calling boat dealerships

Keep connections with boat clients and prospects strong throughout the boating season and off-season with these call campaign tips for your boat dealership

It’s proven that all of the top successful boat dealers across the world agree that staying in touch with your customers is crucial. Yet, how do you call them without annoying them?

Finding a reason to call them without seeming bothersome can be very tough and a challenge on its own. Luckily for you, we have the answer! The most important rule is to NOT call with a sales pitch every time.

Below you will find 5 campaign ideas that have proven to be effective for boat dealerships.



1. Boat Shows have a big impact on most dealerships success.

Come boat show time, dealers spend thousands of dollars to be unique and different from other dealers that are attending in order to take full advantage of sales.

One very unique and effective way for dealers to be in a league of their own is to contact their customer database prior to the show. This has proven to be successful because you can identify your customers’ needs and find serious buyers prior to the boat show; Setting yourself apart as the dealership that went the extra mile to call, thank, help, and invite.

Reaching out to your customers to invite them out to your boat show, makes them want to stop by your booth to say hello. This can potentially lead to a sale and further improve your chances of closing the customer.

2. Having a pre-boat show or an in-house show is another great way to produce additional off-season sales.

The best way around this is to host your own in-house boat show. This way you know your customers are in your store and talking to your sales guys, which will greatly increase the chances of a sale since there is no competition around.

Even if they don’t decide to make a purchase that day, you can offer them tickets to the boat show and give them time to ponder the decision over. Now that they’ve been into your store and received a ticket to the show, they feel obligated to visit you once the boat show comes around.

3. Buying cycles and customer behavior varies from customer to customer.

Some customers are impulse buyers, some wait ‘till the weather gets warm, and others like to plan ahead and buy in the winter so they’re ready for a successful boating season.

Calling your customers who haven’t made a purchase during the off-season can often lead to finding a customer or two who are planners and want to buy before the summer starts. Don’t sit around during the off season thinking no one will buy a boat. Stay in touch with your customers and stay top of mind.

4. Some service departments can be slow during winter, yours doesn’t have to be.

Winter can sneak up on your customers and before they know it, their boat can be uncovered, damaged, and buried under snow. Be the dealership that reaches out to them prior to this happening. Something as simple as a Winterization Campaign can help increase not only service and parts, but also sales.

One of the most important factors when calling a customer is having a reason to call. Sometimes the customer either forgets or is too busy to reach out and get their boats prepared for winter, here is where calling your customer helps! Not only are you doing a friendly call to check in on them and see if they are prepared for winter, but you can potentially book them over the phone for an appointment to get their boat serviced. At worst the customer appreciates the thought of the call and will keep you in mind for the next major service or purchase.

5. Hosting an event during your off-season is a great way to market your dealership.

Business can be slow at times, reducing the traffic and sales you normally receive. This is where your dealership can host an event. It can be an enthusiast get together, a wine and cheese event at the dealership, or it can be something entirely different like sponsoring a community golf event. The goal is to market the dealership to those who aren’t necessarily thinking about boating during the off-season.

Creating an event brings your customers together and gives them a chance to discuss their upcoming plans for the next year and that new boat they’ve been eyeing. Hosting an event that doesn’t cost much money to your dealership like a wine and cheese event gives current customers and prospects a reason to bring the family down and check out the new released models.

If one boat is sold because of that event it has just paid for itself. In addition, it plants the seed that may sway their decision in upgrading as the boating season approaches.




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Amir Danaei

Amir is the Co-Founder of Marine Dealer Solutions (MDS) and has over 15 years of experience in the Automotive and Marine industries. He has directed large business development based technology solutions with a human touch. He is an accomplished innovator of technology solutions and BDC strategies that have generated over $100 million in incremental retail revenue for MDS’s clients over the past three years.

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