Increasing the average order value is critical to spa dealers looking to grow their bottom line.

But enticing prospects to add extra features to an expensive luxury purchase can be challenging for several reasons, including a lack of sales savvy.

“Some salespeople can get tunnel vision when they get a spa sale,” says Adam Patrick, a Bullfrog Spas regional manager. “They get laser-focused on selling a $15,000 hot tub, versus thinking about other extras a customer may really want. “

Patrick and other spa sales veterans recently shared their strategies to boost order value, and a common theme emerged: when you increase the perceived value to the buyer, increased value to the retailer will often follow.

It Starts with Customer Focus

Marci Johnson, a sales associate at Bullfrog’s Bluffdale Factory showroom, says customer interaction and sales floor presentation are critical to increasing a final order. “I want the customer to see the value of extra accessories. So, I want to present an option and then help them see the benefit.”

To do that, Johnson becomes a committed, focused listener, dedicated to finding out what her customers’ needs are and finding the right fit.

“Some people say, ‘We just want a gathering place for our family.’ Others want really good hydrotherapy. That gives you an area that you can focus on to tailor to their needs.”

For prospects who envision spas as a social hub, Johnson might show them stereo system options, including one offering of a subwoofer built into the spa, so owners can actually feel the music in the water. The JBL speaker systems can add as much as $1,800 to a purchase.

Feature Advantage Benefits

Daniel von Hopffgarten, store manager of Pool & Spa Depot in La Vergne, TN, echoes Johnson’s focus on pointing out the benefits.

“Our core sales strategy has been using feature advantage benefits — or what a lot of people know as F. A. B.” he says. “I’ve always been taught this with an additional G, which stands for grabber.”

For example, Hoptffgarten likes to highlight Bullfrog Spas’ unique jetpacks. “The advantage is that they can be moved around. The benefit is you can customize your hydro massage experience to suit your needs. And then the grabber would be, isn’t it nice knowing that you can continue to customize your spa even after years of ownership.”

Hopffgarten also advocates taking a customer through other add-ons during a demonstration, building out an offering with multiple features beyond the basic spa and delivering a price quote.

A buyer request to remove a feature can even result in hammering home a grabber, Hopffgarten explains. “If a customer asks how much they save by removing the stereo system, I’ll say “$1,200.’ But I’ll add that it’s completely integrated with the spa. You don’t have to make sure your Bluetooth speaker is charged. You can also use it as a backyard entertainment system, so now you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars putting speakers up and finding a device that will power those.”

These grabbers are powerful incentives for consumers who want value ease of use and relaxation. That’s why Hopffgarten has developed sales scripts for his staff. He wants them to imagine a little man on his shoulder saying, “So what?” as they describe a feature. Answering that question, he says, “is one of the most powerful sales techniques I’ve ever been taught.”

Packages, Discounts & Financing

Packaging features together with a discount is another best practice for increasing average order value, says Patrick. By bundling the Enhanced Ozone System, Circulation Pump and the @ease Water Care system together into an Ultimate Water Care package for $1299, dealers can offer prospects an 11% savings on items with a total $1,466 MSRP.

“I encourage the retailer to structure an ultimate entertainment package that has audio and wi-fi, a water care package and an accessory package. Once they sit with a consumer to write up the spa order— that’s when you want to also present these packages to them. You can put them on paper and show the savings.”

Financing a purchase can also increase order value while reducing potential sticker shock to the buyer, notes Patrick. “If you are financing a hot tub, adding one of these packages will only raise your monthly payment incrementally. Instead of paying $1,300 for a water care package in one go, financing will only cost $25 a month.”

Low-Hanging Fruit

There are two products in the spa sales that might be termed “average order value no-brainers” — steps and cover lifters.

“I always tell dealers to outfit their showroom with our nicest steps, which look really great.” The free step that comes with the spa is functional, but visually, it doesn’t compare to the high-end $375 model.

The difference is so compelling, the step upgrade is a top-selling feature.

As for cover lifters, well, that’s a must-have, too.

“Who in the world would buy a hot tub without a cover lifter?” asks Hopffgarten,  “You’re buying a spa to help your back not hurt your back.”

It’s a point that underscores precisely how and why retailers should strive to increase average value: By helping prospective buyers understand that the benefits of additional features — and the blissful experiences they provide — transcend the expense.