Sometimes the secret to strong sales conversion isn’t about the price.
That may sound counter-intuitive to the laws of retail and the reality of our deal-obsessed consumer culture. But for Bullfrog Spas, which manufactures high-end spas, steering clear of nuts-and-bolts sales subjects, such as price or maintenance costs, can be a best practice.
Instead, salespeople should focus on why a customer might want to make a Bullfrog Spa part of their life, says Bullfrog Senior Marketing Manager Breanne Carlson,
For Carlson, that selling point — “The Why” — involves sales teams and dealership managers understanding and underscoring the simple mission statement that drives the creation of each Bullfrog model:
To Create Peaceful Lives.
“It’s just a simple four-word sentence,” says Carlson. “But it says everything about why we do what we do and why customers want to buy our products.”
Designing for Why
Everything about the Bullfrog Spas customer experience is driven by that mission—from the brand’s unique jet pack system that allows users to personalize hydromassage to the shopping experience to purchase options.
Showroom design is key to conveying the Bullfrog Spas mission, says Kristy Sabey, a Senior Channel Marketing Specialist who works with Bullfrog Spas dealers and factory stores to ensure the sales environment is calming and welcoming.
“We are about creating peaceful lives with the spas we sell, so customers coming into the showroom need to feel relaxed and open,” says Sabey.
A tranquil ambiance should be noticeable the moment a customer walks in. Sabey recommends creating a “decompression zone” at the store entrance. “You don’t want everything to slam a customer in the face. When they walk in there should be a certain amount of space where they can take in their environment and adjust to their surroundings.”
While there is no hard and fast rule about how many spas should fit in a showroom, for Sabey, less can often be more. “It all depends on the space available. But if you try to fit too much, it’s going to have the reverse effect that you want.”
“Ultimately, the customer experience enhances the salesperson’s ability to sell the product,” says Sabey, who notes Bullfrog Spas offers a showroom design program for interested spa dealers. “So having a wet model for customers to use and experiment with is a really important part of showroom design. Some of our top salespeople will have a spa test room set up. Seeing a running spa lit up and with music coming from our product really does enhance the experience because then they can see it in action.”
Focusing the Customer on the Experience
When it comes to “selling the why,” Cyndi Blessing may be Bulfrog Spa’s best spokesperson. She spent sixteen years selling Bullfrog Spas before becoming a regional manager, and for her, the synergies between the company mission, store design, and sales staff to do one thing: help the customer focus on the experience of owning a Bullfrog Spa.
“We’re here to connect with our customers and their emotions. We don’t focus on the sale but engage the customer to create a stronger emotional connection with the brand. That really starts with the decompression zone area when customers enter the store. We don’t jump up and get right in their face, we’re allowing them to adjust to their surroundings.”
Engaging with the customer is a highly personalized interaction, says Blessings. “We ask questions about what the customer wants and what they’re envisioning. That interest helps gain trust. Then salespeople can show them our kiosk—if the retail store has one. It’s an interactive experience for our customers, which gets them more comfortable with what Bullfrog Spas offer.”
Comfort, as she sees it, is part and parcel of creating peacefulness.
Hands-On, Sales On
After asking questions and “trying to figure out what the customer is looking for” — do they have physical ailments, are they interested in pain relief or hydrotherapy, or do they just love a state-of-the-art soak?—sales staff usually show them a fully functional wet spa.
“You can tell customers about how they can move the jetpacks around,” says Blessings. ”But there’s always a moment when you show them and the light bulb goes on, and they just go, ‘Oh, wow!’”
These hands-on—or, rather, hands-wet—demonstrations are critical to connecting the customer to “the why,” says Blessings. “They can understand why the Bullfrog experience is so compelling. If they have severe back pain, they can see how they’re able to customize their hot tub to fit their needs.
“So it’s important for our sales force to understand that asking those questions showcases why a customer should buy a Bullfrog spa. We want them to focus less on the sale and more on what the customer is going to experience if they have a hot tub. That envisioned experience is “the why” that leads to a purchase.”
Building that connection between the customer and the product doesn’t just create a peaceful life for the customer — it affects the sales staff too.
“It’s very satisfying as a salesperson to sell our product, especially when you are helping someone gain pain relief,” says the sales veteran. “ I mean, I’ve had very few experiences as a salesperson when customers were mad at me for selling them the product. It’s always the opposite. They thank me—and that’s a great feeling.”