As usual, I have enjoyed the comments which I suspected I would get. However, to continue to inflame
I would humbly suggest that, if we all want the industry to expand - we do, don't we, or do we want to keep it an elite lifestyle business club? - I think we need to cater for the guy who walks in and wants to buy a boat as a newbie. And I would argue that what we have a tendency to do, and this applies to the whole industry, is to talk to our firends, those who are already marine aware, rib aware, and we present an unfriendly set of 'backs' to the ignorant newbie.
I have heard this consistently with regard to Ribex over the last four years. I remember how intimidating I found my first one when I knew nobody. This criticism applies to some other more specialist marine eventws as well. It is very different at eg SBS or LBS when a newbie is welcomed.
As to my good friend RIVA:
"you stood there and sold boats last year ?
what did you do diffrent & how many did you sell ? useing a diffrent tack ?
i just wonderd , if i could pick up any tips that would help , what actualy would you do diffrent if you had £8 to spend on every potential customer you saw ?"
We actually went out of our way to offer rides to people and give them a carrier bag with something relevant in it. Yes, the boats did sell eventually, but we were beginniers without the accumulated years of skill, wisdom and expereince you possess. The only problem was that people did come back to us, after the ride, but ofeten six or nine months later.
There is no rocket science - just anything to present a slightly more friendly face to someone you have never seen before....
qcamel - thanks for your comments:
"RIBEX is a small specialised show for a small specialised market, and yes I am sure it could be better but that does not make it bad. It sounds to me that your blaming others rather than addressing things yourself....."
I think that sums up the problem. If we think of ourselves as a small specialised market, that is where we will remain. I am not blaming anyone, trying to open people's eyes. BTW, have you put £40,000 at risk recently to set up a company and build two boats and take them to Ribex? I did. It weren't the success I hoped, but it washed its face and taught me loads about the industry. I was, and continue to in other ways with other partners, address things myself.
Andre - gracious as ever. Please, I did not mean to imply you ignored me. I knew you were busy, and did my best not to disturb you. But there were others in Parker's employ on the stand at the time. At least, I assume some of them were salesmen? Or do I have the model wrong here?
Please email or PM details of the 9m Cabin. I am definitely interested. Especially endurance figures.
Polwart - were I am newbie I would need help in making the buying decision. That surely is what the good saleman is for. But if I am initimdated by loads of people who look like experts standing together in groups, not knowing who is a punter, who is a salesman, who is JK
- it can be hard to know what to do. Perhpas I am after all a shy retiring flower.
Hightower - naw! If you think that is having a go, have a look at some hardcore trade forums! "I know that you have a fair Idea of the manufacturers around, so why didn't you concentrate of climbing all over the RIBs of interest to you? If you liked what you saw then you ask for a sea trial!"
Actually I was being a bit of stealth buyer, but the extend of being ignored alarmed me!
Hope to get to Seawork - would love, Andre, a VIP invite.