By Nancy Michelman, president, BoatU.S., Alexandria, Va.
One challenge the boating industry faces is getting more women and minorities to take up boating. In our surveys, many women say they’re intimidated by boating and don’t feel they have sufficient knowledge or training. They also say they are often ignored by sales and service personnel.
Ways to help resolve this includes: ensuring women and minorities experience great customer service from the point of their first inquiry to throughout their boating life. This means reaching out and treating them in an inclusive way and not making ability judgments based on their sex or ethnic origin. Another way we can encourage them to come on board is for boating industry businesses to ensure women and minorities are well represented on their staff and in their marketing materials.
Since women make or break more than 80% of family purchase decisions, getting girls and women onboard – mentally and physically - is in everyone’s long-term interest.
“Grow Boating” is a mission we all embrace. In order to maximize its success, it’s critical that every segment of the boating industry reach out to women and minorities and incorporate them into our customer base.
This contribution is one in a series of solutions to the industry’s challenges as offered by female boating business professionals for the March 2008 issue of Boating Industry magazine. To view the article, Leading the way, including links to the entire list of solutions, click here.