According to Jonathan Hinshaw, general manager for Northern Colorado (NOCO) Powersports – A John Elway Dealership, “Being located in Northern Colorado, our customers are lovers of the outdoors, and our mountain roads are second to none.”
It’s hard to argue against that claim. With 25 peaks topping 14,000 feet, Colorado is home to many of the tallest mountains in the U.S. In addition, Rocky Mountain National Park is the fifth most-visited national park in the country, attracting locals and tourists alike. Colorado is just one of those places that has the unique privilege of boasting terrain for any type of powersport vehicle – motorcycles, bikes, ATVs/UTVs, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles. The people of this state go out and ride year-round, and it’s a point of pride – especially for the staff at NOCO Powersports. A quick look at the ‘Meet Our Staff’ page on www.nocopowersports.us shows the bios for sales, services, parts and administration team members with all of them listing their favorite rides, from Triumphs and BMWs to Hondas and Harleys.
Hinshaw, for instance, has put over 500,000 miles on motorcycles since he started riding at 15 years old and will go out in any kind of weather – even in snow. It’s that sort of dedication to and knowledge of powersports that has helped him and the staff propel this business into becoming a destination dealership.
As a veteran of the Marine Corps, Hinshaw credits his time in the military with instilling in him some of the basic aspects needed to succeed in business – listening, following orders and taking pride in himself. The lattermost was especially important since, after receiving an honorable medical discharge, Hinshaw, then 24, didn’t know what to do with himself. Like many other veterans, he wasn’t sure what his skillset was. When he saw an ad in the paper for a car salesman, he applied for the job.
He spent 10 years sitting in every possible seat in the high-line automotive business. After a decade, he left the auto world and used the knowledge he gained to start his own web marketing agency, which he ran for seven years before deciding to go back into retail.
In 2017, NOCO Powersports hired him to help grow its sales side. At the time, the dealership was still a small, family-owned business, but within two years, he helped grow it enough to get it situated to sell. ELWAY Powersports purchased the dealership in 2019 and hired Hinshaw as the general manager.
The dealership, part of the ELWAY Powersports group, which currently owns four locations and is still growing, sells a variety of vehicles for all outdoor-lovers – BMW, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, CanAm On-Road and Off-Road, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Switch Pontoon boats, and Specialized e-bikes.
With so many different product lines, no two customers at NOCO Powersports are going to be the same. Therefore, the dealership understands the importance of getting to know every customer and understand their needs and wants.
“Sales is about helping the right customer make the right decision for the right reasons … as long as those reasons are right,” Hinshaw explains. “Whether it’s parts, sales or service, customers are here to reward themselves. No one needs a motorcycle or powersports vehicle. As long as we remember that our customers are not here for a transaction but for a positive story, we all win.”
NOCO Powersports’ staff members understand that they are part of that story. Therefore, they try to make each transaction as simple as possible, no matter how complex it might be. Part of that process involves overcommunicating to make sure everyone is happy.
“Our staff understands that expectations can create premeditated resentments. Therefore, we all take ownership of our part and make sure we’re setting the proper expectations, and the best way to do that is to under-promise and over-deliver,” Hinshaw adds.
NOCO Powersports also uses best practices in its service department to put out quality work in a timely fashion. What’s key to the service department’s success is prepping for the next day the night before. All parts are pulled and binned, ready to be dispatched first thing in the morning. The shop foreman follows a strict quality assurance process, whereby another mechanic or lead lot porter looks over every job, just to make sure nothing was missed.
“This extra three minutes is invaluable and can catch those little things like loose mirrors or a loose bolt and ensures the unit is 100% ready for pickup,” Hinshaw explains.
In addition, the shop keeps up a litany of communication with the customer. After making a call to the customer, a text is sent to verify appointments or relay miscellaneous details. This chain of messages provides a digital “paper trail” that techs and customers can reference back to, since spoken words can be left to interpretation or even forgotten.
Of course, you can’t enact great service without great staff, and for Hinshaw, people are his business’ double-edged sword.
He relates, “My greatest success is tied to my greatest challenge. It’s always people. We’ve been blessed to find, acquire and train some amazing staff. This is also the greatest challenge, as finding good people is one of the hardest parts of my job. It’s a never-ending challenge.”
People and community are at the center of this dealership. Just as NOCO Powersports takes its name from its community, so too does it promote it. The dealership hosts several events, rides and fundraisers throughout the year, such as the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride. However, NOCO Powersports’ community efforts don’t just center around the motorcycle and powersports industry. For instance, it also works closely with no-kill animal adoption shelters. NOCO Powersports even has a dedicated “shop dog” – Hinshaw’s own Ollie – who has his own bio on the company website.
Being at the epicenter of outdoor country and in the midst of a surge of interest in the powersports industry, Hinshaw sees a bright future for this dealership. In fact, plans are already underway for growth.
“We’re going to be expanding our dealership and remodeling it to create a destination dealership,” Hinshaw concludes. “In 2023, we’ll have an additional 3,000 square feet of showroom space as we bring on our new pontoon boat product line!”