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Heritage Tractor Creates Reasons to Buy This Spring


This is the second installment in Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s “Season-to-Season” feature with Heritage Tractor. Challenges this spring: Turn seasonal optimism into equipment purchases and manage employee transitions.


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Heritage Tractor, Baldwin City, Kan.


Founded: 1998, with stores also in Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka and Paola, Kan. and Clinton and Harrisonville, Mo. Heritage recently acquired another John Deere dealer- ship and added its locations of Kansas City, Kearney and Platte City, Mo.


Location: On a main highway on the outskirts of Baldwin City, Kan., and near metro areas of Lawrence, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.


Lines: John Deere, John Deere Landscapes, Frontier, Honda, Land Pride, Schaben Industries, Stihl and Polaris


A dealership team in transition: David Stockwood (left) is Heritage Tractor’s new marketing manager. Derick McGhee (center) has the new position of integrated solu- tions manager. Mike Fraser is retiring from his position as executive vice president.


Lynn Marcinkowski Woolf Managing Editor


H


eritage Tractor is hoping this spring fulfills the promise of last spring.


“Last April and May, we were


going great guns. Grass was growing. The commercial people loved it,” says Mike Fraser, Heritage Tractor’s exec- utive vice president. Then, the 2011 drought became the 2012 drought. Fraser says the only way a dealership can survive, regardless of the challeng- es, is to be proactive.


“We’re going after business. We want to make sure we drive business and be successful, no matter what,”


says Fraser. “Spring is where hope is at its zenith. That’s when emotion comes into equipment purchases.”


Heritage Tractor is based in Baldwin City, Kan., with 10 locations in northeast Kansas and northwest- ern Missouri. Its rural lifestyle equip- ment lines include John Deere, John Deere Landscapes, Polaris, Honda and Stihl. The dealership serves rural life- stylers, commercial landscapers and production farmers. It is less than 50 miles from the metropolitan areas of Lawrence, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. This spring, the dealership is con- tinuing its strategy of aggressive mar- keting to convince rural lifestylers that


34 RURAL LIFESTYLE DEALER  SPRING 2013


Challenge & Solution: Heritage’s mar- keting and sales strategies highlight new products, solutions and special promotions to get customers back into the buying mode after two years of a drought. On the management side, the dealership tries to promote employees from within to fi ll positions and retain team members.


now is the time to purchase equip- ment. The dealership is also coping with an ongoing concern for many dealerships: finding employees and transitioning leadership duties.


Spring Marketing Plan Rolls Out


The dealership wrapped up 2012 with a holiday season push on retail products. Derick McGhee, market- ing manager, used online marketing including website banner ads, coupon sites and social media to bring holiday shoppers into the dealership. “We did see our retail sales num- bers go up and our departments did a


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