The ultimate Top 100 Dealers nomination

matt_new-mug1The nomination process built into the Top 100 Dealers Program is a critical component to the success of the ranking’s creation each year. We receive thousands of dealer nominations, and they help us find the dealers that are regarded as among the best by third-party companies. The nominations come in from boat builders, engine manufacturers, service providers — all sectors of the industry. And while we don’t require these nominations for our editorial team to consider a dealer that applies, they do help validate the character of the dealers we’re considering. Especially when they arrive as unsolicited testimonials from a particular dealer’s customer, as was the case with the e-mail I recently received from Kathy Kaufmann.

Kathy recently bought a boat at Kelly’s Port, an Osage Beach, Mo.-based dealership that ranked 38th on last year’s list of Top 100 Dealers. Kelly’s is nominated to the Top 100 every year, but never with as much glowing praise as an extremely satisfied customer can muster. Owner Randy Kelly, and his sons Ryan and Kyle, kicked off this customer interaction by greeting Kathy and her husband Harry with a cold bottle of water (“as if we were welcome guests in their home”), Kathy explains, and throughout their relationship with the Kaufmann’s have demonstrated that they are “genuinely interested in making sure the customer is happy.”

It appears, from the outside, as your average, every-day encounter with a business. But not so, says Kathy.

“I cannot say enough to convey how impressed and pleased we are with Kelly’s Port,” she wrote in her nomination. “You feel like you’ve known them for a long time. You truly walk away feeling awestruck at this kind of service, especially in today’s world.”

Today’s world may be different, but it’s this type of service that has defined the Top 100 Dealers, and particularly Kelly’s Port, over the first four years of the program. And it’s this type of service that develops loyal customers. See for yourself:

“With the incredible treatment we have received while purchasing a used boat from them,” Kathy explained, “one can only imagine what lies ahead down the road when we upgrade to a new one.”


  1. The feelings our dealership creates within a customer are very important and powerful… In our stores we consider our receptionist desks a concierge. They recommend local restaurants to buyers wanting to “think about it”, arrange hotels for out of town customers and ever chauffer clients to hotels, marinas etc. “Feelings” are much more than an old 70’s song…

  2. I have a different feeling on the top 100 dealers. there are 2 top 100 dealers within 60 miles of me. Both dealers are not what I would consider a service oriented dealer. There local reputation is far from stellar yet they seem to make it in this top 100 year after year. I asked to see there CSI rating one time and they told me they did not know what I was talking about but they showed me this top 100 award. Why isnt CSI (customer satisfaction index) something that can be researched by the consumer. My advice would be look hard and long before you buy a boat in Saratoga NY.

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