July '18

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76 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S ately," says Noteboom, who talked with other dealers before settling on Heartland RV as his manufacturer of choice. A visit to Heartland's manufacturing operation in Elkhart, Ind., sealed the deal. "We were impressed by their team. They know how their products compare to their competitors and they were excited to show us the differences," he says. "And because we're loyal to them, we get great support on warranty and service. If I have a problem, I can call Coley (Brady, vice president of sales for Heartland) on his cell phone and get a response. Even though I'm a smaller dealer, I believe we get better service because we're loyal to them and our growth is their growth, too." For his part, Brady sees plenty of good qualities about Note- boom's operation. "Greg brings a fresh perspective and new ideas to how he oper- ates his business and that has allowed him to be very successful in his market, very quickly," he says. "He's a salesman at heart, so he's got all of those great qualities: He's highly competitive and a very hard worker. But more than that, he's an owner/operator that is there day in and day out, so he does a better job of cre- ating a great experience for his customer. He markets differently, with a heavy focus on social media, and he runs lean and mean so he can be very competitive on price, all of which is attractive to today's customers." Brady adds that the dealership's exclusivity agreement with Heartland is something the RV maker appreciates and prompts it to be an even better partner. "The fact that he has given his floorplan dollars to us exclu- sively, that he puts his trust in us, means we work our butts off for him to be good partners," he says. "A guy like Greg sells what he believes in and, because of that, he puts his reputation on the line in every sale. We believe we owe it to him to work hard and provide excellent customer service to have his back. We have other customers that are like him in that regard, too, but Greg's faith in our products doesn't go unnoticed here." Noteboom RV also was as discerning in its selection of a parts distributor. Instead of going with the larger, national distributors who service much of the industry, Noteboom RV contracts with Northern Wholesale Supply, a smaller regional distributor out of Lino Lakes, Minn., north of the Twin Cities. "As I mentioned, I'm big on doing business with relational operations as opposed to transactional ones, and that describes Northern Wholesale well," Noteboom says. "Because we're a smaller dealer, we get better terms and have a better relationship with a company like Northern. We've used the big distributors in the past and Northern just gets our business better. "The other day I called my rep and he was out of the office and I got a call back in five minutes from another rep," he adds. "That's the type of service I appreciate." Looking Forward With a fresh take on the RV business rooted in Millenni- al-friendly, responsive, retail-oriented business practices – and experiencing tremendous growth in just his few early years in the business – Noteboom is bullish about his prospects in coming years. "From our start just four years ago, we've grown far beyond our expectations," he says. "To outgrow your own ambitious expectations is pretty cool. And we anticipate that we will con- tinue to grow heading forward." Noteboom's anticipation also is tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism, particularly about things that are beyond his con- trol, like the broader U.S. economy. "We've obviously thrilled to be growing so fast, but it also of course makes me a bit nervous," he says. "This type of growth takes a big financial commitment and you just never know what will happen in the economy. As a company and as a country, we've been on a tear for a while, but you just don't know what will happen tomorrow or a year from now." Still, Noteboom is searching for more land to expand and more talented workers to support that growth, an effort he says has become far easier of late. "People see us growing and they want to come work for us," he says. "They want to be a part of what's happening here. We have a new perspective – we're of a younger generation and we're looking at this with fresh eyes. For people who like to camp, which of course is a requirement here, this is where the action is." Noteboom RV stocks only Heartland trailers on both of its sales lots. Greg Noteboom says he is passionate about the product and believes his loyalty to the manufacturer pays dividends for his relatively small dealerships.

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