How will you handle a slow down in demand?

By Matt Sellhorst

As a dealership owner or marketing expert, are you monitoring Google Trends for “Boats for Sale” or “Your Style of Boats for Sale.”

This can be an outstanding tool for seeing demand trends in the industry and it’s obviously slowing. We knew this would happen, the question is, how will you and your team respond?

With this question in mind, here are five areas to focus as conditions get back to more normal conditions.

1. Generating leads

Over the past two years, lead generation has been simple. Put out some inventory listings and you were flooded with buyers from all over the country. In 2023, a more creative lead generation plan will be necessary.

2. Following up with current leads

The past several years should have filled your CRM potential buyers. These leads are a fantastic source for new high-quality sales opportunities. Getting on the phone, sending bimonthly newsletters (or e-zines as my clients call them) and even digital ads to re-target them.

3. Using video in your process

With virtually no inventory over the past year, it’s required some creativity to release consistent videos. If you’ve been reading this column over the past five years, you know videos are becoming more and more important each and every year. From boat walk-arounds to sales videos to service videos and live videos, ensure that videos are a part of your game plan.

4. Delivering an outstanding experience

There have been some customer service challenges with inventory delays, quality control issues and communication issues all over the place, and the boat buyer has suffered. Going backwards to ensure your past clients are all taken care of and focusing on delivering an outstanding experience from lead to sales to delivery to ownership is going to become even more important for success in 2023.

5. Generating online reviews

Once you’ve delivered an outstanding experience, ensure all those researching online are aware of the incredible experience you deliver. Also, check your reviews to ensure someone that had a poor experience is addressed and responded to in a positive way.

This month’s challenge:

Put a rough outline of those things that have been overlooked, planned but not implemented or slipped through the cracks during the past two years of running 100 miles per hour. Then, over the next 90 days, start checking them off the list so your positioned for a positive 2023 regardless of how demand continues to trend. 

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

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