Here at Clark Marine, we value our certifications in every aspect of our business. We strive for excellence in all areas. These certifications have become the foundation of our business. Through the works of attaining them, we have been able to build and grow to where we are today.

Below I will be describing engine company certifications, authorizations, and what it means to you if your dealer is neither.

Certifications are through third party manufacturers. They set criteria based on advanced technical education, available parts inventory, facility management, standards of operation, and of course the Customer Service Index (CSI).

To become certified, all of the aforementioned criteria need to be met or exceeded. These are the dealers that the manufacturer would prefer you chose to do business with. They represent the best in their markets.

Being an Authorized Dealer is also vital to growth and strength. This is where the third party manufacturers give businesses the right to sell their products, they are able to order parts and obtain technical advice through them. Most authorized dealers are required to meet a bare minimum in technical education so as to perform limited warranty work. Some authorized dealers are better than others.

This brings us to the ‘not at all’ dealer. Not at all dealers are neither certified nor even authorized. Most cases they are selling products without specific rights of the manufacturer. They acquire the products through third party vendors.

Unfortunately, there are a number of dealers in our market without certifications or authorizations. Although they can sell you a valuable boat, they fall short in their follow up work for you. They will not be able to give you the same kind of engine service.

While shopping during this boat show season, I would personally suggest that you ask dealers about their certifications and authorizations. Your complete enjoyment may one day hinge on their status.

As for Clark Marine, we are a Premier Certified Dealer of Mercury Outboards, Mercruiser Stern Drives, and Motor Guide Trolling Motors.

We are an authorized dealer in good standings with Evinrude, Honda, and Yamaha Outboards.

Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to seeing you at the shows!


Jeffery Gitomer - Red Book“Questionable Advice”


As a Professional Procurement and Sales Manager, some of the advice given in this book is questionable. The writer has the sales profile of someone that would have a difficult time getting an appointment with me. Many of the tips are absolute rubbish and look as if were made up as he wrote the book.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

Where do we begin the training of our new sales representatives?

We do not follow a system. We don’t put you through the paces. We don’t manipulate. We aren’t always working on the close.  We are not interested in selling you what we feel is the best deal for the company or for our commission. As a matter, we don’t work on a commission scale.

“Maybe that is why I enjoy the teaching of Jeffery Gitomer so much. His approach is non-manipulative and value based. The reviewer above obviously does not get it.”  

When you visit Clark Marine in search of your new or used boat I hope you feel the difference. Our only focus is that we are able to help you purchase the boat that is right for you and your family, even if that means we are not the dealer you end up purchasing from.

Whoa! What do you mean not buy from us?

Our inventory, especially right now, is about as rock solid as it gets. We represent great brands and our used boat selection is pretty good. With that said though, sometimes we don’t have just the right match in stock and one of our friendly competitors does. We’re going to give you an honest opinion even if that means we don’t become the dealer you purchase from.

That does not mean we will not be the servicing dealer of choice though. Of course we are going to encourage you to purchase from us and we do offer ongoing advantages for being your purchase dealer of choice. We welcome all boaters.

This might well be one of the most prevalent differences between Clark Marine and our competitors. Just because you didn’t buy it from us doesn’t mean we won’t service it for you. If what you own is within 20 years of age, in reasonable condition to begin with and is powered by an engine brand we represent, we are your company.

So where do we begin teaching our brand of sales representation? With Jeffery’s ‘Little red book of selling’ of course!



Two of the questions most asked of me this time of year are “Do you stay open through the winter?”

Once I reply “Yes” the second question usually follows, “What do you do to stay busy?”

The answer; we fill our winter months performing a variety of boat, engine and canvas work from minor to major all at a discounted rate. We operate from our own flat rate pricing scale that saves our customers as much money as possible on wanted and needed services.

During the offseason we are not out to beat the clock so we tend to work at a more comfortable pace. The attention to detail is spectacular though most noticeable in cosmetic jobs.

This is also the only time of year that we have satisfactory time to replace boat decks and replace carpeting/vinyl flooring.

Our customers benefit by having wanted and needed repairs performed during the offseason virtually eliminating downtime in season. Also, by paying a discounted rate on these services, ‘The Bonus’ it has proven to be a real benefit to those patrons who have contracted with us.

For our benefit; we are able to keep our entire staff working year round. No layoffs unless by request. By following our practices described it has proven over the past number of years to create a ‘Good for you – Good for us result’.

The winter balance we are always aiming for.

With this stated; “Is there something we can do for you this winter?


2014 Top 100 Awards Banquet. Steve, Rob, Nancy, Bruce.

2014 Top 100 Awards Banquet. Steve, Rob, Nancy, Bruce.

Processes, Procedures, and measured Performance, these are the three guiding ‘P’s’ that earned Clark Marine ‘Best in Class – Best Service Department’ in North America recognition. Please notice that perfection is not one of the P’s.

I’m not the most prolific writer and I’m really not all that sure as to how to phrase this message so I will just include this link for the write up by the professionals.

For the complete article please follow this link.

The award was presented at the annual Top 100 Dealer Banquet and Gala held this year at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando Florida. (The picture was taken a couple hours after we had gotten into the sauce!)

Boating Industry Magazine is a trade publication that has monitored and reported on the recreational marine business for over 85 years. The Marine Leadership Alliance includes companies such as GE Capital, Brunswick Acceptance, Yamaha, Volvo of the Americas and the Marine retailers Association of America just to name a few.


2014 Marine Dealer Conferenence & Expo

2014 Marine Dealer Conferenence & Expo, Orlando Florida, Nov 16-19, 2014

It’s been a full week of preparing for the year ahead.  I’m sure my coworkers would agree, Wow! Our brains are full! Now it’s time to sort out the info we’ve packed between our ears in the last seven days and make some positive use of it.

The two annual events we attended this past week;

Marine Dealer Conference & Expo aka MDCE

Steve, Bruce Nancy and I attended this year’s 4 day event held in Orlando Florida.

MDCE allows us the opportunity to first attend seminars facilitated by some of the best thought leaders in customer service on the planet. There are presenters that are truly experts in specific fields of interest.  And then some are just everyday dealers like me who have the stage for a few minutes to convey a best practice or idea that has proved to be helpful in their own businesses.

Every time we attend an industry wide conference we are able to share in our successes and at the same time we see how far we still have to go. There are many very good marine companies in this country. Having the opportunity to interact with just the fraction time allows only strengthens our ability to better serve our own customers and employees.

2014 Kellogg Marine Distributor Show, Foxwoods Towers, November 20 - 21, 2014.

2014 Kellogg Marine Distributor Show, Foxwoods Towers, Nov 20-21, 2014

Kellogg Marine Distributor Trade Show

Duddy, Ian, Nancy and I attended this year’s 2 day event held at the Foxwoods Tower.

At this event we are able to interact with many of the manufacturers of the accessories we offer in our ships store. The relationships we develop allow us to become better informed on the items we sell. We return well-versed on feature-benefits and proper application.

All in all it’s a long week though well worth the time applied. These two events keep us informed so that we can continue to provide you with the best on the water experiences.

Now what is left is to jointly purge our brains and put what we have learned into practice.


This is post 1 of 4 Over the next four blog posts I will introduced you to a few of our newest team members.

Normally you would think this would be more a spring post, talking about hiring on 7 – 8 new people is something a seasonal business like Clark Marine generally does not talk about going into the winter months in Maine. To me, winter time is not slow down or shut down time – I view it as opportunity time, and right now I have one of the greatest opportunities in front of me then I’ve had in years.

The young people pictured and described in following posts represent the growth and the future of this company.

Each department at Clark Marine has needed bolstering for a couple of years and one of my goals for 2014 was to bring in that next level of support. And throughout this past summer season we have at the very least set the table to accomplish this goal. Throughout the summer months we have added support in Bookkeeping, parts and accessories, for transportation and on the water support, in middle management, yard organization, and in the technical services department.

Each of these young people shares a few key character traits. They are smart, they each have solid work ethic, and they are naturally focused on taking care of our customer’s needs. These are all the core ingredients necessary to be active members of the Clark Marine team.

The collective job of my longtime staff and me over the winter months is now to strengthen the company bond and the business knowledge of each of these individuals. Here’s to the winter of 2014-15!

The boats are near put away now let’s get started in earnest!


Again, This might seem an unorthodox method of posting though read on and it will make sense,..

This is post 2 of 4

Please allow me to introduce our newest staff members. Over the past year we have bolstered all departments. The folks introduced in the next couple of posts are representative of the growth of Clark Marine and our genuine commitment in caring for Central Maine boaters for years to come.

(In the order pictures above left to right)

Brittany comes to us from a part time position working with QuickBooks at a local successful body shop. She has had some advanced schooling and has proven to be a really quick learn with our computer management program. I have a great appreciation for smart people. Brittany is a sharp gal! She represents added office assistance for Dave and Nancy.

Ian is making an impact already in assisting to run our parts and accessory department. He comes to us with previous dealer parts department experience. His attention to detail, upbeat attitude and genuine desire to assist our customers is something that is hard to teach. We will expand on his product knowledge over the winter and for it he will be even that more helpful when the season rolls around.

Levi is a 28 year old with talents in many areas.  At times of the year you will likely find Levi assisting Bruce in our sales department.  There is not one thing that I have asked Levi to do that he has not just picked up and excelled at. Again in a day where work ethic seems to be lacking, Levi is the exception.

These are the first three I picked to introduce, really for no particular order other than to say that these three are more the frontline customer service folk you are most likely to see if you are to visit our primary Manchester facility.


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