Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Work the VHF

This week is a timely repeat of one of the most popular Minutes.

(1:13) The VHF radio can be one of your best marketing tools. No, I'm not saying that you should send ads out on the radio - that would be against the law and would probably just irritate boaters. But that doesn't mean that lawful, helpful, and professional use of the VHF radio can't enhance your reputation, get your marina in front of boaters, and help bring you more business.

(0:59) Every marina that accepts transients on their docks must ensure that someone is always available to promptly, courteously, and professionally answer the radio. Every boater who hails your marina must receive an immediate response. Remember, often this is the first interaction the boater has with your marina. Don't leave boaters with the feeling you don't want them because you're not responding to their call.

(0:44) I have often heard a boater who repeatedly hails a marina with no reply and then hails a competitor's marina. If you are unable to have someone stationed in the office at all times, then invest in some handheld VHF radios (with belt straps).

(0:34) But the usefulness goes beyond responding to a boater's call. Every time your marina's name is broadcast on the VHF most boaters within a 5 to 20 mile range hear the call. Make sure everyone who uses the radio knows the protocols and projects a professional and friendly image.

(0:22) Consider responding to the calls for a radio check with, "Your call was heard by My Marina in My Town." Not only is your marina name heard by all boaters but you appear engaged and ready to help.

(0:14) Every interaction with a boater has an impact on their impression of your marina and therefore on the review they may write. Make sure that every one is projecting the image you want, including the ones on the VHF radio.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.