Sell the lifestyle, reap the profit

By Myril Shaw

When you sell a boat, you are selling a lot more than a product. You are selling a lifestyle.

About 99% of the time, people are not buying any of these products because they need them. They are buying them because they want them, because they have a vision of how much more they will enjoy their life. They are buying for future promise not current need.

The psychological motivation of making a purchase to better a lifestyle rather than one focused on sustaining or enabling daily life makes a huge difference in the conversations that you should be having with your customers – especially as they pertain to protective products.

So, you have a customer buying because they want to, because they want more fun, more relaxation, more enjoyment rather than because they need something to get to work or pick up their kid. How does that change the way they think, and the way that you should approach them for the protective products that you offer?

The difference is HUGE, and you need to appreciate it and benefit from it.

You actually have a big responsibility when you are selling into a lifestyle choice. It is not just about products, it is about what people will think about you.

When people buy a car to get to work and it breaks down, they blame the car and typically not who they bought it from. When someone buys a boat from you, and there is an issue, and you could have helped and did not, they blame you. You lost a customer…forever.

When you tell people how they can protect themselves from paying for a tow, from being stuck on the side of the road, from waxing their boat, from a tear in their seat…from a hurt to their lifestyle dream, one of two things will happen. They will take you up on your offer or they will actively turn you down. If they accept, they will either be lucky and never need any of the protections you offer…in which case they will never give it a second thought…or they will have a crisis and be so appreciative that you had the forethought to help them maintain the fun that they expected.

If you never offer the available protections and something happens, all you can do is hope that no one, not the service organization, not one of their friends, not an advertisement tells your former customer that they could have had protection and that you failed to offer it to them.

Your job, your obligation is to offer the customer the best that you can to protect their lifestyle enjoyment. That is simply part of the reason you get up in the morning. Your job, your purpose is to ensure that your customers enjoy the lifestyle that they are dreaming about. It means selling a complete lifestyle package.

Sell the lifestyle and you will keep a customer for life!

Myril Shaw is the Chief Operating Officer for Dealer Profit Services, and a member of the Top 100 Leadership Alliance. He may be reached at

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