By John ChapinAfter more than 26 years as a successful salesperson, here is what I know to be true about sales. Lesson #1: If you’re looking for a 9 to 5 job with safety and security, sales is not for you. Sales really is the hardest high-paying work or the easiest low-paying work. Top salespeople are extremely hard workers; they get in early, stay late, and most work on weekends. Top salespeople go above and beyond, answer their phones off-hours and are always ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
SEMA Member News—March/April 2014
The Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Selling for a Living
Though Japan slipped from the number-three car consumer worldwide in 2011 to number five in 2012, love for automobiles remains very strong among the Japanese. Like Americans, the Japanese are holding on to their cars longer, which makes for a very interesting opportunity for the custom market. People have a desire to give their cars a facelift after a few years when they hold on to them, and that results in more sales for those engaged in the custom-car market. From swapping out wheels to updating headlights to modernizing the entertainment system, the aftermarket business in Japan is booming, and consumers continue to look for new products to enhance their driving experiences.
Each year at the SEMA Show, members of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) staff a booth, host a reception and hold an open membership meeting. These activities give members a chance to connect with each other as well as share information about the benefits of council membership with Show attendees who are not a part of the group. When new members do join, council leadership does its best to help them get plugged in.
Actually, the photo you see here represents the dawn of several eras. The picture was taken at the very first SEMA Show, which was known in 1967 as the High Performance & Custom Trade Show and was held in January of that year at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The car in the booth is a Camaro, Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s wildly popular Mustang. After letting Ford own the personal sporty-car market for more than two years, Chevrolet finally introduced its entry into the pony-car segment just a few months prior to the trade show. For musclecar enthusiasts, the booth represents a watershed moment—the very first Chevrolet dealer, Nickey Chicago, to offer a big-block conversion for the Camaro, developed by Nickey and race car builder Bill Thomas.
SEMA News—March 2014
HERITAGE By Drew Hardin Photo Courtesy Petersen Archives
2015 SRT Challenger and Mercedes AMG GT. KGP Photography caught this thinly covered prototype of the upcoming Mercedes AMG GT on film in the snow. The pros at KGP Photography snapped these shots of the ’15 SRT Challenger, revealing an interior overhaul that includes a new dash, switchgear, instrumentation and a quality level.
SEMA News—March 2014
Photos copyright KGP Photography. Reuse or reproduction without the copyright holder’s consent is prohibited.
Breaking news from SEMA members, including Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), Royal Purple, Motul USA, ProMedia LLC, Painless Performance and more.
SEMA News—March 2014
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has added John Sonnefeldt as its director of sales and marketing. Joining the ACT team marks Sonnefeldt’s return to the auto aftermarket from Marmon-Herrington Aftermarket Truck Parts. Sonnefeldt has 15 years of experience in the performance automotive aftermarket with well-known brands such as Auto Meter, Eaton and Holley. Advanced Clutch Technology, Lancaster, CA; 661-940-7555.
Organizations such as SEMA put a good deal of attention on long-range, strategic planning. One truly long-range initiative at SEMA is about engaging with the younger members—and future members—of our industry. The next generation really is the future of the industry. But let’s face it: If the association doesn’t pay close attention and evolve, it’s like asking the next generation to drive their father’s Oldsmobile—and folks in our industry know exactly how that doesn’t always work out!Among SEMA’s most prominent youth programs are the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Young Executive Network (YEN) and the “35 Under 35” recognition program—all examples of well-received association programs.
The Inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will donate half of the net proceeds generated by the event to the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC)—an automotive learning center for high-school students. AXC is part of the Career and Technical Education Center at Fairplex in Pomona, California, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-school students and community members with vocational training, including a two-year automotive industry certification program. For the first time ever, the Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals will take place March 22–23 at Fairplex in Pomona.
Pursuing a pro-growth manufacturing and job-creation agenda, creating access to small-business loans and credit, finding affordable health-insurance options for employees, countering burdensome vehicle equipment regulations, preventing higher ethanol content in gasoline and combating counterfeit products. Those are just a few of the political issues facing SEMA members during this critical election year.
The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) made the most of the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis during December, gathering together some of the motorsports industry’s leading manufacturers. The day before the show officially opened, attendees had the opportunity to meet face to face with MPMC-member manufacturers for an education day packed with workshops on installations, new products, marketing, selling techniques and tips for running a successful high-performance business.