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Jun. 22012

June 2, 2012

► Customer Feedback:  A customer by the last name of Feddersen, fromTownsend, MA stated that their general shopping experience with us was Excellent.  “Very knowledgeable staff and very friendly”.  Did any of our team members do an unusually good job?  “Guy that sold us our hot tub – can’t remember his name (Seth, with Pat).” Sales help was good. Operations, communications, and products were all rated Excellent.  “Guys came out to insulate tub and were honest with me, stating they hadn’t done so with the prep.”  What do we do really well?  “Very friendly, helpful.” 

► Almost everything changes Sunday 6/3.  New advertising and weekly specials:  “Pool and Patio Sale” Grills and propane fire pits are on sale.  Department sales start then also:  Hot Tubs, Pool Tables, and Above Ground Pools.  Back of A/G sale shows some clearance specials on a few stock pools. We also have Father’s Day specials on Lafuma and Hattaras hammocks.

► Polaris came out with a new $100 mail-in rebate on the 380.  They did not tell anyone.  I found out about it because I was complaining about the old rebate slips expiring. 

► When you give out the folder on inground liners, emphasize that the postcard is not a coupon, and it won’t do them any good to bring it in the day they want to balance the pool.  The postcard instigates us to notify D&P and get permission to mail the coupon.  That takes two weeks. 

► Great job to everyone Memorial weekend.  Depending on weather, expect us to be even busier this weekend and next weekend.  Possibly the following one.  Then it just takes temperatures over 90° to bring out the crowds.  So, be patient, and it will be over before you know it!  In particular, thank you to everyone who worked Monday.  You did more business than Saturday or Sunday, with half of the employees, and without the free lunch! 

Additional note by Anne-Marie: I wanted to add that in the 11 years that I have worked here, I have never seen a Tuesday after Memorial Weekend with so few problems to fix.  After a busy weekend I normally have at least two hours of corrections, fixes, and research to do on problems.  After a busy 4 days like this past weekend, it would not be unusual for me to spend 4 hours fixing things.  The mistakes were very miniscule this year. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard during the weekend – amazing job having such a volume of customers, and making so few mistakes. 

► Here is a great lesson.  Look at how many people are coming here after only one experience at Bedford/Boynton with a store employee who was wrong.  It’s May 28 – how many times could they have had a bad experience yet?  The lesson:  people are not going to give us a second chance if you don’t know what you are talking about.  So don’t guess – ask someone else, and if you hear someone who is wrong, teach them or tell me so I can do it.  I can’t fix a problem if no one tells me it’s there.  And it costs too much (over $50,000 a year) to bring in new customers to replace ones we could have kept.  That, by way, is almost a year’s worth of profit-sharing.  

► The Discount automatic pool cleaners are going on clearance now.  I’m not sure the customers know we have them, but no one’s buying them! 

► Based on last week’s circular, our regular prices are the same or lower than chain store’s sale prices.  Even a lot of the coupons! 

► Happy Five Year Anniversary to Jen on Monday.  Congratulations and thank you.  Anniversary cake for Jen in the store Saturday, June 9.  

► PoolSchool 101 is Wednesday.  Customer Appreciation Day Sunday, June 3.  Free logo gifts with any purchase, while they last. 

► Joe noticed people buying two 25# TAC or CH instead of one 50# because it’s only $1 more and it’s easier to carry.   That’s fine with us.  It’s easier for us to carry too!  The small price difference is deliberate.  In fact, we actually pay four to nine cents more for a 50#, than for two 25#. 

► Please actively point out to all Bioguard shoppers that we might be low on Bioguard products this summer, because we are experiencing a huge influx of former customers of another Bioguard dealer.  Since Bioguard was their only brand, and it’s our smallest brand, we are trying to figure out how much of what to stock.  We will even be happy to bring in different products if they can tell us what they want.

► I just had a lady tell me she needed some shock and algaecide, but she mostly came in for this year’s Seasonal pen.  She was so happy when I gave her one. 

► I just met a woman who normally uses Burn Out.  Someone (I doubt here) talked her into a 5 gal. chlorine for something:  possibly even well-intentioned.  So I assume you know when you pour a liquid into a pool and something splashes up, it’s not the water splashing up – it’s the chemical.  And she got liquid chlorine in her eye, which causes corneal damage.  By the way, corneal damage is unbelievably painful, and the pain laughs at even Oxycontin.  And it is a sharp pain every time your other eye moves.  So that’s a mistake you only make once.  And she always wears goggles when she adds chemicals to her pool.  I do, too. 

► Remember to give a gold star to people with technically balanced water (-.03 to +.03) or even close.  It makes them feel good.       

► Due to a few recent requests, we cleaned up the inventory and prices on the Gazebo Works gazebos.  There is only one in stock and for sale – the one in thePoolPark.  We combined the Lupola gazebo and platform, and made it one item at a Demo price:  original $7,999, and discount $1,997.  The description has been adjusted to say “PoolPark”.  The one in front of the building is not for sale without permission from the Planning Board – it is part of our site plan.  Could we sell that one, then take apart thePoolParkone, move it to the front, put it back together and fix it up?  Sure, but for not less than $7,999.    

► We have loaded onto the Design Center computer a very interesting slide show by Anne-Marie’s daughter, Andrea.  Her show won a contest at her college, with a $1,000 first prize.  The file name is Andreas_winning_project.wmv.  It’s about 2½ minutes long.  You will really like it if you watch it.  Just don’t tell anyone what it’s about – let them find out for themselves.

► Sales idea:  Actively direct people to the Fire Pit, Patio Heater, and Fireplace department.  No one would ever find it unless they were looking for it, and no one would be looking for it because we have never had one before.  We brought them in with the intention of increasing sales and income to sales people, without competing with products we already carry.  But, it won’t work if no one knows we have it.  

► The Grill department already seems to be working.  I’m sure it’s helpful that they are easy to see.  Also, Roz and Seth are getting behind them.  For instance, so far in May, we have sold more in the Hearth department than the entire company sold in bars and bar stools.  In fact, we sold twice as much as the entire Billiard department!    

► Want to make pool owners safe and happy?  Every time you are helping people with chlorine tablets, tell them about dichlor granules.  Every one of them has had the experience of a low chlorine level that makes the pool unsafe, and possible a week or better to get the level back up because tablets are slow.  They could have taken an ounce or so of dichlor (maybe half a cap full), tossed it right into the water (it dissolves immediately) and the problem is solved – instantly!  That’s why dichlor is the only chlorine that comes in small bottles – for back-up for tablet users.  You could raise chlorine with shock, but that tends to drive levels too high, then go down right away.  Dichlor is a long lasting stabilized chlorine, very similar to the trichlor tablets.  It is designed to stay level and reinforce the trichlor.

► Lunch Saturday June 2nd is on me and Jeanne:  everyone’s favorite Chicken ‘N Chips!

► Internet Humor:

       – Confucius didn’t say… Man who runs in front of car gets tired, but man who runs behin car gets exhausted.

       – Confucius didn’t say… Man who eats many prunes get good run for money.

       – Confucius didn’t say… War does not determine who is right, it determines who is left..

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