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View Full Version : Atlanta Boat Show - a different perspective



wolfeman131
01-18-2011, 10:50 AM
At the 2010 Atlanta Boat Show, I thought the Atlanta Marine booth was overwhelmed with people so I asked them if I could help out this year at the 2011 Atlanta Boat Show. They took me up on my offer and I’m very thankful they did as I had a fantastic time. Sorry for the long read below, but I wanted to share my experience with you all.

The show start time was pushed back on Thursday due to the snow & ice that fell in Atlanta last week. I debated on going at all, but decided to venture downtown since I had free access to the show. I figured it would be slow and afford me the opportunity to hang out in all of the booths and be able to check out all of the boats. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.

As I walked into the booth I asked, “What can I do?” In quick order I was handed a towel and some quick wax to give the boats a final wipe-down. It was then a scramble to get brochures stickered with the dealership name and contact info. The customers hit next and hit hard. I guessed many had “cabin fever” from being stuck at home for 3 or 4 days. It was non-stop talking about Supras & Moombas from 3:00 pm until almost 10:00 pm. It was an extremely fun experience and a huge rush when I was able to work with a young couple who ended up putting a deposit on a 2011 LSV.

When I got home, I sent the folks I had spoken with a “Thank You” email and contact info if they had additional questions. I grabbed a few hours sleep then was back on the road for the 10:00 am opening on Friday. The day started the same with a rush of prep activity and then the crush of people. It was non-stop activity from opening until 9:30-10:00 pm. The same pattern repeated itself on Saturday & Sunday. I was able to maybe steal away for 5 min each day to grab a cold Chik-fil-a sandwich or slice of pizza. Most days I sit behind a desk, so I was popping Advil to offset the soreness I had in my back, knees, ankles and feet from all of the standing and crawling in and out of the boats.

The best part of the show was being able to work side-by-side with the owners of Atlanta Marine and with Rick Tinker, President of Skier’s Choice. For those that have an opportunity to meet Rick, I am certain that you will be as impressed as I was and your love for you boat will simply increase when you see how much passion he has. He was most gracious with his time and answered all the questions I asked and helped me with customers while also sharing stories about our families and boating activities.

For those of you that will be attending shows soon, I’d offer up the following. Please understand that the salespeople are working HARD. If you’re not really in the market, in other words a “looky loo” (just looking), let them know upfront and don’t monopolize their time asking 1,000 questions about the new features/options. If you want to put the new tower up & down – do it on your own and let the salesperson keep selling.

The worst part was dealing the “be backs” (as in “I’ll be back) and seeing people not take advantage of the great pricing and incentives Skier’s Choice offers during the show. In talking with the folks from Atlanta Marine and Rick, I can assure everyone that the incentives are real and can not/will not be available later in the season. Atlanta Marine and Skier’s Choice allow potential customers to provide a 100% refundable deposit that locks in the pricing. I couldn’t get over the people who said that they were ready to go, but wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

I’ll finish this up by admitting that this was an incredible experience and I hope that Atlanta Marine and Rick Tinker felt that I represented the dealership and Skier’s Choice brands in such a manner that they will invite me back again next year. I’d do it again in a second. I should mention that I didn’t ask for, nor do I expect to be compensated beyond the free admission. I wanted to take on a new challenge, step outside my comfort zone and see how I could do. I was humbled. I have been in sales/sales management since graduating from college and my close ratio was pathetic! I was only able to collect deposits on 2 boats, both LSV’s, out of the 50+ people I spoke with. Funny thing was I took the 1st deposit of the show and the last deposit of the show.

KG's Supra24
01-18-2011, 11:09 AM
It doesn't surprise me they were scrambling around. Dusty and I dealt with them over the winter and our first hour there was a cluster%$*k. They had nothing prepared for our situation and claimed to know way more than actually did. However, once the owner came around and took over things, stuff started getting knocked out quickly and our overall experience with Atlanta Marine was a great one.

I felt obligated to comment here bc, like I said, our experience with Atlanta Marine was great. They took care of us very well (after the first hour or so) and feel like we owe them props.

Not sure if you are really at liberty to say, but if you are, how many deposits did y'all collect? And what % do they expect turns into a boat sales?

I believe I read here (on a brochure for our show) that you can give a $500 deposit, if you decide you dont want the boat at a later time, you get the deposit back. Does that sound right?

sandm
01-18-2011, 11:13 AM
sounds like a great time. I'd be all over that offer to help them out. It's unfortunate that our show here will not have the same stories. several boats will be sold, but the salesmen are not "run ragged".

wolfeman131
01-18-2011, 11:26 AM
KG - I'm glad things turned around for you and I'm sure they will appreciate your honesty & props. The start of the show is a scramble as they are preparing a huge booth, making sure electricity is on, computers are running, batteries are replaced in boats, boats and booth are clean, etc., etc. etc.

I don't know how many total deposits were taken. Atlanta Marine also sells Monterey boats (from bowriders to mega cabin cruisers) as well as Playcraft/Hampton pontoons and Everglade fishing boats. I can only tell you that I talked with 50+ people and only took 2 deposits so far. I'm hopeful that a few go back to Atlanta Marine this week with deposits.

One of the questions Rick answered for me was that almost 100% of the people that put down a deposit will demo a boat and about 90% of those that demo a Skier's Choice boat will buy one.

You are correct on the deposit. Atlanta Marine will take a minimal deposit to lock in the price/Pick 5 incentives and if you decide the boat isn't for you they will refund it 100% without headache or hassle. This is what I couldn't understand people not taking advantage of if they were anywhere close to buying a new boat.

KG's Supra24
01-18-2011, 11:31 AM
One of the questions Rick answered for me was that almost 100% of the people that put down a deposit will demo a boat and about 90% of those that demo a Skier's Choice boat will buy one.



WOW!!!!!!!!

With nothing to be lost, I figured they would get a lot of false deposits. There is no doubt if I were looking for a boat for the summer and hadn't decided, that almost every dealer there would have a deposit from me.

wolfeman131
01-18-2011, 11:45 AM
Maybe in a better economy that would be true, but people seemed to be skeptical that is really was 100% refundable and held tight to their wallets. I guess we've all become wary of the "rip-offs" like where the shipping & handling is more than what you paid for whatever it was you purchased. And you know from experience, the dang boat show isn't cheap. It's $8 to park, $10-$12 per person and $10 for a sandwhich, chips and coke.

mmandley
01-18-2011, 12:09 PM
When we bought our boat in 09 we put a deposit down at the boat show and it was Non Refundable but then again i wouldnt be surprised if they are refunding to get people to come back and talk to them more at the dealership when they have more time to deal with them personaly.

As for Rick Tinker hes one of the reasons why i would by SC again and again. I got to meet him at the AWS Evenign with the Stars in 09 and right away when i introduced myself he knew who i was.

I said hi Rick im Mike Mandley and he said ahh yes the White and Sandrock Moomba such a great color combo but pretty rare in the factories.

I spend a good 30 minutes talking to him and the future of SC and if more people in the industry had his passion like you say Moomba would be even bigger.

kaneboats
01-18-2011, 02:16 PM
Doesnt' surprise me one bit about Rick T. You already bought a boat, why should he care? Because you are part of the Moomba family.

Brianinpdx
01-19-2011, 12:42 PM
Wolfman - Bravo to guys like you. It's a ton of work and logistics in putting together a tradeshow presence. Especially when you have the head honcho's from factories in attendance. I'm sure the dealership really appreciated your support. A great read!

-Brian
Exile Audio

cab13367
01-19-2011, 03:29 PM
What a great opportunity, Drew! Looks like a career change may be in your future??

wolfeman131
01-19-2011, 03:43 PM
Al, you must have missed the end of my post. I wasn't very good at closing any deals! I'll need to keep my day job for now. But, it sure was fun and it would be nice to make a living doing it.

Suprahunter
01-20-2011, 08:16 AM
The Moombas at the show were very impressive and they were the best deals at the show. Hats off to Atlanta Marine and SC. Drew took us out on his Moomba last year we loved it . Looks like Supras little brother is all grown up.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011015.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011014.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011013.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011012.jpg

Suprahunter
01-20-2011, 08:19 AM
More Pics

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011011.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/CopyofAtlantaboatshow2011010.jpg


http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011025.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011023.jpg

Suprahunter
01-20-2011, 08:21 AM
More Pics

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011022.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011021.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011019.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn127/suprahunter/Atlanta%20boat%20show/Atlantaboatshow2011018.jpg

KG's Supra24
01-20-2011, 09:37 AM
Nice Pics! Was the World's boat red or orange?

moombadaze
01-20-2011, 09:45 AM
WOW, much better show than the crapy Tampa Bay show. We had one little Outback V being used as a filler and no Supra's. Might have to make a 3 day weekend of it next year and run up to Atlanta to see the new one's.

kaneboats
01-20-2011, 10:10 AM
I thought about heading up there too but Drew was working the show all weekend. Maybe next year.

Oh yeah, nice job capturing the SC lineup.

wolfeman131
01-20-2011, 12:17 PM
KG - the World's are red & black. Most of the boats were red & black - my guess is to appeal to the GA Bulldog fans. The OBV was black & yellow for the Tech fans.

Did you all notice the blue & black 242? First time I had seen a different color combo than the red & black & IT LOOKED AWESOME!

I have no idea when these pics were taken as I don't remember the booth ever being this empty.

wolfeman131
01-20-2011, 12:38 PM
Drew, why don't you put this on wakeworld?

Good stuff

Thanks. I don't often frequent that forum. Too much BS for me.

moombadaze
01-20-2011, 12:49 PM
Anybody else see the big fat kangkaroo?-Wolfeman's not allowed to answer

Love the red/black LSV and Outback

wolfeman131
01-20-2011, 01:02 PM
Anybody else see the big fat kangkaroo?-Wolfeman's not allowed to answer

Love the red/black LSV and Outback

hey, I've been called a lot of things that include "big" and "fat" but that's the first time somebody has called me a big fat kangkaroo! Yep, I'm sitting in the blue and black 242.

moombadaze
01-20-2011, 01:27 PM
LOL---Your not big, not fat and certainly no ROO-oh but just think about the advantage of haveing that pouch--built in beer cooler :D

wolfeman131
01-20-2011, 01:37 PM
You don't have to respond or keep tabs on the thread. Enough of our members here will.

OK, I threw it on that board under the "boats, accessories & tow vehicles" section. I'll try and remember to look back over there to see how it goes.

Suprahunter
01-20-2011, 07:44 PM
KG - the World's are red & black. Most of the boats were red & black - my guess is to appeal to the GA Bulldog fans. The OBV was black & yellow for the Tech fans.

Did you all notice the blue & black 242? First time I had seen a different color combo than the red & black & IT LOOKED AWESOME!

I have no idea when these pics were taken as I don't remember the booth ever being this empty.

Pics taken on Friday 1-14-2011 at 11:15 am. I live in Flowery Branch GA 1 block off Lake Lanier if any of you need a place to stay let me know all my Moomba brothers are welcome.

deerfield
01-20-2011, 09:56 PM
Suprahunter - Thanks for posting great pics. Hope you are doing well. Midwest is not the same since you left. Please give my best to Mrs. Supra. - Deerfield

bzubke1
01-20-2011, 10:02 PM
I love all the new moombas and supra. My only gripe is the splash looking graphic on the LSV, it is so ugly.

Suprahunter
01-21-2011, 08:44 AM
Suprahunter - Thanks for posting great pics. Hope you are doing well. Midwest is not the same since you left. Please give my best to Mrs. Supra. - Deerfield

Thanks Deer we might be back north in July when it starts to get warm up there lol. If you are ever our way definitely drop in we are 1 block from the water now.

kaneboats
01-21-2011, 10:02 AM
I live in Flowery Branch GA 1 block off Lake Lanier if any of you need a place to stay let me know all my Moomba brothers are welcome.

Awesome! I'll be there June 10 through Aug. 23 with the wife and 6 kids. Please keep the fridge stocked!

Suprahunter
01-22-2011, 08:47 AM
Awesome! I'll be there June 10 through Aug. 23 with the wife and 6 kids. Please keep the fridge stocked!

What! No dogs, cats and in laws?

moombadaze
01-22-2011, 09:03 AM
Oh that's because I've got the dogs, a cat, but there is absolutly no way the in-laws are coming.

rdlangston13
01-23-2011, 12:28 PM
I really like the black and red LSV or was it an XLV? doesn't matter, what matters is that it would look very good with my red and black Texas Tech flag flying off of the tower!