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Times dictate new sales approaches

The recent announcements by Bass Pro Shops and MarineMax, or news that 37 dealers are raising the “Boaters Edge” flag, are sure signs that some dealers are embracing the old maxim — “you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results” — and all dealers need to be thinking about it.

Specifically, for example, last week retail giants Bass Pro Shops and MarineMax announced they were teaming up to present the “Great American Boat Sale” (on now thru June 15.)  It’s true these two go head-to-head in some areas, but upon careful reflection it appears they found they actually compliment each other in far more ways than they compete, according to Glenn Sandridge, MarineMax V.P. of Marketing. So, right now, there are Trackers at MarineMax and Sea Rays at Bass Pro Shops. Who would have predicted it? But it makes real sense because it can enable each to accomplish more together than they could separately.

That’s also the thinking behind the new “Boaters Edge” program, albeit this concept is a longer term marketing coalition. In this one, 37 independent dealers in 15 states have united for marketing purposes to become “Boater’s Edge” dealers (www.boatersedge.com). Reportedly 2 years in development, the “Boaters Edge” branding is actually under the auspices of the Boat Dealers’ Alliance in Chapin, SC.

President of the Boater’s Edge group is Mike Hebert, Texas Marine. He said such benefits as priority service, bow-to-stern extended service contracts, certified pre-owned extended warranty, competitive retail financing and learn how-to-boat educational seminars are some of the plans included in the Boater’s Edge program. The “Boaters Edge” dealers represent about 70 brands and, coincidentally, all the dealerships are also Marine Industry Certified.

Both these cases give us cause to stop and focus on the fact that, in these difficult times, new alliances and coalitions aimed at increasing sales can and should be explored. Initially, nothing should be ruled out — all things should be considered possible, witness the MarineMax – Bass Pro joint effort. Moreover, such opportunities may not always be with just other dealer(s). A cooperative marketing strategy or special event could be with virtually any other business that can also attain more by teaming up than could be achieved individually. Now is the time to be open to new marketing and promotional partners.

Comments

3 comments on “Times dictate new sales approaches

  1. dave boso

    Why don’t we do this; All we small dealers in “Podunk” just quit, go out of business, Then there will be only big dealers in big citys. And they will be able to charge what they want, service nothing, then boating will cease to be.

  2. Richard Misner

    Should Mike Herbert and his team be in contact with suppliers to better their groups buying power? The UMMA and others push this to give them an edge. Mike should be forwarding the list of his current dealers to suppliers.

  3. arch

    This Marine Max and BASS PRO joint effort is about as original and exciting as a CAR TENT SALE.
    Please, it’s unbelievably insulting to my intelligence to read this non-sense. I AGREE WITH DAVE BOSO.
    One of the huge negatives in the boat business are the big companies trying to monopolize the industry, such as MARINE MAX and BASS PRO. Do we really want this?
    I laugh when I see the comments by Boaters Edge…. “He said such benefits as priority service, bow-to-stern extended service contracts, certified pre-owned extended warranty, competitive retail financing and learn how-to-boat educational seminars are some of the plans included in the Boater’s Edge program”
    DOES NOT EVERY DEALERSHIP PROMOTE THE SAME EXACT BENEFITS?
    Manufacturers are increasing the length of their warranties or dealers are including them as incentives at boat shows. Used boats are now “CERTIFIED” and come with extended warranties. Practically all dealers have competitive retail financing, many offer free captain or boat educational seminars.
    AND WHY DON”T YOU TELL ME WHAT THIS HAS DONE FOR OUR INDUSTRY? I’m not saying it’s been bad because it’s mostly good stuff, but when everyone else is doing it, it becomes expected and standard, not an additional benefit. And has it helped increase sales? Ughhh, sorry, boating is decreasing in popularity.
    Again, this is a PERFECT example of MARKETING. I was going to say GIMMICK MARKETING, but I know it isn’t all smoke and mirrors.
    Is the boating industry going to have to suffer many more years of a declining market before they address the REAL problems? Washington DC, NEW boat prices being too high, and high cost of boat ownership?

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