On August 14, partner dealerships and prospects from around North America descended on Elkhart, IN to attend the inaugural Barletta Pontoon Boat Dealer Meeting and feel, first-hand, what all the “buzz” was about; a focus on innovation, quality, and partnership.
While maintaining an informal “feel”, the meeting offered some structure including product training, pricing and promotions discussions, and networking opportunities. One of the highlights of the three day event was the business meeting that included a question and answer session at its conclusion.
“Attendance at the event was outstanding,” stated Bill Fenech, President and Co-Owner of Barletta Boat Company. “Our team was able to spend quality, face-to-face, time with our current dealer partners and several high-caliber prospect dealerships. What was really exciting was the unexpected number of attendees in the area for other dealer meetings, that came to see our product, our people, and hear our story. This all really emphasizes the need and desire for a pontoon boat manufacturer to shake things up by doing things differently...the Barletta way.”
With the release of the new E-Class (Elite) pontoon boats, the “little brother” to the highly successful L-Class (Luxury) line, orders written at the meeting were stronger than expected, surpassing Barletta’s internal goal by a wide margin, with more orders on the way.
“The meeting was a huge success,” stated Jeff Haradine, VP of Sales. “Not only in terms of commitments for the upcoming year, but in terms of the overall feel of the meeting. Really strong partnerships take years to develop - but we’ve signed great dealers and built killer relationships. What we’ve experienced over this very short period of time just can’t be duplicated by our competitors. It’s truly something special.”
With over 70 locations nationwide, Barletta’s dealer network includes over 20 dealerships representing multiple locations, recognized as Boating Industry’s Top 100 dealerships of 2017. Until recently, Barletta had suspended signing new dealers to insure that they could adequately support their dealer partners with product. As the team reviews the model year 2019 order commitments and assigns delivery dates, Barletta may consider suspending new dealer signings again, as the production team ramps up.
“Our team focuses on doing what’s right for the relationships we are building with our dealer partners,” continued Fenech. “Build hot products with quality, provide large territories, and don’t settle for less than the best customer service in the industry. Sometimes it’s as simple as returning a phone call. We treat our dealers in the same manner that we would hope to be treated; our team doesn’t know how to do it any differently than that.”