boat showsshop talk

Customer service at boat shows.

First of all, I need to say how much I love reading BoatingIndustry.com. Today Jonathan Sweet, one of their writers/bloggers, came out with such a great article as a reminder for any readers in this industry.

An article from April 1965 stated what was wrong with the companies at a boat show which mostly talked about the disengagement of boat dealer employees to the buyers.

Reading that reminds me of a story.

My first show ever was the Miami International Show, right? I distinctly remember talking to this one company at their booth about some product and then [we] asked about a specific product that they carry. Their marketer was sitting at the booth and had absolutely no clue about that product.

With me having zero knowledge about what went on with boat shows at that time, I knew right then and there that someone like that should not be manning the booth (or at least alone). I walked away like, “Did that really just happen?” Then I texted my then boss and thanked him for giving me the knowledge that I did have, so that I wouldn’t end up in that situation.

Yes, everyone has to hire new employees as old ones move on, but to have basic knowledge of everything their company covers is very, very important. Say the top dogs who’ve been there for a while was busy with other customers, the new employees must engage and answer questions quickly enough to grab the customers attention before they give up and move to someone else. Think bait to fish, you need to tug on the line just a bit then reel it in after you’ve gained their full attention.

Back to the article by Boating Industry– two other blog entries written were about their individual reaction to going to a boat show. Some dealership employees were ignoring customers by constantly having their nose in their phones.

I personally haven’t experienced anything like that since Miami, but I know the more that I continue to go to the shows, the more I’ll see. To me, the bottom line is: that it is disappointing to see someone at the booth who has no clue about the company/industry/product. That’s bad business. It’s also bad business to not say a simple “hello” — at least you threw the line out there.

– Karen Maeby

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