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ProfitX allows dealers to learn from each other

ProfitX

Dave McMahon
October 31, 2011
Filed under Columns, Top Stories

You couldn’t blame a dealer for returning home from Profit Xcelerator with a sore throat. Not from any yelling or screaming about the challenges of the new economy, but instead merely from non-stop conversation.

Associate editor Liz Hochstedler and I were members of the ProfitX team together for the first time, and, as Liz so eloquently summed up: The only reason anyone needs to know why we make our living as writers and not public speakers needed only to attend one of the sessions we introduced! Comedy aside, the more than 80 dealers in attendance came focused and prepared.

They learned how to grow their business from our panel of experts. They also learned from the dozens of exhibitors, who offered a variety of solutions to dealership issues. Most importantly at an event like ProfitX, they learned from each other.

All three days of ProfitX made an impact on dealers, many of whom told me personally that they were ready to return home to implement the ideas they had learned at ProfitX. Brandee Wheeler — you can get more of her thoughts on ProfitX by scanning the QR code that accompanies this column — made the trek from the East Coast to see what ProfitX was all about. As she said, ProfitX session presenters provided her with ideas that she would not have considered on her own.

But at the luxurious Red Rock Resort, Casino & Spa, no one was on his or her own. Many seminar presenters could have sold tickets upon the conclusion of their 75-minute chats. The presenters were ready and willing to give dealers as much time as they desired to discuss specific aspects of their presentations. Another trait that makes ProfitX work is that attitudes and general ledgers are checked at the registration booth. Executives from several OEMs once again made the appropriate decision to show their support of the dealer education event. They sat alongside the dealers in several sessions, learning about the challenges that dealers face on a daily basis. More importantly, they also learned from our session presenters about ways to overcome
those problems.

Our demographic information of dealerships in attendance shows a range of annual gross sales. At ProfitX, however, your annual sales, revenue or other bottom-line figures aren’t relevant. Instead, you could be a single-location owner with annual gross sales under $2.5 million learning from the dealership principals in attendance who have annual gross sales of over $20 million.

Rather than touting their own success, dealers instead opted to share ideas in hopes of making their fraternity stronger. Royal Enfield dealers had a strong presence and seemed to always have a fellow dealer in their ear, trying to learn more about the line. Exhibitors reported the high quality of the dealerships represented gave them more leads they might otherwise get at much larger events. It was evident that folks came with only best practices in mind.

Dealers and exhibitors didn’t only keep the chatter amongst themselves. Many shared their ProfitX experience online. In fact, ProfitX was a trending topic on Twitter in Las Vegas for a portion of the event. That means when Joe Anyone in Las Vegas logged onto Twitter, ProfitX was one of the most active subjects. Who woulda thought?

Each participant had his or her own story to tell. They might have been inspired by any variety of the sessions. Maybe it was the social networking session with Josh Chiles. Could’ve also been also been Sam Dantzler. He was tossing around sales ideas at 8 a.m. like they were hotcakes. I heard dealers talking about his rhetorical question of “Are you someone’s gotta guy?” for days. It was an inspirational tale of how customers walk in a dealership because of their love of bikes. If you can be the customer’s “gotta guy” for bikes, you’ll have a customer for life. And you can become the customer’s “gotta guy” not by asking him if he needs any help, but by getting him to tell a story. Dantzler’s idea that everyone has “gotta guy” to fix the air conditioner, or to tailor the perfect fit at clothing store, should extend into a dealership’s showroom. Are you someone’s “gotta guy” for powersports vehicles? If not, it’s the first step to engaging a customer for life.

Bobby Baldridge, assistant general manager of Keefer Powersports in Logan, W.Va., didn’t take long to develop a story from ProfitX. His attendance at the Dairyland Cycle Insurance Bonus Session led to him winning an iPod from Dairyland. That also helped him avoid a shopping trip, as his to-do list included purchasing an iPod for his daughter’s upcoming birthday.

It’s only one story, but it’s stories like those that had attendees sending us emails after they returned home. Here’s how attendee Chad Ammons of Interstate Star Training Group described the event on the PSB LinkedIn page.

“I think this type of conference fills an extremely necessary function for powersport owners and GMs. It offers a rare opportunity for those at the top of the leadership chain to collaborate with other retail leaders. I went last week just to see what the event was all about. I am happy to report we found the event to be well worth the investment.

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