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A few years ago I was trying to think of what would really motivate my pool and spa staff. What could I offer them that would really excite them to increase sales? They all work on commission, but I wanted to instill a fun atmosphere that drove them just a little but harder. I came up with a “PlayBook” where the bonuses went into a Christmas Club account at a local credit union. The pool and spa sales staff would have the ability to earn up to $1,800 each, watch their account grow all season, and have what they needed for a happy holiday for their families. And if they earned more, the company benefited with higher revenue and profits.

Would you like to have a 10 or 20% increase in your pool and spa retail sales annually? You can do it with the help of a PlayBook that you distribute to each of your salespeople. Select play periods based on sales events and the time of year. For example, one play period may be the three day Memorial Day weekend, another the first two weeks of June and another during a Christmas in July Event weekend. Create short play periods that span the entire pool season. They can be anywhere from three or four day weekends to three weeks long. Set team sales goals and if you have multiple store locations, set company and location goals. Everyone will work together and help each other if you make it a team game.

Divide each play period into two sections. One for a 10% gross sales increase over the same time frame of the previous year and include level two for a 20% increase. Offer a $20 bonus for level one and a $50 bonus for level two.

In the second section, set quantity goals for your sales staff to achieve on retail products. Exclude your big ticket items and focus on the pool and spa chemicals, parts, toys, maintenance goods and other retail merchandise with high margins. Select high margin items that require suggestion selling and not items that customers typically come in to purchase. Examples include surface cleaner, filter cleaner, cover cleaner, o-ring lube, DE scoop, or any other suggestion sell item under $20. You can also add in specialty chemicals such as a borate or enzyme products that you want your customers to start using regularly. Mix the items up in the play periods based on the needs of the customers per time of year. Run a report of the previous year’s totals in your POS system and increase the quantity by 20% for the goal. Reward $5 per item when the goal is achieved. I double the reward if they achieve their goal on all of the items for that extra push.

Each salesperson must be responsible for keeping track of their team’s totals and reward points in their own PlayBooks. Keep your sales staff motivated by periodically checking their status during the play period. Inform them what they achieved, what they are close on, and when they need to push harder. Always be enthusiastic! This is a great way to find out if you have some salespeople who need additional help with product knowledge. Our managers keep a white board in the lunch room with motivational messages and tracking information.

Review successful play periods at meetings and discuss methods to improve sales on items that are missed. And by all means, make a big fuss over them and have fun when they achieve their rewards!

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