Who'd Have Thunk It

Right here on Lake Norman is a really, really successful boat and motor dealer.

 Long Island Marina.

 How successful? Long Island Marina sells a boat and a motor nearly every day of the year.

 While Long Island Marina sells motors by Mercury, Yamaha and Suzuki, it’s the king of Evinrudes, and was just named Eastern District Evinrude Dealer of the Year.

 I’m new to the area, and when I learned about Long Island Marina, I called the owner for some background information. (Eb Pyle. Nice guy.) When I asked how many Evinrude motors he sold to be Dealer of the Dear, he told me, but asked that I not be specific in this article. But I can tell you it’s an OMG number.

 But it’s not just motors. Long Island Marina also sells pontoon boats. A lot of them. How many is a lot? Top 10 in the country in Bentley and Sylvan pontoon boats, and top 5 in the country for sales of Starcraft pontoons and deck boats.

 As they say on those late-night TV commercials, “But wait, there’s more!” Need a place to park that rascal? Long Island Marina also has more than 100 boat slips available, and dry storage, as well. Including the equipment to get it from the water to storage and back again.

 And service. Full service on all the boats and motors.

 The business is open seven days a week, and even has a snack bar. So, if you get a munchies attack on the lake, you can pull over and grab a burger.

 I asked Eb what he attributed his success to. This will come as a surprise to people under thirty who are reading this, but slick sales techniques, high technology and Internet savvy aren’t factors. He’s successful because he’s old fashioned. Soooo twentieth century.

 Long Island Marina is family-owned, now in its third generation. And everybody is totally hands-on. If you have a question or problem, you can talk directly with the owner. Eb says he loves getting to know his customers.

 Everybody’s on a first name basis there.

He said in a day when nearly everything you buy comes from some big multi-national corporation, where you’re little more than a billing unit, it’s refreshing (and in fact, unique) to deal with people who not only know you, but actually care about you.

 

This isn’t an ad for Long Island Marina; it’s an article written by a guy who’s truly impressed. I’m old enough to remember when the local drug store, deli, barber shop and clothing store were owned by people who lived in the community, and my doctor and dentist each had two employees. In a lot of ways, things were nicer then.

 Long Island Marina is kind of a throwback. Like Leave it to Beaver on the lake.

 That’s what impressed me. Imagine becoming very successful just by loving what you do and treating your customers like friends. A totally counter-intuitive approach in twenty-first century America. But a welcome and pleasant one.

 You go, EB.  Long live personal service!

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Pilot Media publishes boating guides providing comprehensive information on boating and waterfront living. Each edition includes an index of boat related businesses, reference maps, marina & boatyard guides, a directory of waterfront & water-access restaurants - The Pilot's Galley - and a Fishing Guide that includes a directory to area fishing service providers.  Read more >

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