When the boats.com team visited several MarineMax stores recently, we noted several common denominators, one of which was to make the process of buying and owning a boat as simple as possible.
Collin Heimensen, the Clearwater store general manager, summed up the company’s approach this way: “We can handle everything from a sea trial to insurance, financing, and product expertise on the boat, including all the safety gear at delivery. We also have a captain's orientation to make the whole process seamless for the customer.”
When an agreement is reached with a customer, the sales consultant will introduce him to the local store’s business manager, who has several tools at his disposal. “Instead of a customer having to do research on their own, close at a bank, then come in to close on the boat here, and then go to the DMV,” said Kyle Roney, general manager at MarineMax Pompano, “we handle all of that in house and make it as much of a one-stop shop as could be.”
But the effort goes beyond the business transaction. For example, the local service manager meets new customers early, too.
“My first touch point with new customers is when they come in for their demos with technical questions or to consider different options,” said Mike Nolan, service manager at MarineMax Clearwater. At that point, the customer knows he or she has an additional, knowledgeable resource available.
Speaking of knowledge, the dealership also provides a dedicated captain to orient customers to their new boats and provide whatever training will be useful. For example, as Captain David Ludwig of Buford, GA, told us, “When I teach boathandling skills, I show the customers how to go slow, and to shift in and out of gear to have enough speed for maneuverability but not a lot of momentum.”
Before our boats.com team took this tour of MarineMax stores, we were well aware that the opportunity to find a variety of boats at MarineMax was unusually good, but having made our visits, we were also impressed with the common goal that all staff expressed to us of making the process of buying and owning a boat as easy and as satisfying as possible.
Editor's Note: This video is the second in series that began with Inside MarineMax, Part 1 - It's Not About Buying the Boat. Be sure to watch Part 3 - An All-Inclusive Approach and Part 4 - Building the Boating Lifestyle. Promotional consideration for this article was provided by MarineMax.