Nov 15, 2021

Andy AdamsKeep talking

With the shortages of all kinds of products so broadly spread across the industry, from replacement parts to whole boats, we are sensing a reluctance on the part of many dealers and marine businesses generally, to advertise to their customers. It’s as though we are afraid to let anyone know our cupboard is bare.

I understand the fact that without products to sell, there is no margin to pay for the advertising, but it’s important to keep talking.

Especially in today’s very fortunate situation where so many new boaters have bought in, reaching out and communicating with all your customers, especially the novices, has tremendous long-term value. Building an open line of communication keeps them involved and engaged with boating and with your business.

We’re about to have both the Boating BC Conference and the Boating Ontario Conference where there will be a strong focus on customer retention. Keeping your customers engaged with you and your business doesn’t have to be a huge exercise, or an expensive one. Simply communicating boating information of general interest can be quite beneficial to your relationship.

For example, tell new boaters about educational resources that are available to them. Think of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and all of the courses that they offer through the winter. It’s easy to find www.cps-ecp.ca on the Internet and the home page offers courses that should be of interest to everyone and especially to new boaters.

Let them know what’s happening at your business. Are important new products coming in for the spring? Are there things happening in your area that would be of interest? This could be information about fishing, navigation in the area or environmental stories just to name a few subjects. Your customers might find it really refreshing to get interesting information that doesn’t try to sell anything.

You don’t have to sell something to justify the cost of an email. It’s a spectacularly inexpensive way to talk to your customers to keep them engaged and you probably have a list of all your customers.

Especially for new boaters, it can be tremendously supportive for our industry to reach out to them and maintain their interest before they start going back to their old ways and spending thousands every year on Disneyland, Caribbean cruises and other expensive vacation pursuits. Let’s keep them all in boating!

I hope to see you at the conferences. There will be a lot of really valuable information this year!

Andy Adams - Editor

 

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