|Located on the corner of Miller and North Polk Street in Pineville, North Carolina is Mister Spas, Inc. Founded in 1987 by Kevin and Jody Glunt, it grew from humble beginnings to a thriving hot tub retail, installation and maintenance company employing 6 full-time sales and service staff.
“Our main thing is customer service,” states Kevin Glunt, owner and CEO. “We work hard on consumer communication. It’s the referrals that really help us grow our business.” As Glunt knows, the communication starts with the customer when they first call or walk through the door. He stresses that his staff advises every Mister Spas’ customer with personal attention before, during and long after the sale. “We make sure our customers are trained and knowledgeable about the operation of their hot tub. And, we provide a cleaning service to help them maintain their spa, if they want.”
Mister Spas specializes in hot tubs and swim spas. “We sell hot tubs, swim spas and all the accessories that go into their maintenance; chemicals, toys, filters….all of that,” says Glunt. He feels that staying focused on what they do best is what keeps his company at the peak of performance.
Glunt states that the greatest challenge he faces in the market today is the Internet. While customers can shop his company without ever getting into the showroom, he knows that building personal trust and satisfaction can only come with a personal touch. “Referrals have helped us in that respect,” states Glunt. “The way we get people to trust us is to keep our staff trained and to keep the lines of communication open with our customers.” His staff provides personal training with each hot tub and swim spa Mister Spas delivers. “You can’t get that online,” chuckles Glunt.
2016 has been one of Mister Spas’ best years ever and Glunt is very optimistic about 2017. “We are hoping, obviously, to top 2016 but we still want to keep our business small and our quality high.” To do this Glunt knows that organization is the key. He is continually looking for ways to keep organized and stay ahead of all of the demands on his time.
Around 18 years ago, Glunt made the decision to become a Nordic Partner. He found making the decision to bring in Nordic Hot Tubs line was easy due to the quality and reliability of the product. Staying with Nordic for the better part of 2 decades has been due to a solid relationship. “Nordic has a top notch staff,” states Glunt. “Is there a problem? It gets taken care of right away!”
Glunt gives this advice to other dealers: “Concentrate on your customers to make sure they are happy. They tell everybody when they are thrilled with you!”
Kevin, Jody and the Mister Spas Sales Team can be contacted through the website and on Facebook.
|Mark Dabney has a keen eye for how things work. While employed in upper management for Southern Railroad, he had to make sure things got to the proper place, intact and on-time. Now, as President and Owner of Tropical Spas in Panama City, Florida, Dabney applies the same principles to the pools, spas and accessories he sells.
Dabney knows that to keep Tropical Spas strong, he and his staff need to bring 110% every day. “We ensure the customer is ASOLUTELY happy,” states Dabney. He adds, “Because we SELL happiness!” It’s that personal touch along with great pricing that fosters and maintains the loyal customer base that Tropical Spas enjoys.
Competition from the internet and big box stores is something Tropical Spas experiences daily. When customers come in who have been price shopping at big box and internet stores, Dabney tells them, “You can buy off the internet, but it’s not the same quality. You will get what you pay for.” His second point with these customers is service. “When you have a problem with your hot tub, the internet guy doesn’t answer his phone,” states Mark. “And, when your product isn’t working you forget what a great deal you got on it.” This is the reason Dabney only puts high quality, US made products in his showroom. He is confident that what he sells is well-made, priced right and the manufacturers stand behind the warranty.
Tropical Spas is looking toward expansion in 2017. To help with the expansion, Dabney recently brought his son, Chris, into the business. “Chris does everything right now,” quips Dabney. “From being our Finance Manager to sales, maintenance and delivery, he is learning it all.” Dabney also is looking forward to increasing their presence on the internet with a new website. “Chris is designing this right now,” states Dabney. He is hoping to take it live within the next four to five months. This will help customers find them more quickly and let them know about all the products and services Tropical Spas offers.
Tropical Spas has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for about the last 8 years. Dabney recalls that when Nordic and Tropical first started working together, Maurizio Vozza, President and CEO of Nordic Products, made a personal phone call to him to discuss some of the details. “I’m always impressed with how professional Nordic is to do business with,” says Dabney. He goes on to say he enjoys the quality, durability and simplicity of Nordic Hot Tubs. Dabney quickly conferred with his maintenance person and they concluded, “We haven’t really worked on a Nordic. Oh, wait, I think we changed a motor once.”
Dabney gives this advice to other dealers, “Be honest and up front with your customers. Stand behind your products!” It’s worked for Tropical Spas for 33 years and Dabney will continue to build on that.
Dabney and the Tropical Spas Sales Team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook.
|If you live in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico, the place to make your backyard dreams come true is Pool & Spa Mart, known as Carefree Spas. Owner, Tom Gervais, and General Manager, Shane Brummett, have built a solid reputation within the local market as the company you can trust.
Gervais began selling satellite dishes in 1982 and was doing very well. However, a perfect storm of events changed the course of his career forever. The satellite technology started to become obsolete plus, he ran into a legal issue that essentially closed his business. “I went broke because of a lawsuit,” states Gervais. “It was a good lesson and taught me to do my own research!”
Beginning again was not an easy task. Out of cash flow, Gervais decided to leave the electronics industry and sell hot tubs. He began to talk with a local electronics businessman who became his mentor. “I started over with his help and sold hot tubs out of a tent in the parking lot!” chuckles Gervais. Eventually he moved inside the store, renting about 1000 square feet in the corner. “It worked out well and I had my own storefront by 1986,” says Gervais. He now owns 5 stores within the greater Albuquerque market and hasn’t looked back. “I’m a self-made man but, I had help!” he quips.
Shane Brummett, General Manager of the Pool & Spa Mart Store on 1st Street in Albuquerque, says it’s easy to come into work every morning. “We have a great store here with hot tubs, 3 different kinds of stoves: wood, pellet and gas, gazebos, pergolas and swim spas.” Brummett feels that selling quality products along with a great staff are the things that set his store apart. He states, “We employ nice people and we sell good products!” Gervais agrees and states, “We pick products that have a competitive advantage, a unique story if you will.” He feels that with the mix of quality products he offers, it gives his company a niche in the market that sets them apart. Additionally, each store specializes in a different product line, allowing the staff to be product experts within that brand.
Overcoming the recession of 2007 was another obstacle that Gervais and Brummett have weathered. “Almost overnight we went to selling half of what we had been doing in the years earlier,” states Gervais. Brummett agrees and says, “I didn’t know if we were going to get through it. I thought I’d have to go back to school for another career!” But, Pool & Spa Mart did make it through by closing some store locations and cutting expenses. “It worked!” states Gervais, “We outlasted 27 different hot tubs stores in this town!”
Both Gervais and Brummett are looking for a great 2017 for Pool & Spa Mart. Brummett states, “I’m looking forward to writing more business. We try to keep it simple, and small but with great quality!” Gervais is optimistic about next year too. “I can’t see it going anywhere but up!”
Bringing Nordic into their hot tub lineup was a decision both Gervais and Brummett feel was a great one. “Nordic has the least service on anything we sell…by far! It’s a good name and easy to work,” states Brummett. Gervais agrees, “Nordic is reliable! It’s the most reliable line we sell. They are simple and customers love them!”
When asked what advice they have for other dealers, Brummett quips, “Carry Nordic!” But he goes on to say, “Don’t get too big too fast. Stay steady and do what you do best!” Gervais has this advice, “Hire nice people and take good care of them! Let your managers run the store. Let it go and don’t think you’re the only one who can do things right. My managers run the stores better than I can!” Gervais also advises, “Don’t let the business run you, learn to step back and lead a more balanced life.”
Gervais, Brummett and the Pool & Spa Mart Sales Team can be reached through the website.
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