Don't ignore your most important store

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It’s time to kick things up a notch.

Economists are talking about the “R” word. The Federal Reserve’s move to cut the rate by a half point may not derail the nation’s tumble towards recession as a result of the housing crisis. Even former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan says the central bank’s move may not be enough to move the glut of unsold newly constructed homes.

What do we, as an industry, do? We look at our businesses and do it better.

An industry colleague recently offered at least one tactic. Don’t ignore your most important store — the Internet. Some 76 percent of the customers start their search on their computer screens. They are hungry for information. They want to know about boats, how to finance, and where to service them.

Don’t stop there, says our colleague. Follow the lead. If they request information, don’t wait. Call, e-mail, and write that same day. Don’t pass it around. Don’t let dust gather. Don’t let them find another boat, another dealer or, even worse, another hobby. (We want more boaters, not RVers). This is the electronic meet-and-greet. Follow that lead as if you met them in person at a boat show, or a dealership.

Hey, a Web site isn’t going to change the economy. But, at the end of the day, a Web savvy dealer may move a few more boats, with just a little more effort.

JoAnn W. Goddard
Associate Editor
Soundings Trade Only

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