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Dealers: Get in the boat!

I just spoke with a good friend and colleague, Dave Geoffroy, Executive Director of the Southern California Marine Association. I wanted to know how the opening weekend of his Los Angeles Boat Show had gone.

He had good news. The LA Show mirrored what’s been happening in many shows around the country. “We had a very good opening weekend,” he said, “and I’ve had several dealers come in and say the show has already topped their expectations. There is also a real enthusiasm on the show floor and I believe the momentum we now have will carry through next weekend,” he added. (The show runs Feb. 7-15.)

But as good as it was to hear the news about the LA Show, it was something else he said that really grabbed my attention. And, it merits sharing with all of you.

We were talking about dealer attitudes and the often-tough battle every one of us faces trying to remain upbeat and positive during times that want to knock us down.

Now, if you don’t know Dave, he ranks very high on a list of the most-optimistic people I know in this business. So, I finally asked him straight up: “What’s your secret to staying so fired up all the time?” I doubt I’ll ever forget his simple answer: “I go boating.”

There was a moment of silence. I was thinking: what did I expect him to say – he listens to Zig Ziglar tapes or practices some far eastern mind exercise? Finally, I said: “That’s it … you go boating?” “You got it,” he confirmed.

He went on to explain that, on average, he hits the water on three out of every four weekends. “As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “the best way to stay excited about our industry and what we do is to get in the boat! It renews the great feeling of enjoyment that boating gives. I often ask myself, how does a salesman effectively convey to a prospect the excitement of boating if he’s not experiencing it. So, I’m always encouraging our SCMA dealers to take get out on the water -- it’s a steroid for sales people,” he added.

Now, I’ve been in the marine industry for a long time. But I admit I never thought of encouraging all dealers to make it a point that they, and their sales team, go boating regularly when possible.

So, as soon as possible, borrow a page from the SCMA playbook As Dave puts it, first-person boating fun will definitely “pump you up!”?


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