Everyone in our industry is amped up for their area boat show and the possibility of new boat sales. I, for one, can’t wait to walk the show floor this weekend.
I was speaking with a source for an upcoming sales article in our March issue about whether or not boat shows are still an important selling tool. This source indicated that it was, even if it is a huge investment. They added that salespeople need to be on top of their game to get the return necessary, which means treating everyone who comes by your booth as a hot prospect.
I couldn’t help but get flashbacks to my first boat show experience. I realize that, as a younger woman (married, but) alone at the show, I don’t look like the picture of what a boat buyer is to most dealers. But when you are exhibiting at a boat show, it is an opportunity to show off your business to the world – including all of the people who would not normally walk through your front doors. And in the age of the Internet, few people walk through the door without having done prior research or making prior contact with the dealership.
Most attendees are not trade journalists. If they are at the boat show, they are definitely interested in the lifestyle. If they aren’t the main purchaser, they are at least a key influencer. These influencers will help the purchaser decide what kind of boat they want and who to buy from.
Make sure that, no matter who enters your booth or eyes your boats, you approach them with the same enthusiasm you would approach your typical buyer. It could go a long way in differentiating yourself from the pack.