It furthers the mission of the Top 100 program: to not only recognize the best dealers, but to share their knowledge and experience with the entire industry.
The best companies realize that employee satisfaction is the key to long-term success. It is a trait we see throughout the entire Top 100, as leading dealers invest in the growth and advancement of their best team members.
“The quest for the ideal team is the biggest, most important task you face as a leader,” said BMC Boats vice president and owner Paula Fulton. “Your ability to find, develop and retain the best people is one of the greatest factors in determining your success.”
Keeping the best employees takes creating a positive company culture that emphasizes personal connections and improvement.
“If the entire team shares similar values and principles, everyone remains engaged and aligned,” Fulton said. “By doing all of this, we hope our team enjoys the same type of loyalty and respect good teams are built on.”
Top performers are always striving to advance and improve. With that in mind, the BMC management team focuses not on being the boss, but on being coaches, helping to guide them to that success.
For the ongoing development and training of its employees, BMC utilizes “gap training.”
“Each year we meet with each department manager and determine what they thought were the gaps in their current processes and procedures based on their results attained from our customer surveys,” Fulton said. “From that data and feedback we defined and established those areas and people that required training and the types of training necessary to close those gaps. We then met with those individuals, designed a training program, implemented it and then spot-checked to make sure those gaps no longer existed.”
BMC has focused on training its employees to work on seven areas in dealing with customers.
• One shot or done – “We teach our people to work very hard with the hope of getting one shot at a potential customer, and if you blow it, it’s over and you are done.“
• Customer is No. 1, always – “No matter what, always be kind to our customers.”
• Do whatever it takes – “We teach our people to be flexible. … We know that the traditional rules no longer apply and we must do whatever it takes to close a deal and accommodate our customers.”
• Long-term relationship – “We teach that you must view your prospective customers as partners in the long-term relationship. Once you’ve established this relationship, there will be plenty of revenue forthcoming from them and their friends.”
• Have fun – “We know that people work better when they’re having fun. Having fun – and enjoying it – is a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors, most of whom will be focused on getting the dollars that they’ll forget about the relationship.”
• Kaizen – “Success in life can only be measured in our lives by the level of our fulfillment. We are only going to feel good about ourselves long term if we consistently increase the quality of our life. We can only increase the quality of our life consistently by committing to a discipline, a standard for our life of constant and never ending improvement. This is the philosophy of Kaizen, a Japanese guide, which commitment permeates in every area of our lives an understanding that constant consistent improvement no matter how small eventually produces massive increases in quality.”
• Partner – “A partnership is a two way street – and that is how we are now approaching our customers. Yes, we have to do enormous favors for them but it will bear much fruit; on the other side, we can put ourselves in a position to get great favors in return, and we should ask for those favors at the appropriate time. This is the best way to get referrals and improve customer retention.”