Inside MarineMax, Part 1 — It’s Not About Buying the Boat

What does the sales approach look like that helped MarineMax become the biggest boat dealer in the U.S.?

This article originally appeared on Reprinted by permission.

When the team visited six MarineMax stores recently, we interviewed a full range of staff members, and learned that the boat is commonly not the main focus. It’s vitally important, of course, but staff members are trained to take a longer view, developing and maintaining relationships to serve the company’s customers throughout their boating lives.

“We look to build long-term, lifetime relationships,” says Chuck Cashman, the company’s chief revenue officer. “We want the customer to feel like they’re treated very fairly and professionally, and when they walk out the door, we want them to feel like they’re part of our family.”

Questions about favorite models and family budgets take a back seat when sales consultants are working with customers. “I want to spend time getting to know them first,” says John Powell, sales consultant in Cumming, GA.

Customers will also typically meet not only the folks in the business office, but also the service managers, who may help with sea trials or in reviewing the finer points of the boat. As Dave Schultz, the Buford, GA, service manager says, “They get a chance to meet me in the service department, plus the parts manager, and get a comfortable feeling of who’s going to be taking care of their boat going forward.”

MarineMax stages Getaways events from every one of their stores, including trips to the Bahamas.

MarineMax stages Getaways events from every one of their stores, including trips to the Bahamas.

Customers will normally meet delivery/orientation captains and parts managers, as well, getting to know the people who can play key roles for them as instructors, guides, and all-around resources.

At, we knew that boat sales were big at MarineMax, but we found an underlying eco-system in which sales consultants and other team members not only look out for customers but also develop lasting personal relationships as part of an inter-connected boating community.

Editor’s Note: Next up in this four-part series is Inside MarineMax, Part 2 – A Simple Process is the Priority. Promotional consideration for this article was provided by MarineMax.