Successful business owners agree that staying in touch with customers is extremely important. However, finding a reason to call them without seeming bothersome can be challenging. The most important rule is NOT to call with a sales pitch every time.
These are 5 campaign ideas that have proven to be successful for boat dealers.
1. Boat Shows are a crucial part to any boat dealerships success.
Dealers spend thousands of dollars to stand out from the crowd in the hopes of maximizing sales. One unique way for dealers to separate themselves from the pack is to contact their customer database prior to the show. This accomplishes multiple goals: You can figure out your customers’ needs prior to the show, while also setting yourself apart as the dealership that went the extra mile to call, thank, help, and invite the customer. This creates a sense of obligation on the customers’ behalf and they feel the need to stop by your booth which can often lead to first chances at a sale.
2. Hosting a pre-boat show is another great way to generate more off-season sales.
Some dealers choose not to invite their customers to the boat show for the reason that once the customer gets there it is out of the dealers hands. The customer now has multiple dealerships, brands, and types of boats to choose from. One way to maintain contact with your customers while inviting them out is to hold your own pre-boat show event. This gets them into your store and drastically increases the chances of a sale. Even if they don’t decide to pull the trigger at that time, you can offer them tickets to the boat show and give them time to mull the decision over. Now that they’ve been into your store and received a ticket to the show, they’re more likely to visit you once the boat show comes around.
3. Every customer has a different buying time and nurturing pattern.
Some prefer to impulse buy during the boat show, some just as summer is hitting, and others like to purchase during the winter to ensure they’re ready for a successful boating season. Calling your customers who didn’t purchase during the summer to check in during the off-season can often lead to finding a customer or two who can dictate a winter month. As we all know, avid boaters love nothing more than discussing just that, boating. If a typical dealership generates roughly one thousand leads such as walk-ins, phone-ins, and email, between March and August it can often become a daunting task for the sales staff to keep up with all of them.
4. Service departments can slow down during the winter.
Customers are looking for ways to save on their boat and typically hunt for the cheapest price from a local mechanic or even resort to doing the work themselves. 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. Calling the customer to offer a Winterization or off-season service special is a great way to keep up with your customers who always love an incentive to getting them into your shop. This often leads to an up-sale by the service department and can even turn into a potential upgrade on a boat. At worst the customer appreciates the thought of the call and will keep you in mind for the next major service or purchase.
5. Events are always a good way to market a dealership during the off-season.
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 individuals who aren’t necessarily thinking about boating at that exact time. Creating a boating event brings boaters together and gives them a chance to discuss their upcoming plans for the next year, and hopefully the new boat that they may have purchased or been looking at. Hosting an event that doesn’t cost much like a wine and cheese event gives current customers and prospects a reason to bring the family down and check out the new models that were just released! If one boat is sold during 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.