• Sutro Wins Recognition at CES

    by AQUA Editors January 2019

    Each year at CES, thousands of tech pros flock to Las Vegas to check out the latest and greatest in consumer technology. This year's show saw more than 4,500 exhibitors, including a few from the pool and spa industry, all vying to become the...

  • All Eyes on A.C.

    by AQUA Editors January 2019

    Winter is peak show season for industry pros, and one of the biggest shows of the year is near at hand: The Pool & Spa Show in Atlantic City. The show, organized by the Northeast Spa and Pool Association, is expected to be as exciting as ever, with more than 100 seminars, 400+ exhibitors and 100,000 square feet of exhibit space — so be sure to pack some comfortable shoes, because you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

    The Pool & Spa Show has impressed attendees in recent years...

  • What Makes a Top-Notch Salesperson?

    by AQUA Editors January 2019

    Salespeople are the backbone of the pool and spa industry. Without sales, what is there to build or service?

    That said, every salesperson is different — think of a used car salesperson versus a Lexus salesperson. The goal is the same, but the path to getting there is quite different for both sides. The same is true of pool and spa sales: everyone does it a little differently.

    So what makes...

  • Retail 2019: Time to Get Back to Basics

    by AQUA Editors January 2019

    Retail is facing threats from all sides, especially from online competitors. Andrew Busby, a retail analyst and founder of Retail Reflections, says that to keep up, retail must get back to the basics — namely, deliver good old fashioned face-to-face retailing based on an intimate knowledge of the customer.

    “To know your customer is to know your...

  • Pkdata: Shrinking to Greatness?

    by Bil Kennedy January 2019

    During the 1928 presidential campaign, Herbert Hoover famously promised that in addition to “a chicken in every pot,” there would also be “a car in every driveway.” That would have been a neat trick back then, even without the Depression: at the time there were 21 million cars and 57 million driveways. Yet as we know, cars eventually caught up with driveways.

    Pools, however, seem to be on a different course. True, the percent of single-family homes with inground pools has increased...

  • APSP Unveils Online Course for Pool and Spa Retailers

    by AQUA Editors January 2019

    The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals is rolling out a new online, self-paced course for pool and spa retailers called Certified Pool & Spa Retail Professional (CRP).

    Designed for those interested in running a successful swimming pool and spa business, the eight-hour interactive course introduces the core principles of pool and spa operations and best practices for sales and customer service. Topics covered in the course include retail housekeeping, retail environment...

  • Big Goals, Small Goals

    by Daniel Seeger January 2019

    Setting goals one of the most fundamental parts of running a successful business — and it's an especially important tool for managing staff members. Beyond the obvious benefit of giving everyone in your company something to strive for, strategic goal setting is one the best ways to communicate your priorities. But there are also challenges in laying out goals for a whole organization. For example, there's the dilemma that has divided management gurus for ages: Should goals be so significant...

  • Honoring an Industry Stalwart

    by Eric Herman January 2019

    When Paulette Pitrak, a small woman with a giant personality, passed away in November 2016, the industry lost one of its most dogged proponents of quality education, volunteerism and effective government relations.

    To honor her memory and legacy, NESPA has dedicated the training room at the association’s headquarters in Hamilton, N.J., in her name. Now called the Paulette Pitrak Training Room, the hands-on educational space was extensively renovated with state-of-the-art...

  • Amazon Launches Interactive Showroom Experience

    by Cailley Hammel January 2019

    Amazon is further investing in experiential retail, this time by rolling out a show digital showroom feature called Amazon Showroom.

    The interactive program allows customers to create their own virtual living rooms. Customers can select wall and floor color and fill the space with selections from a vast online inventory of sofas, lamps, rugs, coffee tables, art and more — all of which are part of Amazon’s private-label...

  • Building an Email List in 2019

    by Chet Thornberry and Ken Massa January 2019

    You're most likely well aware of the basic email marketing concept. If you aren't, here's a simple, watered-down version: The goal of email marketing is to build a list of email addresses, including past, current and potential customers, which is used to send newsletters, discounts or general sales offers with a goal of gaining new business.

    Most of you already do that, which is great. But...that's just scratching the surface of what your email list can do. Here, we will share a...