Here’s my Annual “Marketing Checklist” for Pool Companies
(Adjusted for the weirdness of 2020/2021!)
Always one of my favorite newsletters to write, it’s a bit different this year based on the major changes we’ve all gone through over the past year.
Here are the key marketing fundamentals I believe every pool builder should have in place, with some modifications for the new realities of 2021.
A GREAT STORY – If you’re still speaking in “platitudes,” and fail to clearly state why you are the superior choice, then you will forever be fighting an uphill battle. “Interesting, believable, and compelling” content is the goal here.
A COMPELLING WEBSITE – Your prospects (including your referrals) will invariably check out your website for evidence to support their tentative decision to go with you.
That’s why your website has to:
- Be clean, fast, modern-looking and secure.
- Tell your “great story” in a clear, compelling and elegant way.
- Help your prospects “self-qualify” themselves so you don’t waste time with dreamers and tire-kickers who can’t afford what you sell.
For an instant “pulse check” on where your website stands, check your Alexa rankings. If you’re under 5 million, that’s good. If you’re over 10 million, or it says “No Data” (worse the 30 million), you’ve got serious problems and should seek immediate help.
For a more thorough and professional website diagnostic, request a free website evaluation from us here.
MARKETING AUTOMATION – We know that MOST prospects spend MONTHS if not YEARS evaluating their options before pulling the trigger on a new pool. AND we know that you probably can’t respond to leads as quickly today as you did two years ago. That’s why you’ve got to have some marketing automation in place, to:
- Immediately thank them for their inquiry.
- Set expectations about when your designer will contact them.
- You may also want to set expectations regarding your current lead times, especially if you are already booked out for the year.
- This may also be a smart time to set expectations of your price ranges, once again, to weed out the tire-kickers and bottom-feeders who are only going to waste your salespeople’s time.
I explained this overall concept of marketing automation in greater detail in the January issue of AQUA Magazine.
ONLINE APPOINTMENT SETTING – It’s a misuse of your salespeople’s time to chase prospects, trying to set an appointment. If someone wants to meet with you, let them click a link and choose a time when the designer is available.
This technology has been around for years, and it’s dirt cheap. So if you’re not already using it, you should adopt this immediately. (It’s a standard feature in our recommended Sales CRM.)
DIGITAL MARKETING – You’ve got to walk a little bit of a tightrope here, especially if you’re already getting more leads than you can handle. In that case, your goal should be to attract ONLY your ideal target buyers, and try to scare away all the “bottom feeders.”
At the same time, it’s hard to predict when the lead flows are going to drop back to pre-2020 levels. So to avoid being caught flatfooted, it might make sense to get some expert advice on digital marketing, and be prepared to “turn that faucet back on” quickly when the time comes.
(You’ll want to talk to my friends Dane Wiseman and Daniel Suede about that: (866) 813-6445.)
VIDEO – You’re probably an expert by now on the use of Zoom (or any of the many alternatives), so I won’t preach about that. But I do want to suggest that you turn a critical eye towards your background, and your lighting. A nice plant and a tasteful picture on the wall will do wonders to class up your image. (Presuming you’re not using a virtual background, which is a perfectly acceptable alternative.)
Lighting is a little bit more tricky. But my wife has enlightened me (no pun intended) to a quick and easy solution that anyone can afford.
For less than $30, you can get a nice “ring light” that will put a pleasing and appropriately balanced light on your face, making you instantly look more healthy and attractive.
(Maybe THAT’S why my wife chose to “enlighten” me???)
VIDEO MESSAGING – This is an interesting and relatively new option that can be horribly misused if you’re not careful. Look for an upcoming article from me on this, explaining how to leverage this properly, and not look like a cheesy jerk.
SALES SKILLS – If you’re like most pool builders, in 2020 your designers were so busy “chopping wood” that you didn’t have time to “sharpen the axe.” And in fact, I’ll bet most of your salespeople had a record year last year.
But if for some reason any of your designers aren’t performing the way they should, or if you’re one of those rare builders who was able to recently hire a new designer, you may want to look into our fast-track pool sales training programs.
Very low cost, and fully guaranteed.
In summary – 2020 was most likely a banner year for you (despite how painful it might have felt).
2021 has the potential to be the same, but I think there may be some “reckoning” for pool builders who more or less “got lucky” in 2020. I suggest you perform an honest self-evaluation using the checklist above, to make sure you are ready to make 2021 another record year.