• Thriving Or Surviving?

    by Thomas Fuller January 2006

    The thriving mind is focused, confident and purpose-driven. By contrast the surviving mind is scattered, worried and opportunistic.

    The surviving mind creates barriers to progress and success. It entangles itself in a web of stagnation and frustration — doing things the way they've always been done, or making only minimal improvements. It is, in short,...

  • You Made A Mistake...

    by Laurie Brown January 2006

    Pearl chose to celebrate her 94th birthday with her family and friends at a local restaurant. Although she had always enjoyed the restaurant, she specifically chose it because she was a member of its frequent diner program and was entitled to free desserts for all her guests on her birthday.

    She graciously offered each guest whatever dessert they wanted, "on the house." The waitress overheard Pearl and asked for the card that was sent to her...

  • Beautiful Or Bust

    by Karen Erstad November 2005

    Everybody has a favorite place to shop. Maybe your favorite store has a product you really like — that special fishing lure you can't find anywhere else. Or maybe your favorite store has particularly friendly and knowledgeable salespeople. For many shoppers, their favorite store not only has products they want and helpful salespeople, it also looks fabulous....

  • Selling Value

    by Marsha Lindquist November 2005

    Salespeople are motivated to earn commissions. When they enter a sales situation, they naturally think of money, and they think the customer is thinking of money, too. Unfortunately, this money mind-set often causes the salesperson to drop prices just to make a sale, even when he or she doesn't really need to.

    When people buy things, they aren't necessarily making their purchases based on price, especially when making a decision on something they really care...

  • Can I Sell This Kind Of Pool

    by Kirstin Pires November 2005

    It started with cocooning in the '80s and shifted to sanctuary-building post-9/11, but whatever term you choose to describe it, the American love affair with home shows no signs of fading. People used to go out to see movies, go to the gym to exercise, to the Y for a swim and to a day spa for aquatherapy.

    Now all those diversions are available in the home. It's this trend toward keeping everything and everyone close to home that has spurred sales in...

  • Make The Most Of Change

    by Brian Tracy November 2005

    To deal with change, perhaps the most valuable quality you can develop is flexibility; forming the habit of remaining open-minded and adaptable to new information and circumstances. When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, instead of becoming upset or frustrated, practice looking into the change or reversal for the opportunity or benefit it might contain.

    Superior men and women are invariably those who remain calm and keep their wits about them in the...

  • Pool Sales The Wise Way, Part II

    by Merry Wise September 2005

    Successful sales start long before a customer ever enters your door. Last month, I discussed some of the specifics of successful swimming pool sales; among them the pre-sale, sales meetings and closing the deal. But the things you do every day to maintain your company's profile and reputation in your community are as important to making a sale as presenting a jaw-dropping proposal to a specific customer. Make sure you're nurturing your business every day and in every...

  • Outside Is The New Inside

    by Kirstin Pires September 2005

    It wasn't that long ago that a sofa on a porch was a sure sign that the neighborhood was heading downhill fast. But today, homes in some of the most upscale neighborhoods are not complete without plushly upholstered pieces adorning their outdoor spaces.

    At the intersection of housing trends, lifestyle changes and advanced fabric and finish technologies, you'll find...

  • Common Ground

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2005

    Whether you're a dealer in rural Arkansas or an aboveground hot spot like upstate New York, there are certain factors that affect a season's sales. Weather, of course, is chief among them, and that's not something even the nation's most powerful retailers can control. There are some areas one can control, however, such as advertising, pool displays and selling the styles...

  • Clean Machines

    by Lindsay Renick Mayer September 2005

    As automatic pool covers become more popular in some states, retailers are using peace of mind as their strongest selling point. With just the turn of a key, pool owners can shield their pools from the elements and effectively create a barrier between the water and their children.

    "I don't think anything is a safer barrier on a pool than an automatic pool...