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At the Helm: 16 reasons to attend MDCE 2016

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For boat dealers, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is one of your best options for growing and improving your business. MDCE, produced by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Boating Industry, is December 5-8 in Orlando. There are plenty of reasons to attend MDCE, but here are 16 of the best. Find more at MarineDealerConference.com. 1. Josh ...

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At the Helm: Tackling the labor shortage

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I’ve taken several trips visiting manufacturers and dealers this summer and keep hearing one recurring complaint: We can’t find enough help. There may not be a bigger challenge facing the industry today than the labor shortage. While the problem first reared its head years ago, the recession pushed it to the sideline for many years. Now, as sales have recovered ...

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7 ‘must-dos’ this fall for a spectacular 2017

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Wow, another busy summer selling season in the books. I trust it was a good one for you and yet know that 2017 can be even better … if you’re willing to do the work. One major issue dealers share with me is they just don’t get the important work done in the offseason because it is just too darn ...

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The educational spectrum of a boat buyer

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Have you ever considered the boat buying process from the buyer’s point of view? What is their experience? What stages do they go through? And, most importantly, how can you use these insights to deliver exactly what they want and need at each stage? That’s exactly why I share the “Educational Spectrum of a Boat Buyer” as one of the ...

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At the helm: Where your buyers live

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Spend much time at any industry meeting these days and the subject of Millennials is likely to come up. And rightfully so: selling to this now-largest generation is going to be key to the future success of the boating industry. At the same time, reaching this cohort has proven challenging. They buy differently, live differently and play differently than even ...

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At the Helm: Products, products and more products

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New product is what makes our industry go. Whether it’s new boats, new engine technology or new accessories, innovative products drives boat sales. It’s also one of the areas that, in our annual reader surveys, you tell us you want to see more of. That’s why we’ve made the commitment to increase our product coverage here in the magazine and ...

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The difference between selling and marketing

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When asked to write a column on sales and marketing for Boating Industry, it was an unexpected honor. After a week of trying to decide how to begin, I figured the best way to start was to introduce myself and define two key terms. In 2008 after the mortgage meltdown, I made the difficult decision to close down my mortgage ...

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At the Helm: Your advocacy matters

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What is your top challenge in your business? Tracking down more business? Acquiring the capital to grow? Finding and keeping great employees? Whatever it is, there’s a very good a chance that you can find a government or regulatory issue at its core. Sure, there are societal and economic reasons that boating has declined in popularity from its peak, but ...

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A crack in the ethanol armor?

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this print column appeared as a blog on BoatingIndustry.com. The Renewable Fuel Standard (and the increased use of ethanol it requires) has long been a concern for the boating industry. Study after study by the industry has shown the damage E15 can cause to marine engines and other small engines. And recent decisions by ...

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