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Old 06-01-2016, 10:11 AM   #21
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I've know many sales guys who hate having "too much" info available online. They want interested people to have to contact them...
I'm sure this is a big part of it, but it is an incredibly short-sighted and behind-the-times attitude. I have, in fact, heard boat brokers say that "serious buyers" want to talk on the phone, and come by in person, and not see all that much on the internet. WRONG!!! Not just wrong, but STUPID!!!

Especially in this day and age, most buyers--yes, even the most serious of buyers--want to use their time efficiently. That means narrowing down their decisions at their own convenience, in the comfort of their own home, on the internet. As time goes on, this is going to be more and more true. The under-thirty set already does most of their shopping via the internet. Heck! My 85-year-old father does a large percentage of his shopping on the internet these days.

No matter what business you are in, if you do not understand and fully utilize the capabilities of the internet, in the future you are going to LOSE! Companies that don't "get" this--and sadly, there are a lot of good companies out there that clearly do not--are going to be out of business in the very near future. And frankly, good riddance to them!
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:34 AM   #22
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I'm sure this is a big part of it, but it is an incredibly short-sighted and behind-the-times attitude. I have, in fact, heard boat brokers say that "serious buyers" want to talk on the phone, and come by in person, and not see all that much on the internet. WRONG!!! Not just wrong, but STUPID!!!

Especially in this day and age, most buyers--yes, even the most serious of buyers--want to use their time efficiently. That means narrowing down their decisions at their own convenience, in the comfort of their own home, on the internet. As time goes on, this is going to be more and more true. The under-thirty set already does most of their shopping via the internet. Heck! My 85-year-old father does a large percentage of his shopping on the internet these days.

No matter what business you are in, if you do not understand and fully utilize the capabilities of the internet, in the future you are going to LOSE! Companies that don't "get" this--and sadly, there are a lot of good companies out there that clearly do not--are going to be out of business in the very near future. And frankly, good riddance to them!
Think Borders. Yes, you remember them. They, as well as Barnes and Noble, said this online book thing Amazon had cooked up would never work. People wanted to walk through the racks and feel the books and flip the pages and then buy.

Now, online done well can reduce the number of tire kickers sales persons have to provide information to. It's much like qualifying the customer. They've looked online and now they want to talk. Far more likely to buy than the person who just called because they were curious and couldn't find the information online.

In retail, if I say I'm just looking and then someone continues to harass me as I try to do so, I leave. On the other hand, our policy is to always acknowledge the customer, ask if we can assist them, and then let them know they're free to look, but if they need any help just let us know. It increases their time shopping and increases their purchases. People like to shop at their own pace in their own way.

When it comes to boats, people love to window shop. But many then are serious potential buyers. It may be soon or years away. However, good web presence keeps them looking at you and your boats. I would say on average we've first contacted a live person a year to 18 months after first spending time on their web site.

Professionals like lawyers thought websites were beneath them. They learned that websites play a huge role in selection of lawyers. Even if one is personally referred, they go to a site to find out more before calling.

When customers visit your site, boat or otherwise, ask if they'd like to be added to your mailing list but don't force them. Make it known you'd love a chance to help them and where to call, but don't force them. Boats are not impulse purchases. The more they can learn from your site, the better off you are.

Times change. Victoria's Secret is discontinuing their catalog. The savings will be $150 million. They, much like Sears, were built through the catalog. The cost of printing and distributing fancy glossy multi page brochures to boat builders is considerable. The cost of letting someone access it online, very little by comparison. And, accessing online, it doesn't get thrown out accidentally or misplaced.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:15 PM   #23
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My wife and I looked at ours on line,good details,lots of pictures,
But, it didn't check this box or that box or even that one.

We got a terrific boat broker, he loved BOATS, being a broker allowed him to
spend his time with them.

On a trip to look at a couple of boats he asked if we had seen
Okisollo on the web page. Well yes,....But...
"If you have time would you like to look? She isn't what your'e looking
but..."
Of course, always look at boats, you never know where you'll find the
idea you needed for your project etc.(present or future).

Toured the vessel. This is beautiful. He says "Yes, but not what you want".
Agreed with him. He sat at the dinette with my wife, I re-explored end
to end. THIS IS A SHIP. He repeats ..".Not what... " etc Agreed

Two more trips......What can we change? What boxes can we dump?

We got the SHIP and are making the changes ...slowly..

Don't always trust just the web pages!!

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Old 06-01-2016, 03:20 PM   #24
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Yep. You know that kind of derisive phrase "tire kickers" gets on my nerves. My wife and I kicked a lot of tires in our search, but then we pulled the trigger on big boats twice now over the span of just a few years. There's a guy named Jason at Watergate Marina in St. Paul, MN. He dug through the snow with a ladder for us so we could climb under the shrink wrap on probably a dozen boats, spent a lot of time with us. We ultimately didn't buy one there, but when we found THE ONE, we bought it. Jason, wherever you are, you have the right attitude, and someday I'd love to buy a boat from you and hope you get a nice fat commission -- but if not from me, then from somebody.

Sure, some shoppers will just waste time and for some the shopping is an exercise in itself, but even for those people, you never know when an annoying, time-wasting shopper is going to become a buyer.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:23 PM   #25
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Yep. You know that kind of derisive phrase "tire kickers" gets on my nerves. My wife and I kicked a lot of tires in our search, but then we pulled the trigger on big boats twice now over the span of just a few years. There's a guy named Jason at Watergate Marina in St. Paul, MN. He dug through the snow with a ladder for us so we could climb under the shrink wrap on probably a dozen boats, spent a lot of time with us. We ultimately didn't buy one there, but when we found THE ONE, we bought it. Jason, wherever you are, you have the right attitude, and someday I'd love to buy a boat from you and hope you get a nice fat commission -- but if not from me, then from somebody.

Sure, some shoppers will just waste time and for some the shopping is an exercise in itself, but even for those people, you never know when an annoying, time-wasting shopper is going to become a buyer.
Can't ever guess who is going to become a buyer. The point was to say that the internet made a convenient way of looking at a lot up front. Then you go with the broker. But part of that process is reduced giving broker more time to assist when the time comes.

A website can answer a lot of minor questions one might have. It also allows the person who is a long time from purchasing a place to look, the person who thinks five years from now they might want a boat, but not sure if sail or trawler or speed.

All are potential customers but I shouldn't have to contact a salesman or broker to find out what the air draft is of a boat.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:12 AM   #26
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I do a lot of marketing and advertising work In the marine industry. My wife is the advertising director for Cruising Outpost magazine, and together we essentially act as an in-house advertising agency for many of the magazine's clients. I am continuously surprised that some fairly large and recognized national marine companies cannot afford to hire their own agency or graphic designers. I end up creating a lot of print ads for "free" for these companies. In some cases it's because they aren't very good at running a business (let alone marketing it) or their margins are so slim they literally can't afford to do what's needed. So many are still in survival mode.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:29 AM   #27
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I do a lot of marketing and advertising work In the marine industry. My wife is the advertising director for Cruising Outpost magazine...
Thread drift: we love Cruising Outpost! Charter members of the rebirth a few years ago and I have the baseball cap to prove it. Funny, irreverent, not always perfectly proofread. One of our favorites. Met Bob at the Newport Boat Show.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:37 AM   #28
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They want interested people to have to contact them...
Another key point in this that I forgot to mention before...

Note the phrasing: "They want interested people to HAVE TO contact them." Have to? They think that they can force a buyer to "have to" do what they want them to do?

WRONG!!! And, once again, not just wrong, but STUPID!!!

You cannot force the buyer to do anything. When you try to force them to deal with you on YOUR terms, they will just go to another seller who is willing to deal with them on THEIR terms. I mean, isn't that patently obvious? Completely self-evident? How can any business owner, or any sales person, be so stupid--in this day and age--as to think that they can force customers to do what they want them to do? And yet, there are a whole bunch of them out there who obviously are that stupid.

It really boggles the mind.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:54 AM   #29
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"In some cases it's because they aren't very good at running a business (let alone marketing it) or their margins are so slim they literally can't afford to do what's needed. So many are still in survival mode. "

Many of todays engine suppliers or noisemaker builders simply purchase the engine from its Mfg .

This causes price margins to stay slim as repair parts pricing can not be controlled by them.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:05 AM   #30
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When customers visit your site, boat or otherwise, ask if they'd like to be added to your mailing list but don't force them. Make it known you'd love a chance to help them and where to call, but don't force them.
Which makes me think of yet one more stupid way that companies misuse the internet...

Websites where you are forced to register before you are allowed to find out anything about the products, the prices, the availability, anything. Really? How long do you think Sam Walton would have been in business if, when he opened his first Walmart, he had stopped customers at the door and forced them to "register" before he allowed them to come inside? I'll tell you how long. About a day!

Heck! Even with Sam's Club stores now, you can come in and look around before you decide whether or not to join!

Yet, for some incredibly idiotic reason, a whole lot of businesses think it makes sense to block potential customers from their websites until after they have registered. It just really is amazing how stupidly some companies misuse the internet. And, again, in the very near future, companies who do not use the internet intelligently are going to find it impossible to compete.

(Can you tell this is one of my pet peeves?)
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #31
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Which makes me think of yet one more stupid way that companies misuse the internet...

Websites where you are forced to register before you are allowed to find out anything about the products, the prices, the availability, anything. Really?
And for those, we keep a couple of dummy email accounts that we never check the email on. Also, the names on those accounts are tailored to the purpose and while not obviously obscene do have underlying meaning. And phone numbers if required are bogus or to a recorded sex line or something.
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:15 PM   #32
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"Also, the names on those accounts are tailored to the purpose and while not obviously obscene do have underlying meaning. And phone numbers if required are bogus or to a recorded sex line or something"

Back in the day I would use a tracking middle initial for credit cards .

Same for mail tho DMMA can slowly get one out of the junk mail pile.

There was American Express , who would LIE and claim they never sold accounts name.

On leaving the Navy I decided Doctor was a good replacement for LT.

Amazing how much mail I got addressed to MD!!

The best of course are the clowns that say well we didn't share info, when you had an account , but when you left , TS!
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