Rick Smith serves as the director of sales and business development with EasyPro Pond Products and has 37 years of organizational leadership in the lawn and garden, nursery and water feature industries. Before coming to EasyPro, Rick served as sales and marketing manager of the retail division for J. Mollema & Son (a large Midwest lawn & garden distributor supplying independent garden centers nurseries, growers and landscapers). He also spent 12 years with The Scotts Company working with independent business owners and regional and national chains. Rick has appeared in various business trade publications both as an interviewee and as a contributing author. In addition, Rick has been a speaker at national trade shows, county extension services and Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on the topics of lawn and gardens, wild birds and water gardening.

Diagnosing an Ailing Pond: The K.I.S.S. Principle

By Rick Smith / February 27, 2018 / 0 Comments

We receive thousands of phone calls each year, and a significant number of them are from pond owners and pond-service companies who are struggling to keep a pond clear and beautiful. This is so sad, because they are being robbed of the joys of living the pond life, especially considering that keeping a pond in […]

Read More

Friendly Front Lines

By Rick Smith / December 30, 2014 / 0 Comments

Business owners and managers spend a great deal of time managing a long list of business functions and directional planning to ensure success. Every year, every month, every day they invest hard-earned capital in products, services, equipment, staffing, training and employee benefits to secure a positive business reputation and a loyal customer base. Yet, every […]

Read More

When Things Get Heated: Communicating effectively with a rude or angry customer

By Rick Smith / November 10, 2014 / 0 Comments

It’s just a fact of life that if you have customers, at some point you or your staff will have to deal with a frustrated, rude or angry customer. In fact, some dissatisfied customers can be so emotionally charged that it’s like having a blowtorch in your face. It is no wonder that communicating effectively […]

Read More

The Five Golden Minutes in Sales, Part 2

By Rick Smith / September 1, 2014 / 0 Comments

In part one of “The Five Golden Minutes in Sales,” we took a look at the fact that the words we speak account for only 7 percent of what we communicate. We learned that tonality accounts for 38 percent of our communications and body language accounts for 55 percent. Each of these three elements provides […]

Read More

A Pond Atop a Pond

By Rick Smith / September 1, 2014 / 0 Comments

Pond lovers love fish. Pond lovers love plants. The problem: fish love plants too, and a few hungry koi can destroy your precious flora in a matter of days. Thankfully, creating an easy separation between the two is just one of the many benefits of an upper-pond design. From aesthetic appeal to filtration and oxygenation, Rick Smith outlines why a second tier may be just the design your water feature needs.

Read More

The Five Golden Minutes in Sales

By Rick Smith / July 1, 2014 / 0 Comments

It is in the first five minutes of a conversation that we have to establish rapport and trust. Understanding what influences good communication and being able to quickly adjust naturally to each personality type will greatly contribute to a mutually positive outcome — and, in the case of a sales call, greatly increase our rate […]

Read More

The Round Table: The Laws and Rewards of Leadership

By Rick Smith / May 1, 2014 / 0 Comments

Early in my sales and marketing career I was fortunate to be surrounded by great mentors. All were successful businessmen in their own right, but the reason they excelled beyond others was because they understood and demonstrated the laws of great leadership. One of those early mentors told me to always be a student of […]

Read More

To Change or Not to Change? The impact of raising and lowering prices

By Rick Smith / January 1, 2014 / 0 Comments

After 24 years of rapid and very successful growth in the water features industry, many contractors who specialize solely in water features have been faced with a very challenging economy in recent years. Since the economy has, historically, been a cyclical beast, we can be confident that this too shall pass over into better times. […]

Read More

Big Payback with Eco-Friendly Lake & Pond Management

By Rick Smith / July 1, 2012 / 0 Comments

ROI (Return on Investment) is one big reason to provide lake and pond management. Lakes are an important part of our landscape; they add beauty, provide recreation, and are a habitat for fish and wildlife. But an out of balance pond can be pretty awful. Learn about the importance of Aeration; Beneficial Bacteria; and Weed and Algae Controls. Besides being good for business it also helps the communities we live in.

Read More

Networking Your Way to New Pond Customers

By Rick Smith / May 1, 2012 / 0 Comments

Knowing where, when, and how to focus marketing plans is extremely important. This industry expert believes that networking will play a key role in these plans. Learn about diversifying and teaming up with others. Includes a list of great ideas for you to explore, to identify new customers.

Read More
Scroll to Top