Making the Sale: Boat Dealer Tips for Success

Making the Sale: Boat Dealer Tips for Success

Boat dealers have had a pretty good stretch over the past several years. Sales have been consistently high, units are at peak numbers in most markets, and prospects for the future are favorable. All in all, these factors constitute what would be called a “boom” in most industries.

And yet…it seems that there is still room for improvement. There is always one more goal to reach, one more level to aspire to. And for your clients, this often means improving their sales records.

There are other reasons why boat dealers should constantly strive to reach the next level of success. As good as things may be now, there is no way of knowing when they may take a sudden downturn. Even a slowdown can be disastrous for a business. And with factors such as extreme weather conditions, economic turmoil, and COVID-19 hanging over everyone’s heads, it is vital to always keep one step ahead of the curve.

Methods for closing sales successfully

There are many different strategies that boat dealers can employ to help ensure continued success. Methods vary from dealership to dealership and specific times of the year. But some factors remain constant in the quest for a healthy inventory turnaround and increased sales. These include:

  1. Generating quality leads
  2. Leveraging leads into face-to-face encounters
  3. Converting encounters into actual sales

Out of all these, generating quality leads is perhaps the most important part of the equation. As most of your clients will tell you, getting quality leads is the first step toward meeting their sales goals. Without leads, most will not be able to do so‒it’s as simple as that.

Characteristics of quality leads

This brings up the question: what makes for quality leads? There are many factors to consider, including location, the state of the market, customer buying power, and sales objectives, among others. But quality leads generally have the following characteristics:

  1. They are local to the dealership
  2. They consist of customers with the financial capability to purchase
  3. They are interested in your clients’ inventory
  4. They plan to buy a boat in the near future (one to three years)

The fourth characteristic is especially crucial, as it has the most potential to convert to actual sales. As your most successful clients will tell you, the most profitable leads tend to be those that they generate early on while performing their research. In most cases, these usually have the highest likelihood of converting into high-margin sales.

Dealing with flaws in the lead generation process

Your clients need to take stock of their lead generation efforts and figure out key areas for improvement. They can usually determine this by answering these questions:

  1. Did they capture all potential leads?
  2. Did they enter these leads into their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System?
  3. Did they consistently gather all the necessary customer information and enter them into the CRM?
  4. Were all leads‒whether from online sources, manufacturers, websites, and social media‒ entered into the CRM for efficient tracking and follow-ups?

These steps are crucial for making the most of the leads that come your clients’ way. If even a single of these steps is neglected, it should be addressed so that the sales team can fully use the opportunities that lead generation provides.

With many dealerships, the issue isn’t so much that there aren’t enough good leads coming in. The quality leads are there in many cases, but they aren’t being captured and taken advantage of effectively. Before your clients invest any further in their lead generation strategy, it might be worthwhile to ensure that every effort is made to capture every lead.

What if lead generation is the problem?

Of course, the issue may lie with the lead generation process. If that is the case, your clients can use this strategy to generate interest in their inventory:

  1. Get on Facebook Live from their dealership page. Ideally, this should be done every day the store is open, preferably at the same time every day.
  2. Choose a specific boat for sale and present it to the Live audience as if they were physically present. They could also use this opportunity to speak directly to prospective buyers.

If your clients don’t have a sizable following on Facebook, it may take some time before they can attract a suitably large audience. But as the word spreads, more and more people will join in and hopefully increase the possible leads your clients can work with.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.