What motivates first-time boat buyers?

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Grow Boating and the MRAA released the second in a three-part free e-learning series that targets first-time buyers. The third part is scheduled to be released at MRAA’s Dealer Week in December. Are you registered for this new conference?

Grow Boating and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas just launched the second in a three-part series of e-learning sales courses, and dealerships should require every member of their sales teams to take it.

“Selling to First-Time Boat Shoppers’ Motivations” is the latest course in the educational series. It transforms the essential research on first-time boat buyers done by the national Discover Boating campaign into education, tools and resources that can help dealers and employees provide a customer experience that leads to more sales now and in the future.

Taught by leading dealership trainer Jim Million, the course provides specific guidance on how to identify what motivates prospects and customers, and how to use the information they’ve gathered about the prospective buyer to provide an outstanding shopping and purchase experience. Such learning becomes even more imperative when one understands that research shows 70 percent of first-time boat buyers take less than a year to move from the “desire stage” to the “do stage.”

“To grow boating, and ultimately boost sales, businesses must continue attracting and retaining first-time boat buyers,” says Grow Boating president Carl Blackwell. “With educational resources like these focused on this segment, dealers will be better equipped to lead shoppers on a customized path to purchase. That’s why Grow Boating has teamed up with MRAA to offer educational programming that is grounded in sound research about this critical audience. The sales team will come out of this e-learning course with a clear understanding of the first-time boat buyer, as well as applicable takeaways to provide the best experience for these shoppers.”

Not an MRAA member? You don’t have to be. This series is available free to any dealer. However, if you’re not an MRAA member, I have to ask: Why not?

MRAA unites marine retail businesses and provides opportunities for improvement and growth. If you’re a dealer you should become an member.

Liz Walz, MRAA vice president, sees the value in this latest course. “Salespeople who take this course will be better armed to build a strong rapport with first-time boat shoppers,” she says. “That will lead to better relationships, more sales and higher customer loyalty, which is a win for the salesperson, the dealership, the customer and this industry.”

Missed the first course? No problem. “Understand and Guide the First-Time Boat Shopper” is available here, along with “Selling to First-Time Boat Shoppers’ Motivations.”

Dealer Week

If you haven’t confirmed plans to attend MRAA’s new Dealer Week in Tampa, Fla., now is the time. While the final part of the e-learning series, “Tools to Turn First-Time Boat Shoppers into Buyers,” is to be unveiled at Dealer Week, there are many other reasons to head to Tampa , Dec. 8-11.

It’s MRAA’s 43 annual conference, and it will be a profoundly new event experience designed to engage, energize and empower boat and engine dealers. It’s being held in the beautiful Convention Center, which fronts directly on Tampa Bay, adding in-water exhibit possibilities that did not exist in previous conferences.

MRAA has invested more than two years in designing and building Dealer Week, researching and studying conference experience trends and solidifying a foundation that can deliver real-world value and impact. “We’ve designed Dealer Week so dealers of all shapes, sizes and levels of sophistication can engage in a rewarding learning experience that will make their businesses stronger,” says MRAA presidnt Matt Gruhn. “Everything we’ve built into this reimagined event is on a foundation of maximizing the impact that Dealer Week can have for the marine industry.”

MRAA has announced a great lineup of keynoters, sessions and educational covering the latest marketing techniques, new business solution, and new revenue possibilities to bring home. The complete education schedule is here.

Finally, Tampa International Airport is ranked second-best in America. Its hotels are pleantiful and reasonably priced. The downtown entertainment areas, from Channelside and the Riverwalk to Sparkman’s Landing and Ybor City, will reveal dining expeiences to meet every taste.

And, in a word, the weather in Tampa in December is: sunny!

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