Boating Industry

January 2017

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January 2017 | Boating Industry | 19 [ 2016 Top 100 ] Although the Top 100 experienced great fi nancial success in 2015, the program is about more than dollars and cents. Top 100 dealers are chosen for their business acumen, marketing, effi ciency, industry advocacy, service best practices and more. These are dealers who not only sell plenty of boats, but also promote the boating lifestyle by delivering standout customer service and experiences. These are just a few of the best practices that helped this year's Top 100 stand out from the crowd. For more best practices, be sure to check out the Best in Class winner profi les starting on p. 46. Digital fi le sharing Texas Marine created a fi le share network among all of its computer users across its three locations. "With the help of our IT company, we made signifi cant upgrades to our PC and network infrastructure," says President Mike Hebert. "We linked all computer users together using a domain system through our primary server. All employees now have customized access to fi les shared among other employees." This system allows some employees to immediately access fi les up- dated by employees at another location, while at the same time managing the process so that no employee has access to any documents to which they are not authorized. The fi le share network has immediately increased the productivity of Texas Marine's employees, cut down on the amount of time spent on emails and increased customer satisfaction due to reductions in delays and miscommunication. Boat shows that educate Boat shows may be evolving, but that doesn't they aren't still an important part of growing business, says Vallely Sport & Marine. "In our market and in markets across the country boat show attendance has been diminishing in the last fi ve years, but the amount of quality buy- ers at the shows seems to stay strong," says General Manager Josh Vallely. Whereas boat shows used to be about showing the "latest and greatest" products, now it's more about branding and helping customer understand why they should do business with Vallely. While attendance is down, that means salespeople have more time to spend with each potential customer. "At every show we basically take our dealership on the move. We fully staff our booth with sales consultants, manufacturer reps, pro-fi sherman or athletes, F&I personnel, and parts and accessory consultants," Vallely says. "This staffi ng arrangement has worked great for us. Manufacturer's reps are great for asking general product questions and allow our sales consultants to focus on selling product." At every show, Vallely brings an enclosed trailer it has converted into a full-service closing and F&I offi ce, providing confi dentiality and a sense of professionalism. Frequent meetings before the show and daily updates during the event makes sure the staff are up to speed on pricing, promotions, competitive products and other pertinent show information. "During these quick meetings we can review the previous day's perfor- mance as well as any adjustments that need to be made," Vallely says. "By doing this we can adjust to any unexpected occurrences immediately and not have to wait unit next year's show, when it is too late!" Embracing fi shing With a name like Angler's Choice Marine, the Martinsville, Va., dealer knows that embracing its fi shing roots is an important part of its success. "We have a very strong An- gler's Choice Team Tournament Trail that has been recognized as one of the top dealer sponsored tournament trails in the country," says Owner Nick Loganadan. "We had 16 tournaments last year and gave away a new Mer- cury-powered Ranger boat and more than $150,000 in cash and prizes. We cater to as many as 200 boats per tournament. That is 400 anglers in one weekend!" During the tournaments, the Angler's Choice team serves meals to every fi sherman by name. The deal- ership currently has 850 anglers on its tournament roster. Angler's Choice's fi shing tournaments and other community events helped build business in 2015. As boat show attendance has dropped, Vallely has focused more on branding at the events.

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