I know everyone has sold a lot of hot tubs in the last two years, but when was the last time you SOLD a hot tub? As in: When was the last time you led a prospect through the entire process, using all of your training and techniques, to finally get the sale? Since we’ve been selling from scarcity, most sales haven’t taken a lot of finesse — basically, if you had it, someone bought it, because they knew they couldn’t get it from anywhere else. Some have suggested to me that, as an industry, this has caused us to get … well, lazy.
If hearing that makes you set your jaw and grind your teeth, ready to rebut me with the number of hours you put in during the pandemic, you will get no argument from me. Yes, you were incredibly, exhaustingly, preposterously busy over the last 30 months. But, if you’re being honest, I’m guessing there were important parts of your business on autopilot because you had bigger fish to fry — perhaps especially where it came to sales and marketing. You didn’t need to advertise because you couldn’t keep up with the leads you already had. If you didn’t make it through your call list for the day, it didn’t really matter because you were sold out of tubs anyway.
And it probably left you with a sinking feeling in your gut, because we all know the most important function of our business is sales: keeping that funnel open and getting as many eyes on your products as possible. For most small business owners, turning off the spigot is the most counterintuitive thing you could do. And yet, a lot of us did.
So if you don’t feel like you’ve gotten back into your sales and marketing groove yet, this issue is your encouragement to do so. If you wait much longer, you may end up in the reverse position of having a lot of tubs and not enough leads.
Finally, at SpaRetailer, we do our best to be a positive voice for the industry, but I thought it was important to recognize the hard times people have gone through during the pandemic. COVID-19 brought incredible challenges for all our lives and businesses, as well as for those who contracted the virus or lost loved ones or colleagues to it. The toll of this virus has been truly life-altering. In this issue, we pay homage to people from the hot tub industry who are forever changed, or are no longer with us, because of COVID.
Megan Kendrick, publisher