West Palm Beach-based Marine Connection has the distinction of being the only boat company that made the list of top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies (www.inc.com/inc5000/index.html) as compiled by the editors of Inc. Magazine. Boating Industry Magazine rated them the No. 1 boat dealer in south Florida for two years in row and a top-20 dealer in the United States. So what is going on behind the doors of this dealership? According to Marketing Director Jani Gyllenberg, their secret is that they are always looking for improvement in everything they do.
The company moved into the current facility about 10 years ago. They expanded to Vero Beach in the spring and Miami during the summer of 2014. They focus on sales, with people in multiple roles, so they have a different approach. A client is taken for a sea trial when they are ready, not after they have made the deposit. The orientation procedure for a new owner is such that they don’t allow you leave with the boat until they are comfortable that you are comfortable with your new vessel.
Gyllenberg started with the company when he was in high school, detailing boats and helping in the yard. One day he spoke up about their website, suggesting some changes that he thought might make it more effective. Not long after that he found himself with the responsibility for the print advertising, signage for boat shows throughout south Florida and the website. Gyllenberg traveled abroad and studied in Europe. He found an e-mail from his former employer one day, asking him to consider returning to help out with the boat show season. Before he had a chance to respond, he had a call and was on a plane back to south Florida.
One thing unique about Marine Connection, when things really slowed down, their leader recognized the value of “ramping-up” their marketing. With many organizations, that’s one of the first places to cut. Because of their focus on strategic marketing, and pioneering the practice of selling boats with video, their market expanded nationally. The video postings provided prospective buyers a 360 view of the vessel; they could even see it run! It was the next best thing to hopping on a plane and flying in to see the boat.
When the market came back, they took everything they had learned, building an even stronger sales team. In 2013, Boating Industry Magazine recognized those efforts with their award for the Best Boat Show Digital Strategy, and their 2013 award for Best Digital Strategy.
If you are in the market for a boat, financing terms are the best they have been in a very long time, with as little as 10 percent down, low interest rates and flexible terms. Read the testimonials from their clients and see stories that tell of five star-customer experiences. Gyllenberg says they are very particular about the brands that they carry, only selling boats that they would be proud to own. Visit the website at www.marineconnection.com.