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Veterans and newcomers alike know value of ProfitX

September 5, 2011
Filed under Features

New owner of South Dakota dealership steered
to Las Vegas event

By Dave McMahon
Senior Editor

What type of dealer will be attending Profit Xcelerator in Las Vegas? The one that you see in the mirror every morning — you!

That’s right — dealerships of all shapes and sizes will be represented en masse when the event runs Sept. 25-27 at the Red Rock Resort Casino & Spa in Las Vegas. Those who know the value of the knowledge that’s to be shared are always first in line when ProfitX registration opens. Scan the list of registrants and there they are — the ones who are always smiling when we run into them at industry distributor shows and events.

“Business is great. We’re up double-digits in sales from last year,” one said in August.

“I have a couple of new guys on the sales staff, and I need to help them find that extra something, so I’m coming again,” another added.

“I keep hearing about how great using social media is, so I want to go and get my head around that,” a 50-something dealer offered.

Or take Chris Lien. He just took over the Outdoor MotorSports dealership in Spearfish, S.D. Just took over, as in he was handed the keys on June 17. Former owner Bill Hearne had built the dealership into an appealing business opportunity for Lien, who came from the construction industry.

Lien, of course, was probably about as unfamiliar with ProfitX as a dealer could possibly be when he bought the store 15 miles north of Sturgis off Interstate 90. But Hearne had attended ProfitX and its forerunners in previous years, and encouraged Lien to book the dates. With a customer base of more than 4,000 that Hearne had helped to build, Lien knew where he was going to be in September.

“Obviously after acquiring a new business in the powersports industry, Bill recommended it would be a good idea to attend,” Lien said. “I’m just looking with a fresh set of eyes to go there and see what I can learn and glean from industry leaders. And networking. And going to the courses to learn as much as I can.”

Lien hasn’t even spent a fiscal quarter in the industry, but he already knows the value of ProfitX. Dealers are coming from Canada and all over the U.S. They’re coming well represented from the largest dealership chain in the U.S. to yes, that small store down the road that annoys the heck out you because you “don’t know how they do it.” They, like others at ProfitX, do it through education and forward thinking.

Dealers like Chris Lien don’t rest on their laurels, figuring that if they just took over a dealership that has 4,000 customers, more are bound to come through the doors. Just 46 years old, Lien didn’t become a dealership owner and employer of 19 staffers without being an astute businessman.

“I was looking to own a business 100 percent on my own, and this fit the criteria of what I was looking for in a business model,” he said. “Bill had run the business well and I think I have some attributes I can bring to the table in the future to help it grow and expand.”

In month four of ownership, Lien figures to boost those plans by attending ProfitX. After all, it makes business sense.

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