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10 Ways to Weather Challenging Market Forces


By Dave Yoho, Dave Yoho Associates

What are the biggest issues your company is facing in 2021? After a tumultuous year, most of our clients and customers are seeing growth throughout their business. Despite this, our surveys indicate that it will require additional efforts to keep your profitability on track.Is your phone ringing less? Are your competitors significantly reducing their price? Do your customers want more, yet are willing to pay less? Has your backlog increased significantly? Are you having difficulty finding adequate supply? Are you paying too much attention to media outlets that concentrate on negative stories?

Here are 10 recommendations to implement immediately:

1. Stop telling others how challenging things are. Instead tell people that it is shaping up to be a great 2021. Just like negativity — the positivity that you transmit to your employees and associates will be motivating factors in their own improvement.

2. Look at updating your marketing plan. The measure of a successful marketing plan is the amount of net business (ready for installation) you have sold, factored against the cost of procuring leads to sell that volume of business. If the cost of your marketing activities when measured against net business exceeds your budget, then the plan needs modification.

3. Consider reworking your in-home sales presentation. Maybe it needs some fine-tuning — or maybe it needs to be completely revamped. A successful sales presentation is not a tribute to your company and all the wonderful things you have accomplished. Instead, it contains customer-centric language that increases the interest level of your prospects.

4. Reach out to every prospect who you did not sell. Use multiple touchpoints to contact them: phone, email, text, and direct mail. Tell them you would like to re-evaluate the project and look for cost-saving options. Consider using a company that specializes in handling these "revisits".

5. Develop a referral program which gives an incentive for every lead, whether sold or not, provided it is a property owner who will listen to your presentation. It is a lead — so, why not pay for it?

6. Include a bonus customer incentive for every lead that becomes a sale.

7. Ask everyone you meet questions: Do you know anyone considering a pool or spa for their home? Do you know anyone who had considered outdoor amentiies and have decided to delay it (an opportunity to evaluate the project)?

8. Seek "trade-offs" with local companies who sell other products or services. Many have a strong base of customers who might be interested in a pool or spa project. Park your trucks or vans in high traffic areas. Make sure there is striking signage on them, with your contact information displayed largely. Attach a “take one” box to the vehicle that contains flyers describing your product(s).

9. Expand your reach when looking for crews. Recruit up to 50 miles in distance when looking. Offer incentives for those who stick with you for two or more years. Segment your work force and reward them for increased productivity. Most companies are adept at thinking outside the box when hiring salespeople — now, extend this to your skilled labor force.

10. Modify your existing budget to reflect increased cycle time. Along with this, make some minor changes to your “selling price” to compensate for the cost increases. Most importantly, modify your thinking. Backlog is not necessarily a bad thing. Successful companies must protect their crews by making sure they have enough backlog so as not to lose them to their competitors.

Yes, there will always be abundant challenges, but take comfort in the knowledge that you are in a great industry operating in a time where prospects are excited to be adding pool and spa amenties to their homes.

Dave Yoho Associates is one of North America’s largest, oldest, and most successful small business consulting companies. Dave Yoho has appeared in over 100 training videos. He is the author of the best-selling book: Have a Great Year Every Year (Oakhill Press). His company developed the sales methods which are used by the most successful people in the in home sales industry.