Kearney Powersports

511 2nd Ave South, Kearney, NE
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Type of Retail Business:
Franchised (selling new vehicles)
Craig and Amy Stokebrand
General Manager: 
Craig Stokebrand
Years in Business: 
22 - Formerly Kearney Yamaha; changed name in 2012
Gear, Apparel and Helmets: 
Kawasaki, Polaris, Victory and Yamaha, plus: Answer Racing, First Manufacturing, Fulmer Helmets, Gerbing's Heated Gear, GVG, ICON, MSR, Ogio, River Road, Scorpion, Scott, Sparx, Speed & Strength, ZAN Headgear
Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Victory and Yamaha, plus: American Manufacturing, Baron, Cobra, Cover Max, Dunlop, K&N, Kuryakyn, Pro Taper, Rampage, River Road, Saddlemen, Shogun, Vance & Hines
Parts and Tools: 
Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Victory and Yamaha, plus: Bikemaster, Eklipse, Gorilla, K&L, Pro Taper
Custom Chrome
Helmet House
KK Motorcycle Supply
Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties
Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice
Western Power Sports (WPS)
Average Age: 
Total Facility: 
22,000 sq. ft.
12,300 sq. ft.
PG&A Departments: 
5,000 sq. ft.
Service Dept: 
4,700 sq. ft.
Total Acreage: 
10 acres

Mission Statement

Business mission: To create loyal riders through a fun and professional atmosphere. 

Showroom Design and Layout

The focal point of Kearney's showroom is its Polaris flagship display. It is the first thing you see when you enter the showroom. We continually change the lifestyle display on the diamond-plated platform. We have hardwood floors that do not have permanent walkways. This allows us to move our machines, along with Parts and Apparel displays, anywhere we want with no restrictions. We totally rearrange the floor at least once each month to coordinate with the selling season we are in.

The sales team shares a single workspace. Our entire sales team shares one office that is only used to make daily callbacks and to file their paperwork. The entire nine-step sales process is performed on the sales floor. We use six pub tables scattered throughout the store to close deals. The sales department has a computer right in the middle of the showroom where employees can log in all of their customers and set planners for getting back in touch with everyone, whether they purchase from us or not.

P&A is separated from Apparel. This allows our team members to really know and understand the products they sell as opposed to trying to know a little bit about all the products. We also have a Bargain Corral made out of a split-rail wooden fence. When any accessory or apparel becomes 12 months old, it goes into our Bargain Corral at a minimum of a 50 percent discount. We then discount these items down every couple weeks until they are sold.

The window displays are set up so we can display products to the outside of the store. We also have extra slatwall to merchandise products in the showroom. The customer lounge has a TV with leather chairs, a popcorn machine, and a coffee station. Our customers also spend a large amount of time looking at our collection of 51 three-wheelers that hang from the walls.

Service Department

The service writeup area is right next to our unloading ramp so the service writers can easily get to our customers and help them unload their machines. This makes it easy for us to go over our check-in sheet with the customer and the machine.

The service writers are located right next to the shipping and receiving department, which allows us to know immediately when a special order part has been received and helps us stay on top of scheduling. In the service department, we have all of the traditional tools, plus an indoor washbay and an exhaust system so we can run the machines inside.

Each tech has two lifts, so we load their next job before they finish what they are currently working on. Each tech has their own marker board with all of their jobs for that day. This allows our service porter to know exactly which machine an individual tech will be working on next, so he can load their bench. The parts for these jobs are put in a bin location for each technician. When they pull their Repair Order, they know exactly where the parts are for their next job. Our bulk oil and our used oil dump station are in the service department to maximize efficiency.

We have two tire machines and a specific area of the service department set up for Green Lane services. This allows us to do basic services and change tires while the customer waits. Customers never need an appointment for a service -- we take all walk-ins.

Training and Employee Motivation Practices

Most dealerships strive to have satisfied customers. At Kearney Powersports, a satisfied customer is the lowest-acceptable level of service we can offer.

Our training starts the day we hire a team member and continues throughout their employment. All new team members go through our Kearney Powersports University training. This training takes two weeks and covers our sales process in each department. We also spend time on product knowledge, word tracks and the operational systems that we have in place. Toward the end of training, we focus on shadowing other employees and role-playing.

Our training continues with weekly department training and daily individual coaching. The department managers use our Daily DOCs to see where each person needs additional training, and we focus on these specific areas. Our managers' continuing education comes from 20 Group meetings, and management re-boot training. We also hire an outside trainer to come to the store every year.

We have weekly managers meetings and daily manager huddles. This allows us to keep all of our departments focused on creating loyal customers. Each team member is part of our Book Club: We choose a book that will help our store and purchase it for each team member. Once a week, we buy lunch for the team members and then spend one hour discussing the book and coming up with ways we can implement the ideas in our store.

Our bonus program is set up by department. Everyone in the department is paid a monthly, quarterly, and yearly bonus for hitting their revenue budget.

We get input from each individual and the department managers when we set the budget for each year. Individuals are also paid spiffs for selling designated items or for exceeding their personal goal. We also place a large emphasis on allowing our team members to have fun.

We just finished our Kearney Powersports Olympics. Each department had a team and every member of that department had to participate in at least one event. Some events include a canoe race on the pond, a football punt, pass and kick, and a Ripstick race on the showroom floor. The winning department was provided lunch on a Saturday. We allow our team members to ride Ripsticks on the floor and to play catch with Nerf footballs.

At some point in each day, a customer is usually talked into joining one of the games the team members are playing. This allows us to keep company morale at a high level, and brings our customers into the fun experience that we provide.

We also have a Christmas party for all the staff members and guests, which is held at a local restaurant. Each spring we have a barbecue for the staff. We hire a catering service to prepare the food. We set up "lawn games" to help spend the day together having fun and not worrying about work.

Commitment to Customer Service

Our customer service philosophy can be summed up by the title of a book by Jeffrey Gitomer, Customer Satisfaction is Useless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. We aim to make each and every customer shocked at the experience they have in our store.

Our customer loop is one example of our philosophy. When we are dealing with a customer in the sales department, we agree on all deals before we ever pull a customer's credit score. We then agree on price and begin them through our loop. The finance person first comes to the table and verifies all of their information and how they want the title made out. While she is getting financing lined up, the customer goes on our loop. They are first taken to the apparel department where they are given a couple of Kearney Powersports drink koozies.

The apparel person greets and probes the customer (the first two steps of their sales process) and recommends products that will make their riding more enjoyable. When they are finished in apparel, they are taken to the parts and accessories department. They are introduced to an accessories specialist and given a free T-shirt. The accessory team member also gets to know the customer and recommends accessories that can be added on to the sale. When the customer has had an opportunity to see all the accessories, they are taken to the service department. In service, each customer is given a travel coffee mug. They are also given the owner's manual for the machine they are purchasing. The service writers then take them to the checkered flag, where we park all machines that are sold. The service writers go over the operation and maintenance of the machine with each customer. Once they finish with service, the customer is brought back to their original sales person.

The key to our entire loop is that nobody, not even the managers, know if the customer is approved for financing. This allows us to treat each and every customer as if they purchased the machine. All customers are given the opportunity to keep their free gifts, even if they are declined in financing. When all the paperwork is finished, the customer's photograph is taken on their new machine. We send their photo to them with our "after the purchase" follow-up letters. The customer loop allows us to treat every customer the same. It also gives the customers an opportunity to meet a specialist in each of our departments. When they need anything in the future, they personally know the team member that they will be dealing with.

Involvement in the Community

Community involvement is one of our strongest marketing segments. We are located in a rural area, and one of the best ways we can promote our business and local community is by giving back. We sponsored over 40 benefit rides this past year. Our benefit ride for the Make-A-Wish Foundation raised over $10,500 to grant two wishes to Make-A-Wish children.

There are numerous other events that we sponsor, including the Nebraska Cattlemans Classic, the Royal Family Kids Camp, and the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Kearney Powersports is also an annual Angel of the Hour sponsor for St. Jude. We donate to local school fundraisers, and five local rodeo clubs. We helped one high school remodel their wrestling room, and we help with the local ROTC benefit. Our community involvement also includes helping financially when a local volunteer fire department was constructing a new building. In addition to our annual Make-A-Wish ride, we also hold blood drives at the store.

Three times each year, we clear out part of our showroom and the American Red Cross comes in and does a blood drive. We also encourage all our team members to do their business locally in order to support the local economy.