RVB Top 50: Little Dealer Little Prices Earns Blue Ribbon

Editor’s Note: Arizona-based Little Dealer Little Prices RV was one of five dealerships to earn a Blue Ribbon Dealership Award during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony, which took place Nov. 13, 2019, during the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. The RVB Top 50 Awards were sponsored by Airxcel, Brown & Brown, Cummins Power Generation, Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Northpoint Commercial Finance, NTP-STAG, Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and Wells Fargo CDF. Read more about the Top 50 Awards and the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in the January/February issue of RVBusiness magazine.

Recognizing that purchasing an RV represents the second-biggest expenditure for consumers, Little Dealer Little Prices set out to provide a unique buying experience for customers. Siblings and second-generation co-owners Debbie Brunoforte and Danny Sampson have turned the showrooms of all three dealerships — located in the Arizona communities of Mesa, Phoenix and Prescott Valley — into Old West towns and full-scale campgrounds.

“When walking into one of our dealerships for the first time, people gasp and get a big smile on their faces,” said Sampson. “Our reception desk is a covered Conestoga wagon; there’s a sheriff’s office (home of the sales manager), the bank (for F&I employees) and an indoor log cabin (Brunoforte’s office) as well as Main Street (sales offices). The schoolhouse/church has a 200-year-old bell and there is a livery, saloon, blacksmith, Pony Express office, gunsmith, apothecary, assay station and stage coach.”

Other touches include decorating the showroom as a night set with lighted moon, rock boulders, pine trees and more — including RVs set up and plugged in.

Obviously, Brunoforte and Sampson want a visit to Little Dealer to be fun. Not only to visit, but to work. And when Sampson discovered some employees were having tough times with difficult customers, he moved quickly to engage them.

Little Dealer Little Prices garners RVB Blue Ribbon Award

“A little more than a year ago, I overheard employees talking about a difficult customer,” Sampson said. Then he heard more comments, about other customers. “My eyes were opened,” he said. “I’d been so busy with other projects I hadn’t noticed that a sense of disrespect was present — and it was troubling.”

Sampson began trying to teach employees to have compassion and a “soft heart” towards people, but learned it was easier said than done — and had the idea of hiring a psychologist.

Working with their pastor, he enlisted the aid of a local woman with her own practice who began working at the dealership — first with groups of 10 employees, then with one-on-one sessions.

“I learned that people show up for work carrying a lot of pain,” he said. “Having a professional available to minister to them made an amazing transformation in some key people. Attitudes changed, empathy returned and complaints dwindled.”

According to Sampson, the dealership now has empathy meetings at all three locations every week. “The employees feel valued,” he noted, and “everyone wins — the employees, the customers and the dealership.”

That attention to detail — for both employees and customers — can be found throughout the dealership. “We wanted a safe, ‘backup-free’ dealership,” he pointed out. “A customer should never have to put their vehicle in reverse on our property.” So, a huge 60-foot-wide paved circular loop was created. Likewise, the service drop-off area, free dump station, free water-fill tank and propane sales facilities, once sources of customers damaging other RVs, were sited in open areas. Indoor service bays are fully drive-through, and even their doors are 24 feet wide to minimize potential scrapes.

“Little Dealer Little Prices RV cares about our employees and our customers,” Sampson said.

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