A new magazine that every dealer should get

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Miami Beach becomes the epicenter of industry sales activity starting today, with the opening of the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail, as well as the Yacht & Brokerage Show that stretches a mile along Collins Avenue. The big Detroit Boat Show also runs through this Sunday in the Motor City.

For these major shows, as well as smaller local shows around the country, expectations are running high that the improving boat sales picture we’ve seen thus far in the winter shows will accelerate.

By any measure, boat shows have an undeniable impact on retail sales. It’s fitting, then, that a new magazine called Boat Show Exhibitor has just been introduced, with an information-rich premiere edition. It’s the world’s only magazine dedicated solely to helping exhibitors realize the greatest ROI from their participation in boat shows, whether it’s a giant event like Miami or a small show in a local sports arena.

If the content in this first edition is any indication, every dealer should get on the subscription list now. For example, a feature article titled “To Go or Not to Go” takes a hard look at the question of exhibiting.

“Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic of exhibiting at shows,” says Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA, which publishes the magazine in cooperation with several other marine trade associations. “Yet this article captures valuable data and insights to tell the story of why boat shows truly are your ‘economic lifeline.’ ”

The magazine also includes articles like, “The Hand-Off,” dealing with the importance and how-to of anchoring a solid customer relationship; “Financing Finesse,” which describes methods of prequalifying buyers, as well as tips on sealing the deal; and a case study of a Bayliner Beach Party at a boat show, among other articles and tips for exhibitors.

To get the free magazine and the future quarterly issues (next one in May), register online at www.boatshowexhibitor.com.

Speaking of online, kudos to the Discover Boating marketing team for making the “Get Started in Boating” DVD available in streaming video at www.discoverboating.com. Converting the DVD to an online streaming version is another great step forward. Consumers who go to the website now have a choice — they can still request the mailed DVD or register to view it on the spot.

One more recommendation: Every salesperson in every dealership should be required to go to www.discoverboating.com and spend some time reviewing both the general information on the boating lifestyle and the specific information-rich areas of particular importance to them — i.e., if you sell fishing boats, spend time with all the fishing information. It can refresh knowledge, and there’s much a good salesperson can use.