As all spa dealers are well aware, sales numbers go through peaks and troughs at different points of the year. At the height of the summer, business is booming. Come January, however, and you may not see a single big-ticket sale in weeks. Sales slumps are natural and even necessary in the spa business. They allow businesses to reevaluate and take stock in preparation for the next busy sales season. Next time around, make the most of your slow season by investing in and improving your showroom, product line, and sales strategy.
Taking Stock of Your Showroom
When the busy season has ended, you have the opportunity to take a look at your showroom and evaluate what’s working and what’s not. From showroom displays to a fresh coat of paint, use this time to spruce up the sales floor with new, more effective ways to show off your merchandise. For instance, you could rearrange and replace your display models, changing the way customers interact with your products when visit your showroom. This will not only attract new business but give returning customers something new to experience.
Showroom improvements are always an ongoing process. They bring new and exciting reasons for customers to visit your store, drawing their attention to new products and spa models that bring in more sales. When you make showroom improvements during the slow season, you don’t sacrifice sales as you test out new layouts and displays.
With IPSPE coming up, now is an ideal time to explore showroom improvement options with suppliers and industry vendors.
With the International Pool Spa and Patio Expo coming up, now is an ideal time to start exploring improvement options and seek out solutions with suppliers and industry vendors. Expo exhibitors often offer special show pricing and packaging to attendees, helping dealers equip their showrooms for the ultimate customer experience.
Know the Numbers
Danielle Lavallee Wasson of My Retail Coach suggests that “before changing anything, make sure you know your numbers.” This is important advice because your sales slump may be indicative of a larger trend affecting your business. To determine the cause of a sales drop-off, you need to look closely at your sales metrics. How much foot traffic do you receive a day? How many leads do you have? What are your closing ratios? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.
When it comes time to reorder inventory, you should have a clear picture of the kinds of products you want. In particular, make note of once popular products that no longer sell, such as older model spas. Getting these products out of your store in favor of new and improved models can boost your business and encourage showroom traffic. Again, IPSPE is an excellent place to meet with manufacturing partners and learn about what’s new for 2019.
The better picture you have of your business, the smarter decisions you can make. When you step back to look at how the numbers reflect your business, you can identify inefficiencies and other areas in need of improvement, such as lead generation.
Evaluate the Market
One the best ways to improve your business is to look at others around you. First, look locally. Is there any new competition in the region cutting into the market share? Secondly, what are the sales trends throughout the industry? As online and big box stores continue to leech off independent retailers, the spa market is constantly evolving. In order to compete, you need adapt to these shifts. Consider new lead strategies or a new marketing direction through advertising, engagement, and nurturing campaigns. When sales slumps persist, the last thing you want to do is nothing.
Retraining for Next Season
When showroom traffic is low, you can use the opportunity to introduce new sales strategies to your staff. Using your previous sales numbers, explore ways you can improve them through effective lead generation and follow-up. Employ new training methods, such as role play scenarios, to encourage your sales team to find new ways to reach customers. Finally, use training to help boost employee morale. They too are feeling the effects of a sales slump and can benefit from a little extra motivation.
When you have a staff that's not only invested in sales but the overall vision of your business, you can build a stronger team with more effective sales strategies.
When you have a staff that’s not only invested in sales but the overall vision of your business, you can build a stronger team with more effective sales strategies. When sales pick up again, your team will be invigorated and ready to tackle new challenges.
Inventory and Housekeeping
Slow periods are an excellent time to clean up shop. Whether it’s clearing out backstock or updating your product line, make the effort to take stock to determine which products sell and which do not. You can also use this opportunity to offer clearance sales during the off-season to bolster foot traffic. For instance, you can offer a special on accessories and chemicals that encourages repeat customers to return to your store. Plus, clearance sales can help bring in much needed revenue when business is slow.
After taking stock of your showroom, it’s time to think about new products you’d like to sell. As mentioned above, it pays off to do your research and consult your manufacturers about the latest spa models in the upcoming year. Based on your previous sales history, find the models you believe will attract your customers, both new and old. When you have something new to offer, you give people a reason to visit your showroom.
Lead Tracking and Marketing
One of the most common causes of a sales slump is inefficient lead tracking. If your sales team does not follow up with potential sales effectively, you are losing out on new customers. When business is slow, take the time to evaluate your lead tracking procedures. How often does your team follow up? How many new leads are acquired each week? Pay close attention to your sales metrics throughout the year to identify patterns and effective strategies.
You can only improve your conversion rates if you have leads to begin with.
However, you can only improve your conversion rates if you have leads to begin with. During slow periods, effective marketing can help bolster brand recognition and draw new leads to your showroom. Use the time to research and invest in a marketing campaign that energizes your customer base, offering incentives and special deals to new customers.
Engage With Your Customers
In this age of social media and online marketing, there’s more ways than ever to stay in touch with your consumer base. During slow periods, active engagement with social media posts can increase customer traffic. Additionally, social media is a useful data mining tool that can help you determine better sales strategies. Through social media bots and targeted posts, you can gauge consumer interest on certain products. You can also promote special incentives, such as free spa chemicals, when customers engage with your social media pages.
Ultimately, slow periods are an inevitable and necessary part of the spa industry. They allow you to evaluate your business and reassess your sales goals and strategy. While it may be difficult to motivate your sales team during slumps, when you actively invest in your business, you can create new goals and incentives to drive your team. Every retailer experiences stagnant periods; it’s how you take advantage of those moments that determine the success of your business.