The Best Ideas for Succeeding in Today’s Economy

The Best Ideas for Succeeding in Today’s Economy


Moderated by Liz Walz, Boating Industry magazine

Introduced at last year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, the Best Ideas dealer panel was one of the most talked about sessions of the event, and it also proved to offer some of the most highly implemented strategies from the entire event. And we’re thrilled to announce that the Best Ideas program is back for 2010.

An opportunity for innovative dealers to share their most successful ideas from the previous year, the Best Ideas program allows all dealer attendees of the MDCE to submit the “Best Idea” they’ve implemented since last year’s MDCE to generate growth, profitability and solutions to challenges they face. Submissions will be put in front of a committee, and the “Best Ideas,” as determined by that committee, will appear on this panel. In addition, the best overall submission will be announced as the Grand Prize winner during the conference.

The 2009 finalists included ideas that dealt with expense cutting, inventory management and F&I outsourcing. Woodard Marine won the grand prize for its Trade-In Coupon – a sales promotion in which the dealership sent its boat storage, service and mooring customers a coupon that looked like a check made out to them in the amount of the trade value of their current boat. Through the promotion, the customer was pre-authorized to use that amount toward the purchase of a new boat package, should they decide to trade-in their current boat.

To learn more about the “Best Ideas,” make plans to attend the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14-17. With three concurrent educational tracks and more than 20 individual educational sessions, this event has been designed to help dealers return to the growth phase they knew prior to the economic downturn.

The “Best Ideas” panel is part of the Powering Profits track, the newest track at MDCE, geared specifically toward dealer principals. It’s preceded by a panel on how dealers could have been better prepared for the economic recession, a session on how to adopt best practices and a look at how to (re)build your dealership’s culture. Afterward, the track continues with presentations on fact-driven dealer management and pay plans that work.

Other MDCE offerings include the Sales & Marketing track, which is perfect for sales managers and marketing managers and includes topics such as how to make more money by discounting less and charging more, high-impact, low-cost marketing tactics, the keys to succeeding as a 24/7 marine dealer, converting online leads into sales profits, immediate results using search engine marketing, and closing sales in a difficult economy. The Service Department track will be held concurrently, with a focus on how to be a successful service advisor, solving your most troubling service problems, Web strategies for service profits, operational excellence and financial management for service managers and more. The event will also feature a general session and two keynote sessions, as well.

“We’ve covered all the bases with the education this year, making quality content, specific to service managers, sales managers, marketing managers and dealership principals alike, available in an unprecedented format,” explains Matt Gruhn, publisher of Boating Industry magazine, which partners with the Marine Retailers Association of America to produce the MDCE. “This will, without question, be the best line-up of education this event has ever produced.”

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