Debunking RV Buying Myths – How Lichtsinn RV is Different From the Rest

At Lichtsinn RV, we encounter a lot of guests that either have previously bought or spoken to another an RV dealer or have heard horror stories from family members or friends who had a negative experience buying from another dealer.

Here at Lichtsinn RV, we are different, but don’t take our word for it. Read our hundreds of guest reviews on Facebook and Google to see what our guests thought of purchasing at Lichtsinn RV.

We wanted to debunk some common myths about buying RVs that we have heard from guests who have previously spoken or bought from another dealer.

Myth #1: The Salesperson Doesn’t Know Anything About the Product I am Looking At.

The Reality at Lichtsinn RV: The Lichtsinn RV team has the Winnebago-Specific Product Knowledge to Assist you in the Sales and Service Process.

RV Training
The Lichtsinn RV Team Receives Daily Professional Development.

Lichtsinn RV exclusively sells new Winnebago product and has been for over 40 years. The team members at Lichtsinn RV have Winnebago-specific product knowledge and receive extensive, ongoing professional development to ensure they stay up-to-date on new product and features. In fact, the Lichtsinn RV sales team receives daily professional development to review Winnebago product and features. This training ensures that the Lichtsinn RV sales consultants can answer your questions no matter how in-depth they are, and if we need to research something in more detail we have our partners at Winnebago, just down the road, to help. This extensive training continues into our service department. Each of our Winnebago factory trained RV Service Technicians has earned their RVDA Master Certification. This certification provides you the assurance that the technician working on your RV has the specific skills required to properly diagnose and fix your RV. Several members of our service team actually worked at Winnebago Industries’ motorhome facility before coming to Lichtsinn RV, so they have first hand knowledge of how the product is built.

Myth #2: A Winnebago on my local dealer’s lot is no different than any other new Winnebago – even though it already has hundreds of miles on it.

The Reality at Lichtsinn RV: the Winnebagos at Lichtsinn RV are Factory Fresh and Do Not Have Any Delivery Miles or Tow Car Stress on them.

No delivery miles on Lichtsinn RV Motorhomes
Your brand-new Winnebago already has 1,000+ miles on it… But how is that possible if the Winnebago is new?

A dealer that is more geographically proximate to you might not tell you about how crucial the first 1,000 miles is for engine break-in. A Winnebago from your local dealer could arrive with 1,000 miles or more on it before you even step foot inside the coach. Winnebago and the chassis manufacturers have recommendations for breaking in the engine. When you purchase from Lichtsinn RV you can control the critical break-in period and not leave it up to a delivery driver towing their personal vehicle across the country. If you buy a Winnebago from Lichtsinn RV you don’t have to worry about whether a delivery driver ate, drank, or lived in your brand-new RV before you could. Your local dealer can not say the same.

Myth #3: There are a Bunch of Added Fees and Extra Work to Buy an RV Out of State.

The Reality at Lichtsinn RV: There Are No Additional Fees to Purchase an RV in Iowa

Here at Lichtsinn RV, we help guests from all over the USA. There are no additional fees to purchase an RV in Iowa and you will pay the tax and license fees in your home state. Our business office has experience working with DMV offices all over the USA to make the vehicle registration process as simple as possible.

Myth #4: It will cost me extra to purchase outside of my geographic location

The Reality at Lichtsinn RV: Lichtsinn RV Provides a Superior Purchasing Experience for All Our Guests 

We assist guests from all over North America, and many of our guests take advantage of our airport transportation service. We arrange a driver to pick you up from either the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Des Moines, or Mason City airports saving you valuable travel time. We often here that people will fly to Lichtsinn RV and still save money over their local dealer.

When comparing RVs at Lichtsinn RV to a dealer in your geographic location you will want to ensure you are looking at truly comparable RVs. We often hear from guests that their local dealer will stock a lesser model and then force the buyer to spend a significant amount of money to equip the RV to meet their needs. We equip all of our stock units similarly to how most of our guests prefer to equip their RVs, so they are ready to get on the road and enjoy their coach not spend additional time or money equipping it with comfort or efficiency items.

Myth #5: The Dealer Rushes Through the Delivery Walk-Around.

The Reality at Lichtsinn RV: You will receive a complimentary ½ Day Orientation Where Every Single Feature, Switch, Maintenance and Warranty Item is Covered.

In your half day educational orientation, you will learn about every switch and feature, what to do and not to do in with your new RV, maintenance tips and warranty items. In this orientation, feel free to ask any questions you have, and your advisor will happily answer them. We also recommend that you stay for at least one night during your delivery so if any additional questions or concerns arise you can speak with your service advisor, sales consultant or business manager right away.

Visit our video library here for a look at what our half-day educational orientations look like.

Myth #6:  RV Dealers Don’t Support You After the Sale.

Reality at Lichtsinn RV: At Lichtsinn RV, you have a full team of support from our Sales, Service, and Parts Departments to support you after the sale.

The Lichtsinn RV Team is Here to Support You for the Duration of Your RV Ownership!
The Lichtsinn RV Team is Here to Support You for the Duration of Your RV Ownership!

You will have your Sales Consultant assisting you with the purchase process and with any questions after the sale. The Lichtsinn RV Business Office will assist you before and during the delivery process to ensure you understand your options for financing and protecting your investment down the road.

Next you will meet your designated service consultant who will answer all your questions and assist you with setting up service appointments for the lifetime of your vehicle. Our service consultants and our Winnebago Factory Trained RVDA Master Certified RV Service Technicians have the training, experience and certification to ensure your RV is in the right hands when receiving service work.

The Lichtsinn RV Parts Department is the largest Winnebago Parts Department in the country with same-day shipping on in-stock parts with nationwide shipping. Our Parts department team will assist you in ordering parts and accessories for the lifetime of your vehicle and answer any questions you have related to parts and accessories for your RV.

Meet our sales, business office, service and parts team members here.

Learn more about what makes Lichtsinn RV different: click here.

Lichtsinn RV Featured in June Edition of RV Pro Magazine

Lichtsinn RV was featured in the June 2017 Edition of RV Pro Magazine. RV PRO is the leading news and information source for professionals in the RV Industry.

 

RV Pro Cover

The owners of Lichtsinn RV didn’t have to look far to find the ideal inventory for the dealership’s customers.

Located only 1 mile from the Winnebago plant in Forest City, Iowa, Lichtsinn RV since 2005 has exclusively retailed new Winnebago motorhomes.

It didn’t always used to be that way, however. Between 2002 and 2005, Lichtsinn carried a few different Keystone and Forest River towable brands.

“We were trying to focus more on our local market,” com­pany President Ron Lichtsinn explains. “A lot of the workforce in Forest City can’t align their budget with a motorcoach, but we realized our passion was for the motorized segment of the RV industry.”

Proximity to Winnebago is a benefit, but it wasn’t the only reason the dealership chose to exclusively retail the RV maker’s motorized products, according to Lichtsinn. Brand recognition and an acknowledgement that segments of the motorized market are performing well also played a factor, he says.

“We certainly align ourselves with what we believe to be the highest quality motorized RV manufacturer. Winnebago con­sistently ranks No. 1 in RVDA DSI quality industry indices,” Lichtsinn says. “We learned between 2008 and 2010 – as we slipped in and out of recession – that it’s a brand that follows emerging trends and demographics.”

Today, the dealership carries a full range of motorized prod­ucts, but B vans and fuel-efficient Class C models have come to represent a growing segment of the dealership’s inventory.

“We’re certainly going to stock more of Class B and C’s,” Lichtsinn says. “The stocking pattern of a Class B is a bit more streamlined and attracts a much larger audience.”

Adapting to Changing Times, Conditions

Adapting to changing conditions is not a new thing for Lichtsinn RV. Lichtsinn’s father started the dealership in 1976 as a Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealer, adding Winnebagos to his lot in the early 1980s. The automotive and RV operations were run out of the same facility.

In 2001, when GM discontinued the Oldsmobile line, Lichtsinn and his father switched the dealership to retailing Buicks. The dealership remained a full-line automotive dealer until 2015, when the dealership chose to focus exclusively on retailing RVs.

Transition also has occurred in terms of the dealership’s own­ership. Ron Lichtsinn was raised in the business, but when he graduated from high school in 1989 he wanted to do something else with his life. As he gained some life experience, however, he began to change his mind.

Lichtsinn and his father began plans for succession in 2000, and in 2001 Lichtsinn took over the dealership, which sits on 20 acres and features a 30,000-square-foot sales and service center and a 7,000-square-foot parts and accessories store.

Today, Lichtsinn credits being adaptable to change – com­bined with the strategy of focusing on motorized sales and a strong emphasis on employee retention and education – with allowing the business to prosper over the years.

The Right Hires

Despite the fact that Iowa’s unemployment rate is nearly 2 percent lower than the national average, Lichtsinn says he has very little employee turnover at the dealership.

“It’s one of our strengths. We have great retention,” he says.

“We take an individual who has good problem-solving and interpersonal skills and bring them through professional develop­ment, teaching them to provide outstanding customer service.”

Longtime employee Heidi Thompson, vice president and general manager of Lichtsinn RV, began working at the deal­ership in 1994 for Lichtsinn’s father. After finishing college she remained at the dealership and worked in a variety of roles.

“We attribute our low turnover rates to hiring correctly in the first place. We are looking for an employee and team member who has the soft skills that are hard to train, such as work ethic, guest service and communication,” Thompson says. “For us, we spend a lot of time on the front side making sure we’re partnering up with the right person to ensure retention. We then provide continual training and professional develop­ment opportunities that help them grow in their career and create engagement.”

Having engaged and trained employees helps with sales and service. Each employee is developed to help a guest regardless of what coach they are interested in. Any consultant can help any guest with any kind of product.

Employee Training is Key

At Lichtsinn RV, employee education is paramount.

“Education is what we hang our hat on,” Thompson says. “We want to help RVers achieve the type of RVing and traveling they dream of. It’s important to us within the purchase process to have educated consultants help customers achieve the right RV and their goals.”

At Lichtsinn RV, a sales consultant is assigned to help educate a guest throughout the entire purchasing process.

Having begun as an automotive dealership, Thompson says dealership leaders know the time frame for an RV purchase – especially a motorhome – can take much longer than an auto­motive purchase.

“We know the buying cycle takes longer within the RV industry. We have a first contact and try to do a lot of work through the selec­tion cycle of a guest because we don’t want them to come back to us and say, ‘We bought the wrong floorplan,’” she says. “We put a lot of emphasis on that. We want to help them see how they are going to use the RV. We can work with a guest anywhere from a couple of months or a couple of years. It’s unique in that you build rela­tionships with people and get to know their story and background.”

Overcoming Fear with Education

Lichtsinn says sales consultants have a dedicated approach to support growth and help customers overcome any fears they may have about purchasing a motorcoach.

“We’ve found there are a few main fears of customers: Pur­chasing the wrong product, paying too much, education, and a fear of what happens next,” he says.

Lichtsinn RV has developed its Internet and in-person consumer education to such a level that the only time sales consultants are not able to help a guest in terms of the motorized segment is when a product is not in the customer’s budget range or it’s a product Winnebago doesn’t offer.

Being so near the Winnebago factory comes with its advantages and disadvantages Lichtsinn says. While inventory experiences very little wear and tear making the 1-mile trip from the factory to the dealership lot, Lichtsinn says it can be a disadvantage when attempting to reach the business’s far-flung customer base.

With the bulk of the dealership’s customer base coming from out of state, Lichtsinn and Thompson say the dealership must make sure value exceeds cost to get guests to leave their hometown and travel to Forest City for their purchase.

“What is validated in our reviews is the experience a guest will have leading up to their purchase,” Lichtsinn says. “While here, they will receive an educational orientation with certi­fied RVDA technicians and we follow up remotely. We offer a product that is nomadic and we have to express that long reach of service and education outside of break-in procedure.”

A Strong Focus on Service

On the service side, Lichtsinn RV has eight service bays and six full time RVDA-certified technicians. The dealership’s proximity to Winnebago helps it procure parts more quickly and the dealership also can outsource its paintwork to a Win­nebago paint plant resource in town.

Looking at the dealership’s service schedule on any given day, there will be guests from all over the country.

“It’s not abnormal for our guests to take advantage of our service experience,” Lichtsinn says. “We absolutely welcome guests who didn’t purchase from us. We don’t discriminate based on where someone purchased their coach; we service them regardless. It’s an opportunity to display our professional level of service and provides a chance for us to win them over as a guest.

“The advantage from a service perspective is our expertise,” he adds. “We help remotely by trouble shooting and expediting parts. In some cases, service advisors become a technician hotline for those who need help. We have people perceive us to be the factory based on our expertise.”

When it comes down to it, Lichtsinn and Thompson are in the business not simply to sell RVs – but to help promote the RV lifestyle.

“One of the most fun things about this job is that the purchase of an RV is tied to some sense of freedom. Whether a customer is retiring or they are close they have the freedom to travel where they want,” Thompson says. “Likely we have worked with them a long time, crossing from planning and dreaming to moving into reality. It’s exciting to be a part of that.

Article Credit: Darian Armor, RV Pro Magazine

To see the full article click on this link:    RV Pro June 2017 Edition