Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

Establishing a customer-centric culture

You’ve made a genuine effort to clearly define a customer-centric culture in your dealership and introduced it at a special all-team presentation. But they just don’t seem to get it and the truth is you were bound to fail.

Loyalty or profits: what’s more important?

Dealership profitability or customer loyalty: which is more important? Also, major changes announced by states surrounding Lake Michigan are an example of the double-edged sword that invasive species can be to fisheries.

How to win first-time buyers

We need more first-time buyers. Is there anyone in our industry that disagrees with me on that? But let’s be clear: to get them will require an understanding of who they are and how they roll.

MIASF leads in giving back

Last weekend I joined others from my church to paint a house as part of CareFest USA, a community service day that unites businesses, churches and community organizations with hundreds of volunteers to beautify and repair homes and beautify neighborhoods.

‘Take Me Fishing’ is vital for dealers

If you sell fishing boats of any size and style and you’ve never taken time to look over, you haven’t seen one of the most comprehensive consumer campaigns that directly supports our industry and offers dealers great content.

The man who sold hot dogs

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired of TV reporters and presidential candidates trying to convince us the economy offers us less opportunity than a Somalian smuggler. And, while we’re at it, let’s hear it for those so-called economists (cough, cough) that claim the economy could tank at any minute.

Economic impact and the new overtime rules

The completion of an economic impact study by the Marine Industries Association of Florida is a model for others, while the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas will be tackling the new overtime regulations in an upcoming webinar.

Overcoming the cry of ‘your price is too high’

As you read this, salespeople on the docks for today’s opening of the Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show are likely grappling with this very issue. Let’s face it: we’re not an industry that builds cheap boats. So what’s a salesperson to do?

Giving back is important in business

I watched baseball’s All-Star Game Tuesday night and, while I enjoyed seeing so many of this year’s top ball players, I was most impacted by the pause in the game when everyone stood up to hold a card with the name of someone for whom they were “Standing Up To Cancer.”

Does anyone read your emails?

These days, any marketer can throw up a tweet with a hashtag, post a blog or tag something on Facebook. But a successful marketer knows that email is still the best way to reach out.

Overtime rule and swipe fees endanger dealers

If you think the matter of the new overtime rules or the amount you pay as a retailer in swipe fees are all finally settled, think again. There’s a move in Congress against the new overtime rules (do I hear applause?) while the reductions in swipe fees might go out the window (boos and jeers).

Dealers should consider attending IBEX

The announcement last week that registration is now open for the 2016 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference should resonate with both dealers and manufacturers for two reasons.

Why nothing beats word-of-mouth referrals

These days, dealers face a time-consuming process in selecting what marketing media to use to acquire new customers. Technology keeps growing that list with each outlet possessing unique characteristics, though not all would likely be effective. 

Tell a vivid story with video

Marine dealers — at least those who are good at digital marketing — use the web frequently these days. However, the web was built on words and today’s Internet is built on video.

Are millennials really the future of boating?

It’s official. Millennials, those 18-to-34-year-olds, now exceed baby boomers as the nation’s largest population group. It’s a demographic that boating needs to attract if we’re to see serious growth in the foreseeable future.

MBIA uses whiteboard video for recruitment

Every marine dealer, marina operator and service supplier should be a member of their state and/or local marine trade association. The positive return on the extremely low dues investment is always a hands-down good deal.

Encourage customers to plan summer cruises

With the Catawba Island (Ohio) Boat Show starting off the Great Lakes boating season this weekend, dealers everywhere should be encouraging their customers to make plans to do more cruising, fishing and enjoying more days on the water than in many recent years. And especially for those planning to cruise, dealers can recommend a new […]

Does reference pricing work?

We’re confronted with them every day and everywhere: retail reference prices flashing on everything from boots to boats. But a question worth asking is: do reference prices really provide consumers with any informational value and, if so, how?

Is it customer service or customer experience?

I once had an opportunity to go behind the scenes in Orlando, Fla., with the Disney Institute to observe firsthand how Disney methodologies are executed at Disney World and I have always considered Disney the model of the good customer experience … or is it good customer service?

Low gas prices help show success

The recent spike at the pump notwithstanding, low gas prices appear to have helped last weekend’s Spring Boating Expo near Detroit and gas will predictably stay low this summer, according to Gas Buddy.

Service failures can be forever

As a dealership owner or manager, you recognize that a service failure might not be your fault, but when it happens it becomes your problem. Moreover, it can be a forever event. Here’s an example of just what I mean.

Are you ready for the 2017 model-year rollout?

In less than three months, you could be receiving some 2017 model-year boats. That’s because President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 and it included an unprecedented model-year change that will impact every dealer.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable

National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich might be the most in-demand speaker in the marine industry today. His position allows him a comprehensive view of the business.

What’s the best way to position a deal?

It’s showtime as the New York Boat Show opened Wednesday and the show in Houston opens Friday. They’re starting off the industry’s critical winter boat show season with anticipation of gains in attendance and continued increases in sales.

Did you pay attention in 2015?

It’s the end of the year and a darn good one at that. So, come on, make my day and take this little quiz about some random facts and highlights. No Googling! (Answers at bottom)

Model-year starts are finally about to change

Hallelujah! The discussion of when the model year should start and end has been going on for years, but it’s expected to be finally settled when the Senate passes a U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization bill today and sends it to the president.

RBFF’s idea to focus on grandparents is a smart one

The Recreational Boating Leadership Council gathered today in Chicago for an annual review of activities and programs that various task force groups are undertaking, while the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation has raised an interesting question about America’s grandparents.