My Best Friend’s Big Pool Buying Mistake (almost)…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

Bill Lanfer2This isn’t just another friend. Bill and I have been best friends since our seventh grade math class. He tends to be “thoughtful and analytical” with his decisions; I’m a little more of a “dance on the table, life of the party” kind of guy. Between the two of us, we seem to balance each other out quite nicely.

I appreciate his friendship, so I was honored the day that he called ME first to bail him out of jail. And I think he appreciates the fact that I’ve chosen him to be the “Best Man” at all of my weddings. (I joke that he’ll be Best Man at all my FUTURE weddings too. My wife doesn’t think that’s very funny, which is probably why I need a Best Man so often.)

Bottom line – Bill and I always try to help each other out. So I was pleased back in 2009, when he called me and said “Abbott – Kathy and I have decided to buy a pool. In fact, we’ve already picked the builder. I just wanted to run it by you before we ink the deal, since you’re in the pool industry and all.

(I thought “Hey, all right! I get to help my buddy with an important decision. And maybe this will be one of those rare occasions where I know more about something than he does.“)

“Great! Who did you choose?”

When he told me, I thought “Oh crap! Out of 100 pool builders in Austin, that’s the LAST one I would choose!” (I won’t tell you the name of the company, but you’ll probably figure it out for yourself in a moment.)

I choked back my instinctive response, swallowed hard, and said “How did you happen to choose that builder?” And he told me the words that will ring in my ears forever:

“We talked to several builders last year, and then decided to wait. This guy was the only one who followed up with us. So we figured he must really want our business.”

And you know what? My buddy Bill was exactly right. He was about to make a horrible pool-buying decision, but as usual, his logic was sound. When they decided to postpone the project, the other pool builders blew them off. But this one particular pool builder made a point of checking back with them every few months. Because he really wanted the business.

Now here’s the real irony. This particular pool builder is famous for three things:

  • Inconsistent quality / frequent complaints.
  • An outstanding follow-up system.
  • The largest pool builder in the world.

Stop and think about that for a second. How can you be famous for bad quality, and still be the largest in the world? The answer is in bullet #2. They have an outstanding follow-up system. While other builders are trying to find and sell to new prospects, these guys consistently reach out and touch the past prospects, “Until They Buy, Or Until They Die.

Now let me chastise you for a minute. Do you see what you almost did to my friend Bill? (figuratively speaking) Because you didn’t follow up with him, you drove him to the edge of making a very bad decision.

I think that’s a crime!

Let me put this bluntly: If you’re not following up with your “cool prospects” on a regular basis, you’re giving away business to your competitors. And let me assure you – it has nothing to do with how “good” or “bad” your competitor’s quality is. It has everything to do with the quality of their follow-up.

If you haven’t got an automated follow-up system in place right now, then it’s time to change. You can invests six months or more to create your own system if you want to (like “the big guy” that almost got my buddy). Or you can grab our “turnkey” follow-up system that’s ready to plug-and-play for your company right now.

(Coincidentally, we just recently doubled the number of postcard and e-mail “touches” in the system, and dropped the set-up price to HALF of what we used to charge. So there’s definitely never been a better time to check it out. Just look for “automatic follow-up” on our website.)

There are good people out there (like my friend Bill) who are at risk of making big pool buying mistakes. Please do your part to make sure that never happens again.

To your success,

PS – The story has a happy ending. I encouraged Bill to do a little looking around, and ask a few key questions. He quickly narrowed his list to a few DIFFERENT pool builders, and then one high-quality builder, and wound up with a beautiful $95,000 freeform beauty in his backyard. And his wife loves him for it. Which is perhaps a lesson I should pay a little more attention to…

Leave a Reply