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Make Bank on Trade-Ins at MDCE 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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Accepting a trade-in for a new boat purchase can help dealers win more business; however, it can quickly turn from financial gain to strain without the right trade-in process. With more consumers trading in used boats to buy new these days, it’s increasingly important for dealerships to adopt strategies that protect their bottom line.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., veteran marine industry trainer, business consultant and 20 Group facilitator David Parker will help attendees build a transaction process that’s less stressful for customers and staff, and enhances profits for the dealership. The typical customer thinks that his or her trade is worth more than the dealer can afford. This process provides a way for the customer to accept a more realistic value for their trade-in.

In his MDCE session, "A Trade-in Process to Boost Your Margins,” Parker will guide dealers in how to value a boat correctly amidst the current economic conditions and use a trade-in appraisal form to manage customers’ expectations. Attendees will walk away with a sample trade-in appraisal form that takes the guesswork out of handling trade-in transactions and simplifies the process for everyone involved. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Sales Track.

"With a solid trade-in process in place, used boats can deliver much higher margins than new,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. "The trade-in experience also can have a big impact on customer’s buying experience. But it’s easy to lose focus on used boats when new models are selling well. That’s why we are so thrilled to have David tackle this topic at MDCE.”

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

"With a half century of boating industry experience under his belt, including years spent in his family’s dealership, there are few people who have as much industry knowledge as David to share with MDCE attendees,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "If you’ve met him, you’ve also probably witnessed the passion for helping marine dealers succeed that he brings to his consulting firm, Parker Business Planning. We are fortunate to have David return as a speaker at this year’s conference.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever featured, 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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