By Crystal Lengua
A cover is an essential accessory for every hot tub owner, while a cover lifter not only makes removal straightforward, but also provides added protection. Industry professionals understand the importance of the hot tub, cover, and lifter combination, but getting the customer on board to purchase them together may be another story.
More often than not, the cover is an easy sell. They are typically an add-on accessory to most hot tub purchases. The majority of customers understand a cover is an important component to running their hot tub efficiently—not just to cover it when not in use, but also to prevent debris from entering the water and reducing evaporation and heat loss. Retaining heat leads to energy efficiency, better water chemistry, and cost savings for the customer in the long-run.
When a consumer is considering the purchase of a hot tub cover, it is also a good time to stress the importance of a cover lifter by emphasizing its ease of use and the benefits of reduced wear and tear. For instance, by not having a proper lift mechanism or storage shelf, the hot tub cover will likely undergo some harsh removals and, in most cases, will end up getting scratched or damaged on the ground.
That said, the following tips and tricks can help increase sales when introducing the idea of a cover and lifter package to customers at the same time as the hot tub purchase:
Have units on display
Displaying a hot tub with a cover and lifter as a full unit on the showroom floor can set the customer up for purchasing all three items together. It opens up the conversation for all three products and allows the customer to touch and test each of them. In most cases, the customer will not be surprised when a sales associate suggests the two accessories if they have visually predetermined they belong together. It is important to educate the customer about cover lifters as some may not realize they even exist. Therefore, having a sample unit for them to try should be an easy sell given the ease of removal and cover storage benefits.
Have alternative options readily available
Making different products available to the consumer works well with the ‘good, better, and best’ sales technique. This involves having different price-point variations in case the consumer wants to compare options.
If showroom space is limited, printed guides with cover lifter comparison charts can be used, along with playing product-related videos in the store, and having hot tub cover material samples readily available for colour and quality comparisons. It is also a good idea to create a visual that highlights the cover’s energy efficiency benefits and how it can ultimately save the customer money with respect to hydro and water treatment products.
Offer a package rebate
Simply put, this involves offering the customer a monetary discount on the purchase price if all three products are bought at the same time. In many cases, lifters are thrown in as an incentive in this scenario; however, it is important to take into consideration the quality of cover lifter that is being offered in these types of deals.
In some cases, these incentive cover lifters are of lower quality, which may make financial sense in the overall sales picture, but it is important to ensure the ‘giveaway’ lifter will function well with the purchased cover/hot tub. If the ‘giveaway’ lifter breaks prematurely, rusts and ruins the cover or cabinet, does not fit properly, or is installed incorrectly, a customer may become extremely unhappy as a result of the contest—all for the least expensive addition to the sale.
In many cases, the customer will not be upset with the lifter manufacturer, they will be angry with the retailer who sold it to them or pass their frustration onto the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).