Have you really earned the right for success in your boat business?

Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about the process your boat buyers go through, called the ‘Educational Spectrum,’ and how you can take advantage of your competition’ s lack of understanding by offering the ‘Researchers and Evaluators’ the information they are searching for already.

But as I wrote earlier, it could backfire on you if you don’t provide an exceptional experience. That leads me to the questions in the headline of this article: “Have you really earned the right for success in your boat business?

Strange question for an article on marketing and sales, no?

Actually, in my world it fits perfectly. I believe the better you run your business and the better experience you provide your clients, the better your sales and marketing results.

All too often, I mystery shop dealers around the country only to find dirty boats, dirty bathrooms, sales people who don’t engage (or don’t engage properly, but that’s an article for another time). These dealers then wonder why they are getting creamed by the competition down the road.

Because you don’t deserve success!

Yes, I know, it’s hard to keep boats clean, especially ones stored outside. Bathrooms are no fun to clean. And yes, you probably reduced your staff because of the economy. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

But, let me tell you something: if your boats are a dirty mess, you should be embarrassed and not surprised when prospects don’t buy—or at least negotiate you down to the last stinking penny.

Ok, so that’s stuff is easy to fix.

Ask someone who doesn’t work at your dealership to come in and walk your entire dealership. Give them a clip board and smart phone so they can make notes and take pictures of everything that needs to be cleaned, fixed, removed, etc.

Then make a plan to fix, remove or clean those items/areas, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly–whatever is needed to get it done. Keep a checklist so you don’t overlook them as time goes by.

Many of us have worked at the same location for years. Over time, we get tunnel vision and just don’t see all the things that need to be addressed. But your prospect with $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 or $500,000 to spend on your boats sees it, which makes your sales and marketing job harder.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Keeping a clean and neat dealership is really just what our clients expect these days. So, I ask the dealers in my coaching program, what can you do that will make you the obvious choice when it comes to buying the types of boats you sell?

In my book, ”Marine Marketing Strategies,” I call them Unique Selling Points. What can you do in your business that makes you the obvious choice?

What’s your answer?

Have you ever thought about it? Do you do anything truly different than the competitor across the lake?

And, please, please don’t answer, “Matt, we give great service!”

Really? What does that mean exactly? Do you think your competition says, “Hey, thanks for stopping by today. Just so you know, we give OK service here.”

No, everyone says they give great service. Don’t believe me? Go check out almost any dealer’s website. I’ll give out $100 bills to anyone who can find a site that doesn’t mention in some way or another that they have, “great service.”

Great service, best selection, best manufactures, best prices, best sales people are all PLATITUDES. These are meaningless generalities that create no value in the minds of your prospects, yet they are said as if they are persuasive and powerful.

So, you have to come up with something better than those platitudes and really make your dealership stand out. The dealers who do this the best aren’t always the biggest or fanciest but they do tend to have the highest margins in their area.

My challenge to you is to create a great answer to the question, “Why should you dominate your marketplace?”

Heck, if you want my feedback, email your answers to Matt@BoatDealerProfits.com, and I’ll give you a one-on-one strategy session to talk about your specific situation.

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 www.MattSellhorst.com or call (803) 818-1984.


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