Gain an unfair advantage over your competition

Earlier this month we talked about the “Educational Spectrum of a Boat Buyer,” which explains that buyers in different stages of the process are interested in different types of information.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the left side of the spectrum to determine how best to capture these “Future Buyers” that your competition is ignoring.

We know those early in the process are researching but what are they searching for?

The answer depends on who you are trying to sell and what product lines you carry.

First-time boaters are looking for information to answer these questions:

  • How much does boating really cost?
  • Can I learn to operate a boat?
  • What storage options are available?
  • How much is insurance?
  • What type of boat is right for me?
  • Where do I buy my boat?
  • How do I know I’m buying the right boat?
  • Who can I trust? (By the way, almost no one trusts your marketing message or sales people)
  • Should I buy a boat, install a pool or take a vacation?
  • When is the best time to buy a boat?

(Side note: If you offer fishing boats, yachts, cruisers, used boats, brokerage boats, new boats, performance boats, etc., you need to figure out which questions your prospective buyers are trying to answer.)

Does this Sound Like Discover Boating?

This may sound a lot like the “Discover Boating” campaign which is true. The main difference is you want to only consider the PERFECT person for your dealership. When you make that change, the results are amazing.

Once you’ve figured out who your perfect prospect is and what information they are searching for, you can provide those answers. This can be done with a written report, video or even audio message.

Change the Entire Relationship with Your Prospect

Consider how this changes your relationship with your prospect. You’ve now gone from a salesperson wanting to sell them a boat to a provider of expert information. That is, a provider of expert information who is able to sell them on the benefits of boating in your area, and a provider of expert information who is able to teach them how to buy the right boat, the right way. It should go without saying that the “right way” is probably buying the boat from you.

The other benefit of this system is you’ve captured that prospect early. You can walk them through the buying process and build a relationship as they move through the educational spectrum.

Now imagine doing this in a simple and automated manner with minimal manual labor on your part and that of your sales staff – almost a set-it-and-forget-it system.

How will that relationship and sales process be different compared to the prospect that you meet for the first time at the boat show?

Who Else Wants Prospects that Are Easier to Work With?

I know from experience that the process is considerably smoother with the prospect that you have guided down the educational spectrum. They know you, like you, and trust you more than the prospect who sees you as a typical sales person.

Now, imagine you’ve been utilizing this system for a year, two years, or even five years when a majority of your buyers have come through this marketing and sales system? How would that affect your ease of sale? How would that affect your margins? How much more enjoyable will your business be?

The dealers I coach tell me it makes a world of difference, but there is one big catch to this whole system.

You must earn their loyalty, respect and business by providing an exceptional experience. f you do a poor job, are unethical or deceitful, this will back-fire. So, next month, I’m going to ask the question; “Why do you deserve to dominate your market?”

Matt Sellhorst is the author of “Marine Marketing Strategies” and Head Profits Coach at Boat Dealer Profits. He helps honest and ethical dealers and brokers implement powerful sales and marketing strategies that create more higher-margin boat sales and ultimately more profits for their dealerships, employees and families so they can enjoy the boat business and have a life.

For instant access to his free business building report, “The 5 Biggest Sales & Marketing Mistakes Boat Dealers (& Brokers) Make… And How to Avoid Them,” visit or call (803) 818-1984.

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