Increase the sale of spa covers and lifters

Covers 0110If you're like a lot of retailers, your sales of spa covers and lifters probably fell short of expectations in 2009. Faced with either wallowing in or working on the problem, we're guessing you'll choose the latter. But what can you do?

You can start by taking a little time to look back at what we've written on the subject over the last few years. The ideas in these stories were culled from manufacturers and retailers and run the gamut from simple solutions like training the service guys to sell them during routine cleaning calls to making the most of your database by targeting customers who are likely to need new covers now or in the near future.

In last year's story, "Covering All Your Bases," AQUA contributor Karen Erstad focused on the replacement market. Her interview subjects stressed the importance of following up on all leads, no matter how flimsy, selling value in the sales pitch and pushing products like cover cleaners and conditioners to people who buy.

One retailer ran a free delivery and old cover removal special in January and sold a dozen covers, well above her projections.

In 2008, the cover story examined direct mail as a way of reaching customers. John Schulte, president and chairman of the Minneapolis-based National Mail Order Association offered a step-by-step approach to getting the most out of a direct-mail campaign, while a handful of retailers shared their own best practices.

Back in 2005, Scott Webb's "Under Wraps" closely examined the spa cover, chronicling its abuse (sun, snow load, dog teeth) and its construction. Knowing a bit about what separates a well-built cover from a poorly built one helps set you apart from the online cover seller.

These and other cover and lifter stories are easily accessed on our Web site, Once you're there, type "covers" into the search box for a list of cover-related articles dating back to 2001.

Spend a bit of time with the articles and see if you can find an idea or two that'll help you sell more of the covers and lifters the following manufacturers are offering in 2010.

Comments or thoughts on this article? Please e-mail [email protected].

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