Bloody Sunday

I pride myself in being a boater “without benefits.”
It allows me to witness the boating experience first-hand with the clarity that our consumers see it. And let’s be honest: It’s not always pretty.
Take the service experience, for example. I recently was in need of service on a family vacation. It wasn’t just your typical family vacation, mind you. It was an annual, winner-take-all, bragging-rights-for-a-year, father-sons fishing tournament. Losing isn’t fun. And my eye was on winning that ever-elusive traveling trophy.
Then my boat broke down. On a Sunday. And guess what? Many boat dealers aren’t open on Sunday. Or Monday for that matter. So day two and day three of our three-and-a-half-day fishing vacation were taking on water fast.
Is it just me or is it absurd that boat dealers are closed on Sunday?
If it’s not absurd to you, please fill in the blank in the following
sentences for me. The two days of the week that see the most boating activity are: Saturday and ___________. And NMMA, President Thom Dammrich says Grow Boating aims to change the two best days of a boater’s life from the day he bought the boat and the day he sold it to: Every Saturday and Every ____________.
If you answered Sunday, you’re either not a dealer, or you’re one of the few dealers who realizes that running a service-oriented business requires that you stay open when your customers need you most. As an enthusiast with a 20-year-old boat, I understand the aches and pains of needing service. Just recently, my steering system seized. And in my pursuit to get back on the water inside of the dealer-quoted four-to-six-week wait time, I thought I’d take a crack at replacing it myself.
Now, as a father of two with many more obligations than hours of free time, there aren’t many opportunities where I can go stand in line at the dealership. Saturday and Sunday are about my best bet. And when the boat breaks down on Saturday, which day is left for me to get the parts? The same day you’ll find me in church praying that I’ll find a dealer who wants my business.
There are many topics like this that divide the opinion leaders in the dealer community. The topics and their respective opinions also oftentimes serve as the dividing line between the successful and the not-so-much. In this issue, we’re weighing in on a few of these topics ourselves. Because what sets the best businesses apart from the also-rans is typically the way they execute the little things. And they are, seemingly, little things — like hours of operation — that differentiate one business from the next. They are the decisions that truly help grow your businesses and grow boating.
FYI, I got around my boating hassle when an “off-duty” dealer sales person pointed me to the local auto store for help. Where do you send your business on Sundays?

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