Dealer Outlook

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Fort Myers show shines as winter nears

In spite of less-than-desirable weather last weekend, the Fort Myers (Fla.) Boat Show kept pace with the positive results enjoyed by all the industry’s recent fall shows.

And the fall schedule is now rounding third and heading home with the last of the big in-water events, the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, opening Thursday and running through the weekend.

“It was our largest and best show in recent years,” said John Good, of Good Event Management, which manages the Fort Myers show for the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. “Dealers, brokers and our accessory booth exhibitors were all saying it was a selling show.”

However, perhaps the best report of the show’s success comes not from Good, but from a local TV station’s coverage. In addition to the show’s success, the reporter also noted the importance of the boating industry to the area’s economy

Click her for the video report.

Sales tips we can’t forget

Whether you’re in the sales, service or an administrative department of a dealership, sooner or later everyone is a “salesperson.” So it’s always good to keep basic sales skills at the ready.

Author Rhonda Abrams, (Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies), writing recently for USA Today, offers many sales strategies and tips. Here are six to always keep in mind:

  1. Listen. “There’s an old rule,” Abrams says, “If you’re talking, they’re not buying.” Do not immediately launch into a sales pitch. Listen and learn what your customer or prospect wants, otherwise you can’t really know how you can best meet those needs.
  2. Ask. If the prospect isn’t talking, you can’t find out what they need until they do. So be prepared to ask relevant questions to get the conversation going.
  3. Appreciate the benefits of your product or service. Be fired up. Genuine enthusiasm is contagious. If you truly believe you’re offering the customer something worthwhile, you’ll be a more effective salesperson.
  4. Connect. There’s no doubt all customers want to feel good about the products or services they buy. So if your dealership has a positive story to tell — you support community programs, you donate a percentage to charity, you were founded by someone with a disadvantaged background — try to weave in such a positive story so the prospect feels motivated to buy from you.
  5. Don’t oversell. It’s always tempting to tell a prospect or customer everything they want to hear. But in doing so, it’s likely you’ll claim more than you can deliver. It’s a ticket to anger or disappointment and, worse, someone out there spreading negative stories about your dealership. It’s better to under-sell and over-deliver whenever possible.
  6. Tell people what they get, not what you do. While all of Abrams’ advice is good, this might be the single best piece. Prospects want to understand the benefits they’ll receive. They don’t want to know the ins and outs of how you do your business, so don’t go there. Provide the clear benefits for the prospect or customer and keep the focus on those.


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