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How to Easily Reconnect (one on one) with 30 to 40% of your Entire Database Before the Boat Show Season

by Vincent Finetti

Another Boat Show Season is around the corner. 

While boat shows can be very effective, they also tend to be one of the most expensive forms of marketing in the marine industry. Millions are wasted every year at boat shows. Expensive booths, costly travel, cleaning crews, boat transport, moorage and fancy marketing material.

I've spent the last 9 years traveling around the world to hundreds of boat shows in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia, North America and Australia. I've got a good idea of what works and what doesn't.

One of the first things to understand is that you can't expect to exhibit at a boat show and magically get sales on the spot. Let me explain:

There are 2 ways that you can make money at boat shows:

  1. Selling boats on site 
  2. Collecting qualified leads

Now the truth is direct boat sales at boat shows have declined significantly and are not what they used to be. The boater who used to come to a boat show to get a deal, put a deposit down, and leave with a key and order form for their new boat, is now more cautious by taking more time to check all the information online. 

Collecting qualified leads and using the boat show as a major milestone towards the final sale seems to be a much more effective way. 

So what can you do to maximize your show performance? 

Start with proper preparation. Boat shows are often organized last minute with poorly briefed staff and uninspiring stands. The easiest way to make it a success is by putting yourself in your clients' shoes. What type of experience would make them feel comfortable? Why would prospects want to come see you at the show rather than the other stands?

Instead of focusing on what you want to get from them, become obsessed with customer experience. I remember reading how Billionaire and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, always leaves an empty chair at the conference table stating that it's occupied by “the most important person in the room” – the customer.

Another one of the biggest mistakes in sales and marketing is the lack or poor quality follow-up. Your prospects are likely to have visited a large number of stands, so you'll for sure be forgotten very quickly. One way to overcome this issue is to follow up right after the show. Be creative and avoid the predictable mass email “thanks for visiting our stand, let us know if you need more info”. You can, for instance, send a written thank you card as it will have much more value than giving a brochure that will end up in the trash or send a follow-up email.

Be creative, unique, and surprise your clients. I remember reading the story of the Porsche dealership in Toronto that was using Google Street View to capture photos of customers' homes. They used Photoshop to add a Porsche in front of their driveway and sent them a beautiful postcard with the caption: "It is closer than you think!" Or the campaign by the private jet company Cessna, who sent pigeon carriers to their prospects address and asked them to release the pigeon if they wanted to receive an invitation to an event to discover their last Citation. This campaign generated two citation sales!

Now, if you go for the more classic method, the newsletter, be VERY careful! We have all heard it over and over again: "Email marketing is one of the most powerful tactics in digital marketing." Now here's the problem. Newsletter click and open rates suck and is not what it used to be a few years ago.  

How many of you send an email campaign to a few thousand people and just receive a few responses? 

According to MailChimp, the  Average Email Campaign Stats in Industry in transportation are at 20.69% Open rate and  2.17% click through rate. Mailchimp didn't even bother putting the stats for the response rate! Imagine sending 1000 emails and only 21 people click on your're lucky if 2 or 3 of them respond to you! 

So here is my question: Is it acceptable to send 1000 emails and get 2 responses?

Your customer database is your #1 business asset and you must find a more effective way to communicate and interact with your database. 

Now, it’s not the database itself that’s valuable, it’s the relationship with your database that’s the most valuable asset you own.

But how can you consistently communicate with your database in a valuable way to keep your relationship alive and healthy when sending a newsletter get you a .02% response rate on average? 

That's exactly what I am going to reveal to you on the August 23rd YBAA E-seminar.

Here are some of the things you will learn

- Why marketing methods like newsletters or email marketing are not working anymore and what you can do to reconnect with your clients.  

- How to generate a weekly flow of emails from hot prospects...without phone calls, advertising budget or any typical or traditional methods. 

- How to reconnect with to 30-40% of every prospect in your database. 

- The exact script and the perfect time to send emails that work and actually get a response! 


So don't miss the upcoming boat sales e-Seminar on August 23 that will be packed with lots of tips and techniques. I will also add bonus material for all the attendees

Note: Participation in this seminar will be worth 3 CPYB recertification credits.

Vincent Finetti is the founder and sales strategist at Yacht Sales Academy. He created the Academy to help boat brokers, boat dealers and boat builders sell more boats. He has more than 2000 boat sales professionals subscribed and over 360 enrolled students. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Boat Show Avenue & Prestige Vision Inc. 


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