Boating safety must be part of the sale
By Christopher Gerber, Associate Digital Editor
July 31, 2012
Filed under Chris Gerber
The news has been relatively good this year: a lot of dealers are sharing that they’ve had strong, if not record, seasons for boat sales and industry sales are rebounding for the first time in several years.
Unfortunately, so are boating accidents and deaths.
In addition to the recent high-profile boating deaths in New York around the Fourth of July, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Des Moines Register both reported a growing number of in-water accidents and deaths in their regions earlier this summer.
Recently, Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Sweet posed a question to Boating Industry’s LinkedIn Group to see what the rest of industry thought about the importance of pairing safety with the sale.
Without any dissent, everyone who commented agreed that safety is a mandatory part of boat ownership, and anyone who isn’t promoting safety could be missing out on a great marketing opportunity.
Boating Industry recently reported on the rise in boating accidents in 2012, which were attributed to lack of education, as well as alcohol use, by Gail Kulp of the Sea Tow Foundation. A large percentage of those accidents are due to uneducated and careless boaters. According to the latest boating statistics abstract from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, carelessness was the leading cause of reportable boating accidents in the state of Florida.
As Peter Eikenberry commented on the post on LinkedIn, “Of course you can’t do anything about stupidity, but you can about ignorance.”
Even if you didn’t sell the boat, providing boating safety classes, either free or by charging for one-on-one instruction, keeps you at the top of the customer’s mind and builds a relationship so they know who to go to when it comes time to replace or upgrade their boat.