When it comes to dealing with salespeople, we might fall into one of two camps: we avoid them completely, or we talk to them, but remain cynical of their response.
Whilst we recommend customers use common sense when making such an important and considered purchase, there are deep levels of trust and honesty which the best sales professionals exhibit, and which can greatly assist you in making a decision you won’t regret.
Your first indicator of hot tub quality is the sales person’s quality. Do they pounce on you the minute you walk in, or perhaps ignore you completely? What degree of awareness and sensitivity to your particular hot tub requirements does the salesperson demonstrate? If they just reel out facts, then beware. Whilst sales people are duty bound to point to the benefits of their hot tub features, there’s a wide gulf between those who churn out facts, and those who make careful note of your needs before recommending a model or two.
Try asking the sales person how long they’ve been in the industry, and how they like their work. If the salesperson has been in the industry for some time, yet lacks product knowledge, what does this indicate about the level of care their boss provides?
Leaving aside the more technical questions you might want to ask, below you will find some other questions. These are designed to give you an indication about how the sales person assesses their products, their competition, and the company they work for:
Who is their closest competitor, and why?
What is the weakest aspect of the brand they represent? (Another way to phrase this would be: If you had to change just one thing about your hot tub, what would it be?)
What is the strongest reason for buying from them? (And this had better not be “The price is right” as an answer!)
How many customers do they have in the UK / around the world?
What level of training and ongoing support do they receive from their managers and bosses?
How innovative is the company they work for? What was the last innovation the company made, was it successful, and why was it needed?
Lastly, perhaps after an initial visit or telephone call, ask yourself the following:
How carefully does the salesperson listen to and respond to my / our needs?
What sense of rapport do I get from them?
Do they seem genuinely happy in their work and proud of their products?
Did I get the sense that they didn’t know answers to my questions and tried to disguise the fact?
With these principles in place, your showroom visit should give you a good idea not only of the brand of hot tubs on display, but the brand of salesperson, and by implication, the quality of the company they work for.