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Sell More Boats to Women

Monday, August 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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For years, there have been studies that show women typically hold the purse strings in their families. But while almost everyone in the retail marine industry is aware of it, little has been done within the sales department to improve success among this group.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., marketing and consumer trends expert Kelly McDonald will outline strategies dealers can employ to sell more boats to women and their families. The author of two bestselling books, "How to Market to People Not Like You” and "Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You,” McDonald is a first-time presenter at MDCE and brings to the conference a wealth of knowledge about marketing to women and minorities through her work with companies like Toyota, Kimberly-Clark, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors, and Sherwin-Williams.

In her MDCE session, "Sell More Boats to Women,” McDonald will help dealers understand what influences women and motivates them to buy, and how retailers can best relate to women in the areas that are of greatest concern to them. Attendees will walk away from McDonald’s session with new insight into how women think, communicate, decide, shop, and buy, which dealers can use to increase closing ratios. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Sales Track.

"Families are a core market for most dealers,” says Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry, "and by better understanding how to sell the boating lifestyle to women, dealers can improve their closing ratios not only with families, but also couples and single women.”

Each of the 2014 MDCE educational tracks — Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Service Plus — features five sessions. The Sales Track includes sessions covering everything from McDonald’s advice on strategies to reach women in the boat-buying process, to maximizing profitability on trade-ins, new insight into customers’ buying decisions, techniques for turning F&I objections into opportunities, and ways of appealing to Millennial and Gen X buyers, among others.

"Because women are often the major household decision-makers, it’s critical that dealers understand how to appeal to women with their boat sales and marketing efforts — if they wish to thrive in today’s market,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "Kelly is an expert when it comes to reaching women buyers, and we are fortunate to have her sales and marketing expertise on tap for this year’s MDCE.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, MDCE featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, for a total of 615 marine retail professionals. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ annual conference and member meeting. As the marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, the MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. The MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features Pre-Conference Workshops, Opening and Closing keynote presentations, four tracks of educational content and 30 sessions in all. It will be held Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit


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