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Have you earned the right to win the sale?

By Matt Sellhorst

In previous issues we’ve talked about the process your boat buyers go through, called the “Educational Spectrum,” and how you can take advantage of your competition’s lack of understanding by offering the “researchers and evaluators” the information they are searching for already.

But as I wrote earlier, it could backfire on you if you don’t provide an exceptional experience. That leads me to the question in the headline of this article: Have you really earned the right to win the sale? Or, earned the right for a successful boat business?

Strange question for an article on marketing and sales, no?

Actually, in my world and with my coaching clients, it fits perfectly. I believe the better you run your business and the more exceptional experience you provide your clients, the better your sales and marketing results.

All too often, I mystery shop dealers around the country only to find dirty boats, dirty bathrooms, salespeople who don’t engage (or don’t engage properly, but that’s an article for another time). These dealers then wonder why they are getting creamed by the competition down the road.

Ask someone who doesn’t work at your dealership to come in and walk your entire facility. Give them a clipboard and smartphone so they can make notes and take pictures of everything that needs to be cleaned, fixed, removed, etc.  

Make a plan to address those items/areas, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly – whatever is needed to get it done. Keep a checklist so you don’t overlook them as time goes by. If you need a checklist, I’d be happy to send the one I created for my coaching clients.

Many of us have worked at the same location for years. Over time, we get tunnel vision and just don’t see all the things that need to be addressed. But your prospect with $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 or $500,000 to spend on your boats sees it, which makes your sales and marketing job harder.

Keeping a clean and neat dealership is really just what our clients expect these days. So, I ask the dealers in my coaching program, what can you do that will make you the obvious choice when it comes to buying the types of boats you sell?

The actual question that we work to answer in the most clear, concise and compelling manner is the most powerful question in sales and marketing:

“Why should our perfect prospects do business with us versus buying from our competition, buying a used boat from a private seller or not buying a boat at all?”

Have you ever thought about it? Do you do anything truly different than the competitor across the water?

And, please don’t answer, “Matt, we give great service!” Really? What does that mean exactly? Do you think your competition says, “Hey, thanks for stopping by today. Just so you know, we give horrible service here.”

Great service, best selection, best manufactures, best prices, best salespeople are all platitudes. These are meaningless generalities that create no real value in the minds of your prospects, yet they are said as if they are persuasive and powerful. I’m here to tell you … they are not!

So, you have to come up with something better than those platitudes and really make your dealership the obvious choice. The dealers who do this best aren’t always the biggest or fanciest but they do tend to have the highest margins in their area.

In my three-day boot camps and coaching program, we spend a significant amount of time on this topic. Often, my clients do things in their dealership that they don’t take credit for or communicate to the prospect in a powerful manner. So we work together to create what I call $100 messages.

Other times, we talk about what they can tweak, re-tool or deliver that the client really wants in a way that makes sense, then develop in a powerful and persuasive manner that can be used in all of their messaging. It’s communicated in their online dealership, in printed marketing material, “shock and awe” packages, point of sale material, sales presentations, online video, boat show strategies and their 24/7 selling machine. The result is simple: more sales at higher margins that are easier to close for the sales team.

Now, for this month’s challenge: Take some time to answer this question in a clear, concise and powerful way: “Why should our perfect prospects do business with us versus buying from our competition, buying a used boat from a private seller or not buying a boat at all?”

If you want my feedback, email your answers to Matt@BoatDealerProfits.com, and I’ll give you a 30-minute one-on-one strategy session to talk about your specific situation.   

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