MRAA unveils new approach to dealer recertification

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The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas launched a new evolution of the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program, known as Continuous Certification.

This all-new approach will replace what has historically been known as “Re-Certification.”

“This is far more intuitive, more welcoming, easier to navigate, and that’s externally for our members and dealers and industry,” MRAA president Matt Gruhn told Trade Only Today. “Internally it’s going to be even better because not only does it have all those attributes, but the new platform connects dealers to an association management system. Now this new learning system will be integrated with that.”

The Continuous Certification cycle will provide certified dealers with a timely, relevant and impactful educational course every quarter, giving them exclusive access to training that helps their teams navigate the latest trends and strategies in an easy-to-digest format, Gruhn said.

MRAA designed the Continuous Certification coursework to assist dealers in further developing the core tenets of dealer certification — customer service, operational excellence and employee engagement — while simultaneously feeding them new ideas and opportunities to help them drive greater success.

“We’re launching this product, and we’re announcing what we’re doing to the industry to say we’re listening to what you’ve told us,” Gruhn said. "We are responding to that by making a significant investment in the program, by introducing a new approach to dealer certification altogether.”

The MRAA has developed a pilot course, which is now available to any industry professional who would like to sample the program’s educational offerings. On Jan. 1 the first formal Continuous Certification course will be unveiled exclusively to those certified dealers who have registered for the program.

Here’s an overview of the pilot and the 2018 Continuous Certification curriculum:

• Pilot: Buyer Motivation: The Key to Building Value, with Jim Million

• First Quarter: Take Your Dealership from Good to Great with CRM, with Sam Dantzler

• Second Quarter: Improve Loyalty with a Customer Experience Mindset, with Theresa Syer

• Third Quarter: The Essentials of Accountability, with John Spence

• Fourth Quarter: The Strategic Dealership, with David Spader

Although the Continuous Certification curriculum will be made available exclusively to certified dealers, the courses will be available to all employees at the participating certified dealership location.

And the pilot course, which is accessible here, will be made available to anyone who is interested. The Continuous Certification curriculum will be reloaded each year with four new courses that feature a hybrid approach to education, asking dealers to watch, listen, converse, test theories and grow through what they learn.

“This is unlike any education we’ve ever offered,” MRAA vice president and education director Liz Walz said in a statement. “We’ve studied the latest research into performance improvement and how the brain learns, and we’ve built a series of courses that will not only share strategies, expert advice and best practices, but also guide dealers and their employees in implementing them.

“This is not just a single video,” Gruhn said. “It’s truly a course that will help build value into the sales process.”

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