Yes, they are big names in our industry with lots of resources. But West Marine and MarineMax offer noteworthy examples of initiatives to increase fishing and boating participation that can be undertaken by any dealer recognizing the need to remain engaged with customers and prospects.
The doors blew off last weekend’s Orlando Boat Show while I was getting inspired at 36,000 feet.
Boat sales are fueled by money. So when major money problems arise for consumers who might buy a new boat, the impact on dealers is worth understanding.
It was the first major-market fall show out of the box and last weekend’s Progressive Michigan City In-Water Boat Show sent all the right signals going forward.
Technology (email and texting) has taken the place of face-to-face contact, the swipe fees war isn’t over and newly proposed underground storage tank rules will impact dealers and marinas with fueling systems.
“Schultzy, if you wanna do some good lobbying, do it with a can of worms,” Ray Underwood told me years ago. Last week, Underwood became the first recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, created in his honor by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, and it couldn’t be more fitting.
Email remains a powerful, cost-effective marketing tool for marine dealers, assuming the recipient doesn’t hit the delete button first, of course.
We must all understand that only exceeding expectations is memorable and the top ingredient in customer service is always “helping” people. In fact, if you’re not exceeding expectations, someone else likely is.
He’s in the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. He’s authored 18 books in 35 languages. His latest is “What to Do When It’s Your Turn.” He’s an in-demand speaker and his blog is one of the most popular in the world.
Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard suddenly descended unannounced on industry boat shows, starting at Miami, and began writing up violation notices on manufacturers for model-year infractions under the Code of Federal Regulations.
A dealer’s website performance is based on whether it spurs people to act — and click. Consequently, content is more important than any other aspect, digital promotion experts advise.
Most people don’t know freelance writer and boating enthusiast Brian Carey. As a business writer for Intuit, his articles and blogs cover a variety of topics. And, when I can vividly recall one of them 1-1/2 years later, it tells me his thoughts are worth considering today.
I boarded my Southwest Airlines flight at Detroit Metro Airport, buckled up in a window seat and pulled out the magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. My eyes were drawn to a greeting page from Southwest chairman and CEO Gary C. Kelly entitled “Back to Basics.”
Last Thursday, I posted a blog about potential new boaters in the Carlos C. Gomez family and their apparent frustration in finding what they considered an affordable first boat. Several of your comments, thank you, raised the conversation in ways worth further exploration.
Carlos C. Gomez lives in Miami with his wife and four children, Mary, Kathrine, CJ and Jon. We met last weekend at the Discover Boating Center at the Progressive Miami International Boat Show after they decided to get into boating.
It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution or two. In fact, early February is a great time to pause and take stock.
Why in the world would anyone pay parking and admission to go to a boat show and be hustled by a flock of salespeople when virtually everything they could want to know about a new marine product or dealer is available free at their fingertips? Answer: the experience.
The Supreme Court has ignored the nation’s retailers by refusing to hear a case in which retailers say the Federal Reserve allows banks to charge businesses too much in swipe fees, while the big drop in gas prices is an interesting development for ethanol producers and state gas-tax hawks.
On the heels of Monday’s report confirming that boat sales hit double-digit gains in December for the second consecutive month based on early reports from 26 states, it’s no surprise that the key early boat shows around the country are off to a good start.
Social media is a great place to post photos of one’s cat, announce a kid is potty-trained or get a thumb workout clicking “Like” and “Follow.” But, for a boat dealer, getting involved with social media can suck up a lot of work hours. And that begs the question: is social media worth the time […]
“Your shows are expensive and a pain in the ass. But the only bad show would be the one I’m not in.”
I’ve been waiting to write this kind of New Year’s blog for too many years. But the time is clearly here.
The delete option is the most used key on my computer. If an email subject line is not something I’m looking for or it doesn’t grab me in a second, voila, delete!
Don’t tell people who you are; show them who you are. Such advice might be more relevant in today’s overcrowded cyber-world than ever before, because showing people your company values is what can ultimately set you apart.
Concern about weak Black Friday sales and whether they might indicate the economy is slowing was misleading. That’s because the actual November retail sales results released last week beat expectations.
Seeing a dealership from the viewpoint of a customer isn’t easy and won’t always come naturally. But it’s worth it, suggests Micah Solomon, a customer experience consultant, speaker and the bestselling author of “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service.”
Marine dealers located in the Gulf of Mexico region affected by the disastrous 2010 BP oil spill need to know they’re now eligible for damage claims from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement.
With just one major fall in-water show left this year — the Dec. 4-7 St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show — discussions centered on expectations for the industry’s winter shows at the meeting of the National Marine Trades Council last weekend in Orlando, Fla.
I usually pass up reading articles that are mostly numbers … except if they’re numbers that show that our industry is climbing out of the deepest hole in our history. And that’s exactly what numbers from the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Discover Boating and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas are showing.
Boat dealerships are small businesses and we should point with pride to that fact. It’s also reason enough to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is coming up on Nov. 29.
There are more new programs added to this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo and Lenny Rudow’s workshop on “Shooting and Editing Boat Walk-Through Videos” has got to be at the top of the list.
I know it’s not even Halloween yet. But thoughts need to turn to mistletoe and holly now, lest the opportunity to profit from the big Christmas selling season passes us by.
They might not seem to go together, but the increase in home equity lines of credit and the surge in pickup truck sales bode well for the future because boat sales track with both.
There likely aren’t two things that concern retail dealers more than developing a successful lead management process and determining when it’s good to raise prices. Both should be on the radar.
Need something to charge you up today? Check out these success stories:
“Tide Rises for Boat Industry” is the headline in the Tampa Bay Times, clearly capturing the energy and expectations of exhibitors and attendees as IBEX wraps up today.
“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Knight.
A $100 discount for registration to the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, which runs Nov. 16-19, ends this Friday. But, savings aside, the real question is: why haven’t you registered?
After an amazing breakthrough show last year with a 44 percent attendance increase, the Tampa Boat Show continued to set a good pace, albeit with an attendance increase last weekend that’s back down to more earthly growth.
We’ve always heard that “the customer is always right.” Why, if I look back at old blogs, I undoubtedly wrote those words, too. But when I did, I was wrong. The customer isn’t always right — or good for business.
By now we’re all aware that the economy grew by a healthy 4.2 percent in the second quarter (April-June) topping early predictions and strongly suggesting growth is picking up speed.
Answering the growing calls for more boater education, the United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS Foundation Wednesday released their newest online educational offering called “Weather for Boaters.”
I don’t normally see a drop in boat show attendance as a good thing, but to assume it’s not in this case would be a mistake.
If you’re like me, you’ve assumed that IBEX, the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibit & Conference, is just for boatbuilders. Maybe that’s been the case in the past. But another serious look at this year’s IBEX is in order because dealers can benefit from the many changes slated for the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 event being held in […]
Arguably, the Internet decreased face-to-face communications and caused serious changes in the way we socialize with friends and family. We don’t call; we text or email or post on Facebook. But if we assume the hours spent on the Internet are at the expense of friends and family, it appears we could be wrong.
With the industry’s long list of fall boat shows opening Thursday at the Progressive Michigan City In-Water Boat Show near Chicago, organizers are making changes that will cause thousands of visitors to pass through their gates around the country.
Two good ideas today come from our industry’s Discover Boating campaign and from a successful marketing concept in the restaurant business.
When it comes to selling boats to women, we’re not getting it done. At least that’s one conclusion I got from the excellent feature entitled “Band of Sisters” in the July issue of Soundings Trade Only by associate editor Reagan Haynes.
In the current issue of Soundings Trade Only, editor-in-chief Bill Sisson is spot-on when he cites things such as lack of time, student loans, less income and troubles finding good-paying jobs as major hurdles for millennials who we want to be buying our boats.
It was back in the summer of 2007. The phone rang and a lady on the other end said: “Now that you’ve retired from the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, we think you’re just the guy to start a blog for marine dealers.”