub has enough cup holders, so introducing a spa tray or side table may be the perfect add-on. Have one on a display spa so you don’t have to disrupt your sales pitch with a trip to grab one off the shelf.
“I have found it’s easier to plant the seed during the sales presentation as the opportunity presents itself,” Steinhausen says. “Then once they’ve used their new spa a few times, they realize the value of these products and will come back to purchase. However, you will have a better chance selling the larger, more expensive products, like umbrellas, spa surrounds and enclosures, at the time of the initial spa sale. You have to hit them up while they are in the spending mood.”
Bang for the Buck
Smaller items like towel bars, fragrances, and even booster seats and tables are so inexpensive in comparison to the hot tub that it can be hard for customers to see the value. Often they expect them thrown in with the deal, Steinhausen says.
“Everyone thinks they’re a great negotiator, but when it comes down to it, people tend to ask for extra tangible goods before they’ll ask for a larger monetary discount,” she says. “Use it to your advantage. Throw in the extra merchandise and close the sale. I’d rather give away a $25 booster seat than have to take an additional discount any day.”