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Getting Clear, Nimble and Sharp in 2023

Well folks, it’s no secret that (1) inflation is up, (2) the economy is shrinking, and (3) new pool leads have shrunk dramatically from where they were two years ago.

That’s why my recommendation for you in 2023 is to be Clear, Nimble and Sharp.


Be CLEAR.

By “Clear,” I mean you should be 100% crystal clear in your marketing about your unique advantages versus all your competition. In a 15-second elevator pitch, I should get a clear understanding of what you do, and why you might be a safe and superior choice for my scarce monetary resources.

On your website, in a brochure, or in a 3-minute elevator pitch, I should hear and read that same basic story, but with more details and evidence to back it up. Not empty platitudesNor a list of features, but ample evidence of your unique advantages, and what benefits I’m likely to experience if I choose you.

At the same time, if your message is crystal clear, I’ll also get a sense of whether or not I’m the right prospect for you. For example, if I’m looking for a budget pool, and your projects start well into the six figures, then we probably aren’t a good match.

Wouldn’t it be great if we both knew that right up front, and didn’t waste each other’s time?

You’ll get that advantage when you take the time to make sure your marketing message is crystal clear.

So polish your message with clear advantages and benefits, and share it EVERYWHERE.


Be NIMBLE.

With new leads falling off in 2023, you’ll need to be nimble enough to pivot to renovations, or repairs, or maintenance, or upgrades, or solar heating, or whatever else to keep your team busy while we wait for the economy to recover.

If you’re going to change your offerings, then you’ll need to be nimble about adjusting your website, your advertising messages, and your social media posts.

If you’re promoting something new and different, make it obvious to everyone.


You also need to be nimbly responsive to any and all leads and inquiries. Two years ago, homeowners often had to wait a week or more to hear back from you. Now, I wouldn’t want to make them wait more than 5 minutes, if possible.

One of the best ways to be nimble with your prospects and clients is to automate your marketing.

From the moment a prospect first makes contact with you until 20 years after you’ve provided your services, 98% of your communications with these people should be automated. E-mails, text, phone calls, voice messages and even letters in the mail can and should be automated.


Be SHARP.

I think 2023 is the perfect year to bring back the old adage “sharpen your axe.”

For the past three years, everyone was drinking from a fire hose, which means there wasn’t time to get every little aspect of your company and your image fine-tuned and perfect.

These past few years, there wasn’t much time to sharpen your axe.

Now that things are slowing down, and leads are harder to get, it’s time to “tidy things up,” and “get sharp” in everything you do.

If you’re expecting someone in this economy to spend more than $100,000 with you for a non-essential item, you’ll definitely need to look like you’re worth it.

Has your website been updated in the last five years? If not, it’s probably time for a website modernization / revamp.

If you don’t have some high-quality photos to add to your galleries, you should make plans to capture those this spring and summer. But don’t put off updating the website just because of photos. There’s a lot more to your image than just the gallery. (And you can always add new photos later.)

How does your facility look? If you have a showroom or design center, it’s probably time to take a fresh look at that, and see what can be cleaned up, freshened up, rearranged and/or otherwise upgraded to make you look sharp.

What about your vehicles? Have they been driven hard and somewhat neglected over the past few years? Maybe it’s time to get those repaired, detailed, and looking pristine again also.

And what about your people? I’m not talking about facelifts and makeovers. I am, however, suggesting that they can be sharply dressed. Do they have fresh logoed, collared shirts, hats, jackets and other accessories that help convey that you are in fact the sharpest team in town?

And let’s not forget your online reputation. It broke my heart to see so many top-notch businesses get “dinged” online with one-star reviews because an uninformed homeowner felt like you should have dropped everything and responded to them instantly when they (and 10 million other angst-ridden homeowners) suddenly realized they needed a new swimming pool.


BOTTOM LINE – We can expect 2023 to be a challenging year for most businesses in the swimming pool industry.

That’s why you’ll want to make sure your marketing message is crystal clear. And you’ll need to remain nimble and agile, to make adjustments quickly to this changing economic environment. And finally, with a dwindling number of leads coming in, you’ll want to be the sharpest-dressed company in town.

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