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The drive to continuously grow and improve is at the heart of the MRAA, our members and our staff. That’s why we’re launching this blog: to share what we’re learning in our work and in our lives with you – and in hopes you’ll share what you’re learning too.


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Don’t forget the ING

Posted By Bob McCann, Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I know, I know, I’ve heard from ALL of you on the phone, emails, texts, Facebook and at dealer meetings: You are too busy this time of year! But to keep this thing called boat sales rolling for years to come, we need to remember to promote the “ING” in boating.

It’s easy when times are good to put off what got you back in the game when sales weren’t so plentiful. During those times, I watched dealers become good marketers and promoters of boating. Many of you found new ways of getting boaters involved in boating, whether it was thinking up a new trip or two for your boat club, adding another fishing tournament, or finding a spare weekend for Demo Days.

These events got your customers on the water and reconnected to their boats and families. Fortunately, a few prospects caught our beloved boating disease and made the jump. Imagine how those efforts would pay off today with customer confidence at an all-time high. But not if we’re too busy for the extra effort.

The dealers that formed the requirements for Certification knew that they needed to do more than just sell boats. They also needed to promote the lifestyle. So, they included requirements for a Certified dealer to have a CRM strategy and a process to keep improving it, as well as a list of customer activities and events to promote boating. The latter keep customers using their boats and move them to mingle with other owners. This gives them a chance to get reinfected with the disease, using their current boat more often or falling in love with one a foot or two larger.

This is especially important right now. It’s only a few days before the biggest weekend for boating. Have you promoted the best place to watch your local fireworks from a boat along with a few safety reminders? It’s not too late. A quick email will create a spark and inject the courage to pack up the family and watch the fireworks from the best place on earth: your own boat.

I’ve seen fireworks in New York, Washington, and at two Boy Scout National and World jamborees. The best fireworks experience is with my wife Carol, directly overhead our boat, with an unobstructed view, my own head, and booms that shake the T-top.

I hope your customers don’t miss a memorable 4th of July event on their boats. Hopefully, it inspires them to think about an even bigger boat next year!

Wishing a Happy and Safe America’s Birthday to all our dealer friends and families!

Your partners at MRAA

Tags:  certification  holiday  lifestyle  marketing  social media  time management  upselling 

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No time for training

Posted By Bob McCann, Tuesday, March 21, 2017

During my early days running a dealership and then later at Channel Blade, we constantly made or heard the excuse: “We don’t have time for training. We need to work the phones or sell or fix something.” 

We learned later that not dedicating time to training cost us a ton in wasted time! Not to mention lost customers and sales because the crew wasn’t up to speed on their product, the competitor’s products, or the sales skills to help people buy.

Dealers today still find it difficult to dedicate time for training. That was the subject of a conversation I had with Liz Walz leading up to MDCE 2016. If you know Liz, you know that she is extremely passionate about dealer education and works vigorously to produce hours of training on multitudes of topics by industry experts, available at MDCE and in the MRAA Resource Center and MRAA Interactive Virtual Training System. She gets frustrated knowing that dealers are struggling to take advantage of training that could make a real difference for their team.

That’s where I came in. Liz asked me to create a training workshop at MDCE to show dealers how easy it is to create a simple plan to educate their people without adding more hours to the day. Fortunately, Liz asked me early in the year, as it took most of that time to find ways to make the process simple, with just a few steps.

We gave the workshop at MDCE, offering a complementary workbook to help attendees learn:

  • The why behind training
  • Who needs training
  • How to define your training needs and set training goals
  • Where to find training resources
  • How to schedule training
  • How to track and assess the results

It’s really that simple: determine who needs training, what training you need, what’s the goal for the training, find the training, and then schedule it! Schedule it? That’s the problem! We can help you find unique ways to work training in more often without working longer hours.

Now, we’re taking the research we did for that workshop and expanding upon it, transforming it into an MRAA Guide to Training that will walk you and your team through the planning (and if needed, budgeting) process from start to finish, offering you the chance to customize your strategy to fit your dealership’s and your team members’ unique needs and interests.

We spend time on getting buy-in from both employees and management. You simply need to find out what your crew wants to learn and keep it in line with management’s priorities. As we mentioned in a recent blog on job descriptions, marine dealers can see a big benefit from performance evaluations. This is yet another reason for them: So you can find out what your employees want and need to learn, instead of just checking the box that you did training. Click here to access the MRAA Member Resource: 10 Tips for Marine Dealership Performance Reviews.

Lastly, to keep training perpetual in your store, it’s important that every course your dealership attends or conducts has a goal and that you track the results. We are confident that when you train on a certain area, you will get better results in that area. When you get better results, you will keep doing what got you the results.

Tags:  education  resources  time management  training 

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