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Strategic & Tactical Marketing
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Here’s another tip to help designers sell more pools…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, Pool Builder Marketing LLC

YouHadMeAtHello1.jpgOver the last 10 years or so, I’ve discovered a curious, magical phenomenon that frequently occurs in the process of selling a swimming pool. One of my clients succinctly described it as “You Had Me at Hello.” He’s referring to that “sweet spot” moment where – rather than competing head-to-head with several competitors and then losing the deal in the end – his salespeople somehow win the hearts and minds of their prospects during the very first visit. The homeowner falls in love with the designer, and never thinks twice about working with anyone else again.

LovePotionblue.jpgMy client and I both agreed that if we could bottle that magic, we could make a fortune.

Fortunately, we may now be a step or two closer to that bottled magic. Over the last year and a half, I’ve spent many months poring over the results of the 2016 APSP/Gallup survey – the one where they asked ~5000 wealthy US homeowners why some of them bought swimming pools, and why the others didn’t. And I think I found a key that can help unlock that door.

As I wrote last year, the survey asked “Why did you (or didn’t you) buy a pool?” And “Now that you have a pool, how you feel about it?” The difference between buyers and non-buyers was stark:

BUYERS said “I love our pool. It’s beautiful, it’s relaxing, and it’s brought our whole family closer together.”

NON-BUYERS said “Pools are for cooling off when it’s hot. I’m more interested in relaxing and spending time with my family.”

Do you see the paradox?

A backyard pool will give families exactly what they crave.
The non-buyers just don’t see it yet.

You know, and I know, and all of your pool-owner clients know how much better life is, now that they’ve finally purchased that swimming pool. It’s the non-pool buyers who never saw that vision. And – forgive my bluntness – it’s the salesperson’s fault for failing to fully develop that vision in the minds of the non-buyers.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m sure you did a GREAT job of helping them visualize what the POOL will look like. You showed them the tile and the coping and the deck, and where the equipment is going to go. And more than likely you showed them a really nice video of your 3-D rendering of their future backyard.

So yes, you gave them a good vision of the pool. What’s missing is the vision of THEM and their new life, BECAUSE of the pool.

Somehow, in addition to designing the pool, you’ve got to help your prospects see that:

  • Your new swimming pool will indeed bring their family and friends closer together.
  • Your new swimming pool will be the perfect place for them to kick back and relax after a hard day’s work.
  • Owning a swimming pool isn’t just about swimming. It’s about having a place to relax and spend time together, whether they are swimming or not.
  • Swimming pool owners enjoy life more, and have a lot more fun than you think.
  • The vast majority of new pool owners (more than 85%) say that if they had to move to a new home with no pool, they would definitely get another one.

The bottom line message that your prospects need to hear and believe is this:

“Your life will be a whole lot happier
once you finally get your new swimming pool.”

Now let’s keep in mind that in some cases, your competition is more than the other pool builders in town. It’s also the alternative uses of their money, which could include:

  • A new boat
  • An RV
  • A second home
  • An expensive vacation
  • A kitchen or home remodel, etc.

PoolsareEasierthanaBOAT.jpgIt’s easy for the homeowner to imagine themselves having a great time on their new boat, or traveling the world in their new RV, or enjoying their second home.

But the truth is ALL of these alternatives have some pretty serious drawbacks. (Complicated maintenance; propensity for breakdown; difficulty/hassle/work involved just to use it. The homeowners just aren’t thinking about THAT. They’re only visualizing the GOOD stuff!)

Relaxingpoolsidewoman.jpgBy contrast, a new swimming pool is ALWAYS ready to enjoy. All you have to do is walk outside. Maybe put on some music, and/or pour a glass of wine. Or maybe just relax and enjoy the soft gurgling sounds of the water. Put your feet in the water, or don’t. Go swimming, or don’t. Invite the whole family, or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Because the instant you walk out to your new pool, you’ll be MUCH happier – even if all you do is look at it.

THAT’S the message your prospects need to hear,
and the vision they need to see…

“A pool is a simple investment that will bring them 
more joy and happiness than they ever thought possible”

Yes, your salespeople still need to talk about features and options and designs and payments, and of course your unique advantages. But don’t ever forget that for the homeowner, it’s not about the pool. It’s about how they visualize themselves enjoying that swimming pool when it’s finished. THAT’s what gets them excited, and that’s what motivated them to call you in the first place.

Start your next pool sales conversation talking about THAT, and you will greatly increase the chance that you will “Have them at Hello.”


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