Yachting Industry Power Player: Bob Denison
Catching up with Bob Denison, Owner, Denison Super Yacht Division
Bob Denison grew up in Fort Lauderdale’s yachting industry. Bob’s grandfather, Frank Denison, and father, Kit, founded Broward Marine, and Denison Marine, respectively. Along with Frank and Kit, both of Bob’s uncles, Skip and Ken also made significant impacts in the world of yachting. Thanks to this great heritage, Bob has experienced nearly every level of the yachting experience.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Bob assumed all management roles of his family’s brokerage company, Denison Yacht Sales. Since that time, Bob has assisted in the steady growth of the company to 20 offices and to new boat sales and a superyacht division.
What is unique about your company’s service or product?
Denison probably relies on technology more than the average firm. And I’m not talking about technology to attract customers through digital marketing. I’m talking about utilizing technology to take care of clients, communicate with them, update them on the market and make sure they are “in the know.” We spend lots of time investigating new technologies to help us do this better.
What sets your business model apart from the competition?
While we’re obviously concerned about the bottom line, it’s not the only thing we’re concerned about. One of our biggest focuses every single day is making sure that this place called “work” feels a little like home. For employees, that hopefully means they feel cared for and looked after. For brokers, that means working in a place of integrity and cooperation. I think the brokers here appreciate the fact that the guy who owns the place spends his time on marketing and operations and not on competing with them trying to be a broker. It’s one of those things that hopefully breeds that spirit of integrity and cooperation we want.
What do you want our readers to know about your company’s approach to doing business?
We really care about doing the right thing and we think it leads somewhere great. Some brokers are sold a lie about “honest guys finishing last.” It’s a total lie. The most successful guys in every industry are incredibly honest. We truly believe doing the right thing will pay dividends in the long-term.
What is your personal philosophy on good customer service?
Phenomenal customer service always hurts a little. Whether that’s waking up early on a Saturday to grab coffee for a survey, or going out of your way to pick-up someone from the airport, or maybe even helping wash a boat with the crew if they’re in a bind. There’s always a little pain involved. Good customer service is real easy to talk about, but real hard to execute in real life. Our industry has a lot to learn from our friends in the auto industry on this front.
What do you see as your greatest business (or personal) accomplishment to date?
I was really proud of being named the Sun-Sentinel‘s “Top Small Business Workplace.” It meant a lot to me. We care a hell of a lot about the people we employ and want them to love working here.
What has been your greatest business (or personal) challenge to date, and how did you overcome it?
Getting through the economic crisis was a tough time for us. We were able to seize some decent opportunities during that time and even experienced a little growth. It had very little to do with our smarts and more to do with our faith in our people to take awesome care of their clients on a tighter budget. That happened, and we ended up making it out alive.
Outside of the yachting industry, what are your other passions in life?
My wife, Dani, and I met through a homeless ministry here in Fort Lauderdale. It remains a part of who we are, and what we care a lot about. We belong to a great church and always wish we could do more there. I’m also obsessed with baseball and trying my best to impress my son, Rivers, with cannonballs in the pool after work.
For more information or to contact Denison Yacht Sales or Denison Super Yacht Division, visit their website at denisonyachtsales.com or CLICK HERE.
ABOUT POWER PLAYERS
Achieving sustained success in the yachting industry is a great accomplishment. These entrepreneurs and executives and the companies they represent have thrived in the face of great challenges. The ways they approach their businesses and their reflections on customers, innovation and service should inspire anyone seeking to be the best of the best in a highly competitive environment.