For many years, dealership principal-turned industry consultant Noel Osborne has been warning dealer clients and audiences throughout the marine industry that they should be saving enough cash reserves to pay six months worth of operating expenses without any income. That kind of advice could have been extremely handy as the economic downturn took its grip on the marine industry.
Today, Osborne is preaching a new set of guidelines, which suggest that the marine dealership of tomorrow will be much different than the models we currently know. And his presentation, “The Dealership of Tomorrow,” which will kick off the educational sessions at the 2009 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. In it, he will present to dealers on exactly how they should re-engineer their business to succeed in the future.
“Today’s marine dealers need to rethink things such as inventory levels and big ticket sales vs. service sales,” Osborne suggests. “Virtually every aspect of the marine dealership as we know it has to change in some way to address today’s issues and the issues as I see them in the future.”
Osborne will tackle those topics by outlining the trends boat dealers are likely to experience going forward and the different ways dealership managers can succeed under those business conditions. He will cover how dealers should structure their business models, the importance of managing by inventory turns, the importance of attracting entry-level boaters, and why manufacturers and dealers must work more closely together for greater success in the future.
“The dealers of the future will have to rethink how they are going to do business from now on,” Osborne explains, “or they will quickly become dealers of the past.”
And once again, that’s advice that dealers should take note of.
To learn more about The Dealership of Tomorrow, make plans to attend the 2009 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 16-18. With two concurrent educational tracks and nearly 20 individual educational sessions, this event has been designed to help dealer navigate today’s difficult market.
Osborne’s Dealership of Tomorrow presentation will kick off the Sales & Marketing Track and will be followed by presentations with a focus on dealership recovery and growth, inventory management, a best ideas dealer panel discussion and tips for succeeding with lead management. A Service Department Track will be held concurrently, with a focus on department efficiency, profitability and best practices. Wednesday morning, a Commercial and Retail Financing Track will also be offered. The event will then wrap up with a dealer solutions panel and an industry leaders panel, two hallmarks of this convention.