Why was the sale lost?


A man stopped to watch a neighborhood Little League game. He asked one of the kids what the score was.

“We’re behind 18-0,” the boy answered.

“Well,” said the man, “I must say you don’t seem very discouraged.”

“Discouraged?,” asked the boy. “Why would I be discouraged? We haven’t come up to bat yet.”

When making sales seems tougher than it ought to be and when you’re possibly discouraged by your current score of boats sold, author Charles Frisbie wrote an article in 1957 that is just a pertinent today as it was back then. Titled “Autopsy of Lost Sales,” Frisbie suggested a list that salespersons might thoughtfully examine to find keys to turning the game around. Here are some of the best in no particular order:

▪ I didn’t know enough about the product

▪ I didn’t sell myself thoroughly enough (appearance, proficiency, manners)

▪ I didn’t plan my presentation well in advance

▪ I didn’t generate or exhibit enthusiasm for the product

▪ I didn’t use some good tools of my trade – testimonials, references, etc.

▪ I didn’t work to get the ice out of the price

▪ I made exaggerated claims and became unbelievable

▪ I kept my big mouth open too long

▪ I took too much time knocking a competitor’s boat

▪ I failed to touch each base. I should have presented all my strong points

▪ I wasn’t clear enough. I failed to put “plain” in “explain”

▪ I was an informational nudist – used fig leaf phrases to cover my lack of expertise

▪ I got into an argument – and won it

▪ I wasn’t a good closer – I didn’t know how to change “maybe later” into “yes now”

Frisbie also included a couple of extra bits of sales wisdom with which I have taken slight editorial license. They are:

In the words of a great old Greek philosopher: “The guy you don’t follow up don’t buy nothin’ ” . . . while an old wise Chinese proverb laments: “Boat salesperson who covers chair instead of taking action stays on bottom.”


Brunswick Partners with Carnegie Robotics

Through the alliance, Brunswick aims to enhance its autonomous technology offerings.

Nicole Vasilaros to Depart NMMA

The group credits the senior vice president of government and legal affairs for “countless contributions to the protection and expansion of the recreational boating industry.”

Site Unseen

A website is often the first interaction a customer will have with a dealership, but it must provide more than an online brochure or they will click elsewhere.

C.G. Amends Documentation Rules

Federally documenting a boat now must be done every five years, rather than annually.

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.

German Superyacht Yard Files for Bankruptcy

Nobiskrug cited a lack of orders, the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors in its decision to start the proceedings.

West Marine Acquired

The private-equity firm L Catterton will take a controlling interest in the retailer’s ownership.

Kicker Supports Two Events on Lake Havasu

The marine audio company will take part in the performance-boat events Super Cat Fest West and the Desert Storm Poker Run this weekend and next.

Bay Bridge Show Starts Tomorrow

The combined sail- and powerboat show runs through Sunday in Stevensville, Md.