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Boarding boats at shows

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Old 01-07-2006, 05:22 PM
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Default Boarding boats at shows

With our Bham show coming up I would welcome some opinions on a problem we face every year. How do you control the crowds that want to board expensive boats? Most have no intention of buying but I have no way to know who is a serious prospect. Many feel if they pay $9 to get in the show they have the right to board our 300-400K boats and I understand that,but if I have steps to the back of a 370SS the lines get so long I cannot show it to a real prospect,not to mention wear and tear.I have tried all kinds of methods over the years,Boarding by appt signs,please see a salesman before boarding signs,moving the steps back,signs that say boat is sold,please respect new owner,etc,etc. Every year I make a few people mad,which I don't want to do,but I want to protect my boats from the lookers with the kids and the cokes and the popcorn that just want to board with no thoughts of buying ,plus have privacy to show boats to serious prospects.Most of you attend shows,share your thoughts on a very difficult and sensitive subject. Robert
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Good luck ! I used to help a friend at shows & that was always a problem !
I think the real buyers understand when you qualify them first tho..
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:43 PM
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Arrow Re: Boarding boats at shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicfloat
With our Bham show coming up I would welcome some opinions on a problem we face every year. How do you control the crowds that want to board expensive boats? Most have no intention of buying but I have no way to know who is a serious prospect. Many feel if they pay $9 to get in the show they have the right to board our 300-400K boats and I understand that,but if I have steps to the back of a 370SS the lines get so long I cannot show it to a real prospect,not to mention wear and tear.I have tried all kinds of methods over the years,Boarding by appt signs,please see a salesman before boarding signs,moving the steps back,signs that say boat is sold,please respect new owner,etc,etc. Every year I make a few people mad,which I don't want to do,but I want to protect my boats from the lookers with the kids and the cokes and the popcorn that just want to board with no thoughts of buying ,plus have privacy to show boats to serious prospects.Most of you attend shows,share your thoughts on a very difficult and sensitive subject. Robert

There was a company who gave out disposable booties that slip over shoes...you can never have enough booties either..
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

NO SHOES, NO KIDS!

I know post a sign that reads


"Buyer on Board" Then say sorry a guy is on there buying it now
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicfloat
....Many feel if they pay $9 to get in the show they have the right to board our 300-400K boats and I understand that ...
$9.00 !??? For that price you should only be able to snap a couple pictures! NYC is $15 now there is where you should get to trash the $300K boats, use the toilet, flip all the cool switches, spend the night in the cabin even, if it gets late.

Seriously though, tough call Magic, just look for the guys with the Rolexes and the gals with diamonds, fake boobies and little dogs under their arms
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Tough balance. I think the stairs up to look at it with a no boarding sign works well. And stairs going down to keep the flow of traffic up. Have salsemen on the boats or next to to keep the flow moving and asnwer questions from perspective buyers. Real buyers will also know not to go during peak time. I got an idea of what i wanted from shows and if the dealer in attendance was local and had free time wed go over the boat, if not then saw the boats at dealerships later.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

NO SHOES

NO CHILDREN

NO BOARDING WITHOUT A SALESPERSON

NO FOOD OR DRINKS


....is what our signage says.....and we still have people argue about all four points....." WE PAID TO GET IN SO WE CAN GO AND DO WHATEVER WE LIKE "
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Put a greeter on the back of the boat to control traffic and limit the number of people on board at any one time. They can also ensure that nobody has food or drink and shoes are off. Also if you have somebody serious, they can close the boat to give the sales person time to work their client.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

The no children part is really tough. One of my best customers is a very wealthy doctor with 4 young kids,they come every year and no way would I tell him no kids.But I know who he is,I don't know so many of the others that have kids and may or may not be wealthy and serious. The sign that worked best last year was "This boat is sold,please don't board",and when I would determine someone was a valid prospect,we would board. But I'm somewhat uncomfortable with that since it is not really true.I know many dealers that take a hard line,but I don't want to do that.The wear and tear is no big deal,I can always give an additional discount as a show boat. It's the lines and the crowds that freak me out.Last year we had a real buyer show up,I knew he was coming to buy,and the boat was covered up with people. Made some of those in line mad when I closed the steps,but sometimes there is no good solution.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Just a boat owner here....not a salesman but.....This is one of the reasons I don't go to as many shows as I used to. I'm only at the shows to check out the new stuff from the performance boat makers and there are ignorant people and their kids trampleing all over the place, Getting into the cabins and messin' with everything....rammin' the doors open and walking all over things....would drive me crazy!! The sign and a 2 sided staircase seem to be the best way around this problem. If someone is serious enough they will come to you or another salesman...........then they can board. Good Luck
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