Dawn Danik may know her market as well as any hot tub dealer in the country. After all, ABC Pools & Spas has been in her family for more than half a century.

She’s also seen her share of competitors come and go.

But one of the biggest challenges Danik has faced through the years is converting her former adversaries’ shoppers into ABC clients.

“Trying to put a customer into a different routine after 15 years is not an easy thing,” says Danik, general manager of the Baltimore-based company.

The trick is being able to establish trust and rapport on the customer’s very first visit. And you must be careful not to spend too little — or too much — time with them, she says.

“Some customers just don’t want to be hassled,” Danik adds. “And if you’ve gotten used to a store that closes, you may be hesitant to enter a new one because you don’t want to ask a ton of questions.”

As a result, her sales approach at ABC often follows the theory that most customers aren’t very mechanically inclined. Giving the customer too much information in one sitting is a surefire way to overwhelm and create confusion, Danik says.

“So we try to make it as easy as possible to get from the buying stage to set-up,” she says.

One of the ways she does this is by helping each customer connect with an electrician prior to their spa’s arrival in the home. It’s one of the elements ABC’s associates incorporate into the sale.

After all, Danik says, “nobody wants to look at an empty spa sitting in their home or backyard.”