The announcement yesterday by the National Marine Manufacturers Association that 2013 has seen the industry continue its post-recession climb with an estimated 5 percent increase in new powerboat retail sales is good news. Or is it? As I see it, this shouldn’t make any of us happy, particularly if we compare it to the much [...]
It’s Christmas time and gifts are on our mind. My wife, Kay, and I always laugh when we recall the great presents that, through the years, I’ve placed under the tree especially for her.
After heading a marine trade association for 34 years, I could describe the value of membership to any dealer who’d ask. But actions speak much louder than words and there is no better example of the value of membership in a state or local trade group than to look at the Marine Trades Association of [...]
As an industry, we’re putting serious emphasis on attracting the growing Hispanic market and we definitely need to be there. But the results of a recent Nielsen survey make a compelling case to also go after Asian-Americans as customers.
Anticipation is running high for today’s meeting of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council in Chicago. The council is an important element in the broader unified movement to grow boating in America.
It’s crossword puzzle time: Clue: Three words, 21 letters for an unmitigated disaster. Answer: Renewable fuel standard.
Cyber Monday was a day IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark says was the biggest e-commerce day in history. Ironically, it was also a day on which proponents for congressional passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 might have gotten a boost from the U.S. Supreme Court, which announced its refusal to take up a challenge [...]
We talk a lot these days about good customer service. After all, improving it is a key component in our Grow Boating initiative. But thinking our customer service is good doesn’t make it so.
With the industry’s final fall in-water boat show, the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, set to open next week, attention is already sharply focused on the winter show circuit that will kick off in January, and the expectations are justifiably high.
If you’re looking for evidence that our industry is on a growth curve, it was confirmed at the 42nd annual meeting of the National Marine Trades Council last weekend in Orlando.
The Advisory Council of Marine Associations and the National Marine Trades Council both tapped new leaders during their annual meetings last weekend in Orlando.
Retailers, marine trade association executives, lobbyists and others will all converge on the Florida’s “fantasyland” — Orlando — starting this weekend for a series of annual industry meetings.
Give us your opinion: There’s general agreement in our industry that boating education for our customers is good for them and, therefore, good for our business. Education breeds confidence and confident skippers use their boats more and are more committed to the sport for the long haul. Your opinion today will help. Here’s the background:
If you don’t think good fishing can be attacked at virtually any moment, think again. Moreover, it can come from an unexpected source in the form of a county judge.
“I have a coupon for 10 percent off, so we better shop there today,” my wife frequently tells me.
It’s a good-news Halloween so here’s some “candy” for the day:
For those of us in boating and fishing, New Orleans is a center of activity this week. As you read this, both the Sport Fishing & Boating Partnership Council and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council are holding separate multiday meetings in the Big Easy.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts Charters and pens an enjoyable monthly customer newsletter called “View From The Marina.” This month, in her often humorous style, she hits a subject that genuinely touches us all these days and, thus, merits some serious consideration. Here’s her view of the oft-dreaded automated voice phone systems:
Kudos to the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, first for pushing positive legislation and, second, for taking time to show that it works as predicted.
In this final blog encouraging you to develop a strategic Christmas sales plan, it all comes down to communication with your customers. That assumes, of course, you’ve fine-tuned your timing, deals and delivery.
As I indicated in this blog last Thursday, if you’re expecting to capture some consumer Christmas spending, now is the time to craft your strategic Christmas sales plan. And, as promised, here are some ideas that could help you arrive at a plan that will work in your dealership.
I entered Lowe’s Wednesday to pick up a few items and right in my face were rows of lighted Christmas trees, inflatable Santas, big candy canes, piles of green wreaths — you name it.
Are retailers that accept debit cards being charged unreasonable swipe fees? Should the firms handling these “interchange” fees (the amount banks charge retailers) be required to refund money to retailers? In the case of a customers using a credit card, is it illegal for retailers to add a processing fee to the credit card charge? [...]
Just call us Regulation Nation.
Reagan Haynes’ report in Trade Only Today on Sept. 25 on the threatened lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency by the Sierra Club and California Communities Against Toxics is a stark reminder that we badly need regulatory reform.
In case you haven’t been following it, thus far every fall show has seen an increase in attendance and better sales reports, clear indication consumers are coming back to what remains the industry’s single most effective medium for putting products in front of thousands of prospects.
Kudos to California boaters on winning a major victory to keep the funds in the Harbor and Watercraft Revolving Fund from being pirated away for non-boating uses. The win reminds dealers of the importance of membership in both your local marine trade association and in the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and to be [...]
At the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference this week, the Marine Marketers of America presented their Exhibitor Video Awards for the year’s best product and company videos. And while those videos are truly professional-grade, video use is not just for the big guys. Budget-conscious dealers can easily make videos a part of their content marketing [...]
If you’re encouraged by the increased attendance at fall boat shows and want to lock up your discount to the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, read on.
The House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing Wednesday on the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which is up for reauthorization this year. It’s a law that has caused angst among saltwater anglers and boaters nationwide.
If the Tampa Boat Show was struggling after the 2008 financial collapse, you’d never know it after last weekend’s robust show. Show manager Larry Berryman has succeeded in rebuilding the event into the market’s top show and the public responded accordingly.
Provisions and rules under Obamacare that could impact marine dealers and employees continue to be uncovered. For example, we know dealers with less than 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Last week I reported on the success of the industry’s first major fall in-water show at Michigan City, Ind., and, in particular, the sales increase reported by B&E Marine’s Rod Bensz. Here’s some more on how Bensz generated excitement in his exhibit that paid off in sales.
There’s good news for boating in that more than 45,000 lapsed boaters in 19 states returned to boating and reregistered their boats in 2013, according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
If increasing a dealer’s show sales from four last year to 13 boats this time means anything, the Michigan City In-Water Boat Show last weekend signaled that things continue to improve and buyers will respond.
As the Michigan City (Ind.) In-Water Boat Show near Chicago opens today — the first of the major fall in-water shows — the economic news is generally favorable, exhibitors have increased participation, and the expectation is that fall shows will show sales are running high.
Fishing still ranks as the No. 1 boating activity, so when it’s reported that more than 4.5 million newcomers tried fishing last year, it’s good news for the future of boating.
A friend once shared that he went to buy a refrigerator during a “0 percent for 15 months” promotion and got turned down. It seems that a credit bureau had mixed someone else’s bad information in with his. It took more than five months to get it cleared up — and that was fast and [...]
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has filed a federal lawsuit against the Coast Guard, the latest in a series of suits against federal officials and agencies by groups opposing the planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm at Horseshoe Shoal that will include 130 windmills within sight of the shore.
Selling boats sure ain’t as easy as it once was. Every salesperson who is successful these days has worked harder than ever to close each deal.
If you think the reduction in bank swipe fees from 44 to 21 cents set by the Federal Reserve ended the matter, it didn’t.
The old adage about seeing the glass half-full or half-empty couldn’t be more applicable than it is today. I hope you’re like me and focus on it being half-full.
There has never been a better year for retailers to attend the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., because there has never been a more extensive choice of educational programs than those being offered this year.
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation works with numerous groups nationwide, but its biggest alliance ever was made public this morning when RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson announced a five-year strategic pact with Disney Media Network and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
It’s a welcome surprise that the latest attack on the Renewable Fuels Standard mandate was recently launched by the head of Valero Energy Corp, which is the nation’s third largest corn-ethanol producer.
A welcome wave of recent economic signals — record stock prices, soaring home builder confidence, better job prospects and higher-than-expected June retail sales — are reinforcing expectations that the economy continues to grow in ways that can support boat sales.
There hasn’t been much coverage yet of Congress increasing the minimum wage, but it doesn’t mean the idea hasn’t got legs. In fact, it has considerable support, even if the amount of the increases varies depending on the legislator.
We keep our Pursuit at the drystack building at Loggerhead Marina in St. Petersburg, Fla. Loggerhead is a first-class operation with good amenities and an attentive staff.
“Welcome To The Water,” the theme of the current Discover Boating ad campaign, isn’t on nationwide TV yet, but that hasn’t slowed the broad reach and big numbers the campaign is scoring so far this year, revealed in an interim report for fiscal 2013 just sent to the Grow Boating Board members.
People buy when they’re ready to buy . . . not when we’re ready to sell. That doesn’t mean they won’t buy, of course. Many will. But, for the successful salesperson, the goal is to be there — even later — when they do.