Greg Klopp’s Pro-Performance
7904 73rd Ave. N.
Brooklyn Park, Minn 55428
It was a long road before Greg Klopp became the first Big Bear Choppers dealer in the Midwest. At age 10 he got his first dirt bike, and from then on began tuning and building bikes. He dropped out of high school at 16 to attend Vo-Tech school and went on to build choppers while he was in the Navy. Through the years he worked for a number of different dealerships across the country, doing everything from basic service work to building engines and bikes from scratch. After deciding to leave Minneapolis Custom Cycle four years ago, the thought of working for someone else again wasn’t appealing, so he opened his own shop. “I wanted to do it my way,” Klopp said, so he met with Kevin Alsop,. CEO and founder of Big Bear Choppers, and became a dealer in December 2005. Klopp says he decided on the brand because of the quality, price and the fact that he could be an unassembled dealer. “You get the best of both worlds,” he said. “It’s like having a one-off custom, but it comes with a title. It’s not just a cookie cutter bike.”
Klopp says he can see the market is getting saturated with custom bikes like Harley-Davidson and Big Dog Motorcycles, but that Big Bear Choppers has a good, quality lineup, and that’s why he is sticking with it. “I can see they’re going places,” Klopp said, adding he has no intention of adding another line to his dealership.
It’s difficult for Klopp to say what’s been an exceptional high point in sales. He says he sells a lot of everything, so it’s hard to pinpoint. However, as of late, his performance work has been selling the most, which includes fuel injection, tuning and high-performance engine work. His performance work is a high point for him because a lot of his customers recommend him to their friends and acquaintances, resulting in a broader customer base.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Klopp notes his customers are more frugal with their money these days. He says they will spend it, but he and his employees have to work extra hard to make the sale. “You have to show them they’re really getting something for their dollar,” Klopp said.
PARTS AND SERVICE
Although the parts department isn’t a big segment for Klopp, his service department generates a lot of business. “My service is my biggest thing,” Klopp noted. He and his two technicians service nearly everything, including performance engines, exhaust, air cleaners and fuel injection power tuning commanders. In addition to servicing the bikes he’s sold at his shop, he services customers from other dealerships as well. Often times Klopp gets additional customers because he does work many dealerships don’t offer, such as full fabricating and customizing. “They’ll buy them (bikes) somewhere else and bring them here,” Klopp said. “We get a lot of IronHorse, Big Dog and Harley bikes.” Klopp says he’s constantly adding new equipment to the shop to make it the most complete motor and fabrication shop in the Midwest.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“My biggest thing is word of mouth,” Klopp said. “If you really take care of one guy, give him what he wants and make him happy, the next thing you know you have three of his friends standing at the counter.” Klopp insists that’s how he gets the majority of his customers. “You can’t beat word of mouth,” he said. Another way he attracts a lot of customers is by attending bike events, both big and small. He says by bringing the bikes and socializing, he’s able to make connections with a lot of people, which has been more beneficial than any of the full-page ads he’s paid for. “All it takes is a Saturday or Sunday hanging out,” he said. “It’s more fun, and it’s a lot cheaper.” Klopp says during the past few years he’s learned a lot about advertising. There are so many options out there, but is it going to pay for itself? “I’ve spent a fortune before,” he said, “but I didn’t get much back for the amount of money that I spent.” Klopp says it’s better to stick with the basics. “The best thing is to treat the customers right and make them feel that the money they spent was well worth it,” he said.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Listen to your customers and keep them happy,” Klopp said. “You’re always going to have these pains that you’re never going to make happy, but no matter what, give them their money’s worth. You’ll make more that way than any other.”
— Karin Gelschus
Greg Klopp’s Pro-Performance – Brooklyn Park, MN – Oct. 15, 2007