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Latest News: MRAA's Annual Conference & Expo

Sell More to Tech-Savvy Boat Buyers

Tuesday, August 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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Today’s hyper-informed, tech-savvy boat buyers aren’t merely looking to buy products; they’re looking to buy experiences. If you’re not prepared to engage this new wave of Internet-junkie "researchaholics,” who are more informed than ever about your products and services when they first step foot inside your showroom, then you’re likely missing out on a plethora of potential sales.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., Mar-Kee Group co-founder and president David Martin will help attendees ready themselves for the coming influx of Gen X and Millennial buyers, as well as older generations increasingly taking advantage of new technologies, and find ways to appeal to them in today’s retail marketplace.

In his MDCE session, "Sales Strategies for the Hyper-Informed Customer,” Martin will help dealers understand who these hyper-informed boat buyers are, how they shop, what they want, and how to ultimately make them happy.

Attendees will walk away from Martin’s session with insight into how Gen Xers and Millennial buyers differ from previous generations and specific strategies for selling to them and other tech-savvy buyers. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 1 to 2:15 p.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Sales Track.

"During the past year, I’ve received several e-mails from dealers who are being challenged to successfully sell to today’s highly informed prospects,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. "Learning how to appeal to this growing group of boat buyers is key to dealership success and the future of the industry. That’s why we asked David to dig deep into the motivations behind their buying decisions during this session.”

Each of the 2014 MDCE educational tracks — Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Service Plus — features five sessions. The Sales Track includes Martin’s advice on appealing to buyers, as well as strategies on maximizing the profitability of trade-ins; influencing customers’ buying decisions; reaching women in the boat-buying process; and turning F&I objections into opportunities.

"In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to be able to relate to tech-savvy shoppers,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "David’s session outlines for dealers how best to approach these sales prospects and communicate with them on the level that they are most comfortable. The end result: Increased sales and repeat business.”

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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