I went fishing offshore on a friend’s boat recently. While we scanned his marine radio for some fishing “chatter,” I asked him if he had gotten his MMSI? “What’s that?” he responded. So I asked him what happens if he pushes the red distress button on his radio? “That automatically sends out a Mayday call […]
Reports of overzealous boardings of boats, particularly by Coast Guard personnel in western Lake Erie, aren’t new. Indeed, over the years boaters and dealers alike have been critical of the Coast Guard randomly stopping boaters for time-consuming boardings that result in more animosity than boating safety.
It all started with a challenge . . . the principal of one high school challenging the principal of another to a fishing competition. No, not between themselves, but between their school fishing teams. High school fishing teams? Yes, and it’s a good model for boat dealers willing to invest a little time and recognize […]
Occasionally I like to vent. Today is occasionally!
Spam – it’s not just something you can eat anymore. It’s also junk or unsolicited mass e-mail. Experts estimate spam constitutes more than 50 percent of the e-mail flying through cyberspace daily. I know I find myself spending time these days culling through e-mails to find the good from the spam.
Proponents say Bass Pro draws tourists. Opponents say it’s unfair competition! That frames an ongoing debate in Tampa, Fla. over the possible location of a Bass Pro Shops store in the area.
Summit follow-up: As you read this blog today, 40 representatives from broad segments of boating have gathered in Chicago for the first follow-up meeting to the Recreational Boating Stakeholders Growth Summit held last December (see Dealer Outlook).
As an industry dependent on selling products that are towed behind cars, SUVs and light trucks, we’ve long been concerned about increasing CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and the likely result that vehicles will be made lighter with reduced safe towing capacity.
It’s the House versus the Senate. While that’s not a new Washington occurrence these days, this time it has a lot of impact on boating.
We know going the extra mile to keep a customer is always far cheaper than acquiring a new one. But what about getting former customers to return to the fold? It, too, is easier and likely cheaper.
It was to be expected. The prime boating season is upon us and boaters are talking about the cost of gasoline – if for no other reason than because high gas prices are reported in the nightly news. No surprise . . . that leaves the public very unhappy.
Yes, you read the headline correctly! And, now, you’re scratching your head like I am, right?
Admittedly, most unhappy customers don’t resort to swearing. Still, 16 percent (mostly men) do admit using curse words when talking with someone about a product problem. And, since we’re rapidly approaching the prime boating season when, because so many things are happening all at once in our dealerships, customer complaints are usually at their highest, […]
Thousands of salt water fishermen are expected to make some “noise” in Washington D.C. when they gather there for the second national fishermen’s rally on March 21. Speakers slated to address the anglers are Massachusetts’ Sens. John Kerry (D) and Scott Brown (R), as well as Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., among others.
Obviously, I think blogging is good. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this one. And, I meet so many people from different segments of our industry who read Dealer Outlook. It’s what keeps me writing twice every week – and I thank you!
The idea’s been simmering for some time – to allow the states the option to collect sales taxes from all Internet marketing firms, to “level the playing field” supporters contend.
Kudos to the Michigan Boating Industries Association on the good news about their successful Detroit Boat Show. I can’t help thinking: If there’s any place I want to see an encouraging sign coming from, it’s Detroit. After all, that area took an enormous hit when the Great Recession unfolded. To see the boat show there […]
It’s likely you don’t know this, but if you’re a boat dealership and, therefore, a small business, you’re generally included in an antitrust suit by retailers against the big bank credit card companies.
Regular readers of this blog will recall I’ve previously written about the need for our industry to address diversity as an important pathway to future growth. After all, the U.S. Census alone tells us that the population of Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian- Americans is growing rapidly in America.
It’s an entertaining question, brought on by the current debate about extending the payroll tax cut (here we go again!) and the battle between America’s Catholic bishops and the White House over contraception, among other issues.
- Had occasion to visit the Columbus (Ohio) Sports, Vacation & Boat Show over the weekend and saw clever signs strategically placed around Jim Reed’s Spend-A-Day Marina exhibit (Sea Ray, JC & Bennington). The bold yellow and black-lettered signs read: “CAUTION – LIFESTYLE MAY BECOME ADDICTIVE” adjacent to good boating action pictures. That’s the kind […]
While attendance at major industry shows has been up and down depending on the city, it appears business from all the shows is much improved over last year. That’s good momentum leading up to five major-market events that will open this weekend or next week — namely, St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami – […]
If we want to do it, we’ll make time for it . . . even at the expense of time needed to get things done we should get done! That’s what we could conclude from the 2010 American Time Use Survey, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There’s no doubt our industry’s future growth will depend, in significant measure, on our appeal to kids. “Survey data tells us we must expose boating to kids,” Brunswick CEO Dusty McCoy told the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association in Cleveland recently.
Remember the battle in Congress at Christmas over extending the payroll tax reduction? Get ready – tomorrow is Feb. 1, so let the battle begin – again!
There’s little doubt history is loaded with examples of sales people who can be labeled “great” at the game. And, we can learn from them because they personify selling techniques and styles that can be replicated to make one successful, even today.
“Our industry isn’t going away, we’re going to make it stronger,” Dusty McCoy told more than 150 dealers, marina operators and others in Cleveland last week. The chairman and CEO of Brunswick was addressing the annual meeting of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association during the Cleveland Boat Show. Moreover, he called for quick follow […]
Whenever I need a few laughs to brighten up a day when the fishing is slow and the sky is overcast, I just think about PETA. You remember them — the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — the group noted for wanting all fish to be renamed “sea kittens?”
If it wasn’t so annoying, it would be funny. Football in Houston, snow in Chicago, bad roads (schools closed early) in Nashville, winter storm in Cleveland and a tsunami in Atlanta all disrupted many boat shows last week . . . but the shows still rolled on.
To trust or not to trust – that is the question! When it comes to the Internet, it’s an interesting one.
One of the major topics at last month’s first-ever boating summit in Chicago was the need to reach minorities with our boating lifestyle message as a path to growth. So, it might seem that all we need to do is replace some white people in our ads with minorities, right? Well, it’s a start but […]
I must be old school. I still think talking with someone face-to-face is the best way to go. Obviously, I must not be one of today’s high tech-enabled people who can text and drive or Twitter everyone what I’m doing without ever seeing them face-to-face!
Industry eyes will be focused on the “Big Apple” and Houston this week as the New York Boat Show opens tomorrow (Jan. 4) for five days and the Houston International Boat Show kicks off Friday (Jan. 6) for a 10-day run. Hopefully, both shows will be good early indicators of an uptick in sales expected from […]
I suppose everyone begins the New Year by making a couple of resolutions. Doing it represents a fresh start in a new time. I’m all for that. But my track record, I admit, isn’t very good.
It was nearly unanimous . . . virtually all of the more than 1,200 people surveyed said a great experience makes them more likely to buy more of a product or repeat a service, according to a study recently released by Ft. Lauderdale-based Spherion Staffing Services.
If nothing else, the Christmas season means trips to the mall and gifts galore. But the real gift of Christmas is the time spent with family and friends. Interestingly, when we speak of family and friends, it quickly reminds me of the true value we in the boating business provide to hundreds of thousands of […]
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also known as “Festival of Lights,” will begin tonight at sunset and be observed for eight days and nights. Specifically, the festival is marked by the lighting of the Menorah’s eight candles, one each night of the holiday progressing to eight on the final night. Many also observe this holiday […]
Tis the season . . . when we look for some good news. We don’t have to look far to see some in the economy as we approach the end of the year.
It reads like a Who’s Who in boating . . . the list of the more than 150 attendees gathered for the opening of the “Recreational Boating Stakeholders Growth Summit” in Chicago today and tomorrow.
It seems logical that every employee would purpose to show respect and courtesy to customers. For any business, lack of politeness can actually detract from the bottom line. Moreover, it’s not just about respect for the customers. Surprisingly, it also involves employees being rude to fellow employees.
Ho, Ho, Ho – Tis a season of joy. But, it can also be a perplexing time for business owners and managers when faced with the question of what to give employees for the holidays? Likely, every boss wants to do something to recognize and reward employees who have been loyal and worked hard to […]
Are you as confused as I am? I’m honestly not sure if I’m for or against the idea Congress is kicking around – the idea of continuing the temporary reduction in payroll taxes that expires at the end of the year.
When it comes to retailing, no stores compare to the success of Apple’s stores. “No wonder – look at Apple’s great products,” you say? Certainly having the iPod, iPad and iPhone are an advantage. But there’s a lot more we can take away from Apple’s success.
Isobutonal . . . if you’re a scotch drinker you already love it. If you’re a marine engine builder you may come to love it! That’s because isobutonal is a flavor note in scotch and, even more important (unless you’re addicted to scotch, I suppose), it may well be an alternative to ethanol!
My copy of the latest edition of Boat Show Exhibitor magazine arrived this week. It reminds me that the last in-water boat show of the fall season will drop anchor in St. Petersburg, Fla. Dec. 1-4. But, exactly one month later, the industry’s big winter indoor show circuit will kick-off in New York on Jan. […]
Is the coming Black Friday frenzy going too far? According to New York Times reporter Stephanie Clifford it just may be. This year, more big name retailers seem set to take on each other in a race to get into consumers’ wallets and credit cards first. They’re backing up their Black Friday openings into Thanksgiving […]
It’s not unusual for there to be a lag in activity and direction when the leadership of a large association changes. But, if you’re thinking that’s likely to happen at the Marine Retailers Association of America, you can relax – just the opposite appears to be true.
The decline in both size and attendance of the industry’s boat shows appears to have ended in 2010 and showed signs of improvement in 2011. That was the conclusion at the National Marine Trades Council’s annual meeting over the weekend in Orlando, Fla. prior to the Marine Retailers Association of America’s Marine Dealer Conference and Exhibition.
I went out to get a Halloween party costume last weekend and I had trouble finding the section. That’s because the big store’s shelves were already filled with Christmas stuff – in October!
You gotta like the Recreational Fishing Alliance – they have no fear and take no prisoners. Recently, RFA opted to take on the Waltons. No, not John boy . . . the other Waltons, as in Wal-Mart and the Walton Family Foundation.