The No. 1 non-technical way to win with your website

Let’s continue our conversation about winning dealership websites from last month, but first, let’s test your football knowledge:

Do you know what the probability of an NFL team scoring when their starting field position is inside their own 20 yard line? How about starting around mid-field? In the red zone (inside the opponent’s 20 yard line)?

I’ll share the answers shortly but first another question:

What if you considered your relationship with a prospect as a drive in football? The relationship starts at the one-yard line and a profitable sale is 99 yards away in the end zone. How far down the field will your prospect move by visiting your website?

Is there any salesmanship in the copy that would build value? Is there any persuasion in the video content? How about any trust building or relationship building that separates your dealership from your competition? Do you have calls to action that would allow a prospect to move down the ‘Educational Spectrum of a Boat Buyer’… or in football terms, move them closer to the goal line of the sale?

Let me demonstrate with a quick story about how this could work:

A few years ago, a client sent me a video telling the story of a sale they made at the Savannah Boat Show. He said it was unbelievably easy. The prospect walked in and said, “I want that boat.” No negotiations, just a deposit. At delivery the boat buyer told the owner that he came to the show specifically to see that dealer and to buy that boat from them because of the video he saw on their website.

The video he was referring to was a simple video we helped the dealer create that’s main purpose is to build trust and value in the dealership and pre-position prospects to be more likely to buy a boat when talking with their well-trained sales team.

That’s an example of a website helping move the prospect down the field and increasing the likelihood they will turn into a higher margin boat sale.

So, why does it matter? Consider the NFL stats of starting field position. Starting inside your 20-yard line there is only a 3 percent chance you’ll score. When you start at mid-field, it jumps to a 25 percent chance of scoring. And, starting inside your opponent’s 20-yard line, you’ll score 66.6 percent of the time.

On your website and often overlooked, it’s the value of the message delivered via the words, videos and images the prospect sees before deciding to walk in your showroom, or, if they will walk in your showroom at all.

Most website providers have the expertise on the tech side and leave the messaging in the hands of you the boat dealer. Think about the last time you revamped your website. How much time was spent on the tech side, the look and feel of the site? Then, how much time was spent on creating truly powerful and persuasive messaging?

So, how do you begin crafting persuasive messages of your website? To get the ball rolling, we ask why should someone buy a boat from you versus any and every other option, including not buying a boat at all. If your site answers this question in a clear, concise and powerful manner in the copy and on videos, you’ll be well on your way to improving your starting field position with your prospects.

This month’s challenge:

Create a clear and concise answer to the question “Why would someone buy from you versus any and every other option available?” Send me your answers and I’ll send you a little gift package that includes my book and a few other goodies.

Matt Sellhorst is the founder of Boat Dealer Profits Marketing Agency and author of the only business building book for the retail boating industry, “Boat Dealer Profits; How the SPLASH System can help you sell more boats, make more money and have more fun.” Claim your free copy at 


  1. Hi Matt, Thanks for the article on website selling and the art of persuasion. Every now and then I need a wake up call and should rethink the advertising and web page content. Unfortunately I do not sell boats (but would like to, but do not have the confidence or knowledge to do so), I do sell dockage, storage, service and repairs. I try to point out the location, timely service and do it right repairs and service. I do need some cooperation from the employees and i don’t seem to get it from them, I try to be nice and polite but they are rude and cold towards me, any ideas how to change that? Yours truly, Jean

  2. Matt. Thank you for the article, very helpful. Would love to know what websites you feel are great examples of this in the industry. Would you be able to email some?

    Thank you.

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