Working together can make things happen

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If you missed the announcement, the members of the Marine Trades Association of Metro Atlanta have apparently embraced the most-memorable line from the movie Network -- “I’m fed up and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Victimized by national publicity about Georgia’s water problems, 99 percent of the members of the MTA voted to begin spending $100,000 to promote Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona and other lakes in the Metro Atlanta Region. The promotion will begin immediately and run for the next 4-months, according to a Dealer Alert about the plan issued by MRAA yesterday.

“We want to get the word out in Georgia that we have water in our lakes and to come out to our dealers to check out new boats.” “We have a win-win solution to help promote our dealers and our lakes,” explained Bill Sommerfield, president of the MTA and vice president of Lazy Days Marina, Lake Lanier. In addition, this fall, Holiday Marina and JOA Marine are offering their dock space for a large in-water boat show for all MTA members.

The joint actions in Atlanta are just what is needed in these tough times. But Atlanta’s example isn’t unique. Here’s another:

Last weekend, downtown Cleveland was the site of a “Boating & Fishing Fest” built around Discover Boating demo rides. Three dealers -- Sima Marine (Eastlake, OH), South Shore Marine (Huron, OH) and Ivancic Marine (Cleveland) -- teamed up with their boats to take more than 1500 adults and children for Discover Boating rides. According to South Shore Marine’s Tom Mack, whose dealership is some 40 miles from Cleveland: “We believe its good business to offer people the chance to experience boating first-hand. So, rather than sit back at the store and wait, we’ll go out prospecting wherever we might make something happen.”

Just 3 weeks ago, MarineMax and Bass Pro Shops announced a joint promotion in markets where the two have stores. That promo is slated to run thru June 15.

The point of all this should be obvious.

For those who want to successfully get through the down market, aggressive actions and new thinking are in order. In these examples, dealers are closing ranks, ignoring areas of competitiveness and combining resources for mutual gain. If the members of the MTA of Metro Atlanta weren’t pulling together, or if the dealers in Ohio hadn’t combined for a big weekend event, no one could have done it alone.

Now’s the time for all dealers to look around, see the common ground and promote together for mutual success.

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