|Ask Scott Long most anything about the pool and hot tub industry and you’ll get a straight answer. Long is the owner of Long’s Wet and Wild Spas & Pools in New Philadelphia, Ohio. As a 2nd generation pool and hot tub retailer, Long has extensive knowledge and training in the industry.
Starting out in 1974 as an excavating company, Scott’s parents, Bob and Linda Long, were asked to build pools. Seeing the opportunity in that line of work, they grew the company into a thriving pool and hot tub business. “We do some in-ground pool work now, but mostly it’s above-ground pools and hot tubs,” states Long. Long’s Wet and Wild Spas employs 6 full-time year-round staff and doubles to 12 during the busy summer pool season.
Long knows that his business is built on great relationships with customers. “We give all our customers great customer service which turns into long-term relationships, even friendships,” says Long. “Our people are knowledgeable, helpful and a great resource of information for our customers.” He accomplishes this through training and personally working with his Sales Team. “I’m in the store everyday,” states Long.
Having been in business for 42 years, Long’s Wet and Wild Spas has forged on through challenges and changes. In 1995, Bob Long passed away unexpectedly and Scott took over the management of the company. He had to learn things quickly even though he had essentially grown up working in the business. Long’s determination and resiliency helped him push through to build an even stronger business.
What Long currently finds most challenging is hot tub competition from the internet. “Customers look at the low-ball prices on the internet and expect us to match it. We do what we can to inform them what they are getting for that low price,” says Long. “We constantly review our prices so we’re competitive.” He goes on to say, “We don’t just sell Nordic Hot Tubs, we sell Nordic as a company. We tell our customers how easy Nordic is to work with and how they support their products.” He finds once he can inform the customer of how reliable the manufacturer is, the customer purchases with confidence.
Looking back on 2016, Long states, “Hot tub sales were good this year.” His plan is to continue the pace well into 2017. “Because hot tub sales have been good and are more year round, we are going to try to stay more focused on that, even during our busy pool season,” states Long. He has plans to rework his current website to help channel traffic through to his store. “Yeah, we’re going to work on that soon!” he says with a grin.
Long has carried Nordic Hot Tubs since Nordic began. What keeps him selling the Nordic brand? “The people!” says Long quickly. “Nordic is our favorite vendor to work with. They have great service and the product is reliable.” He knows that when he sells a Nordic hot tub, it will be years before he will make a service call for that customer.
“It [the pool and spa industry] can be a tough business!” states Long. But he gives this advice to other dealers, “The biggest thing is to give great attention to your good customers. Don’t get distracted by the ones that just want information. Give your attention to your loyal customers. They are important!”
Long and the Long's Wet N Wild Sales Team can be contacted through the website!