Posted by Merry Wise on September 10, 2009 at 7:23am
Many years ago when my husband and I were struggling along developing our business, we attended a seminar hosted by the then-NSPI. It was organized by a wonderful gentleman who was the NSPI Marketing Executive, Bill Markert. Some of you may remember Bill, who was instrumental in developing the design awards program, an excellent program NSPI used to have called "There's a Pool for You", and brought the industry many other great marketing ideas in the "old days".Bill had a retired friend who had developed the "lumberteria" concept of marketing, and he brought him in to do a seminar at an NSPI event. The details of all that transpired are lost in the mists of time for me, but one gem of advice he taught us in that seminar stands out for me and I have never forgotten it. I credit it with literally saving our business at that particular time and creating a policy for us that has stood the test of time in enabling us to survive the many ups and downs of the pool business.The old gentleman taught us the folly of "cutting price" when things got competitive in order to make up in "volume" what we were sacrificing in "profit". We were shocked when we saw how many pools it would take to sell to make up what we would sacrifice in pricing that was too low. The seminar was one of the ones that has stayed with me the most of the many I have attended over the 36 years I have worked in this business, and while I do not remember the mathematical details he showed us those many years ago,( in our business, my husband "adds" and I "spell", anyway!) I do remember the message.We immediately raised prices when we got back home, and have since resisted the urge to cut price to get business. We found that selling value was always more effective for us than trying to compete on price with competitors building pools more cheaply and with less quality, and while hundreds of those companies no longer exist, we still do. When times get tough, it is easy to panic and think first of "having" to cut price. Bill and his old buddy taught us many years ago to sell quality, instead, at a fair price, and if you look around, many of the most respected and enduring pool companies do just that. So, when times get tough, perfect your company through using the many tips and techniques you can learn from today's pool training gurus like Rex Richard and Brett Abbott and the many other experts you can network with here at Pool Pro Network, but resist the urge to panic and price -cut- YOU and YOUR pools and YOUR business are worth the best!