Business Tools

"Revenue Mechanic" Kordell Norton Talks About Customer Service

By Michael Hart

Kordell Norton

Kordell Norton, the "Revenue Mechanic," will lead two conference sessions during SEMA Show Education Days, one of them entitled “Status Quo to Status Grow: 4 Elements of Explosive Business Growth.” Norton spoke with SEMA about what attendees can expect from his session.

SEMA: What exactly is a Revenue Mechanic?

Kordell Norton: How do you describe yourself when a customer calls and says, “My car’s making this funny noise. Can you look at it and tell me what I need?” You’d call yourself an auto mechanic. Most of what I do is geared around growing revenue, growing sales. So what we’re saying is that I’m really a mechanic for your revenue.

SEMA: You say that in your session during the SEMA Show you’ll explain how companies can break out of the “status quo” and into “status grow.” How do you do that?

Norton: People are brainwashed to see the world a certain way. It’s called life. I will play a few tricks on the audience that will cause them to say, “Wow, he caught me. Now, how am I catching my customers?” We’ll give them some skills to bust through the barriers that the customer has put in place that annoy them.

SEMA: You also say you’ll explain how to beat the big guys when you have a little guy’s budget.

Norton: Proctor & Gamble is talking about selling off hundreds of its brands. It’s too big; they’ve become an oil tanker. You can’t turn an oil tanker on a dime, but there are things you can do when you’re in a speedboat to run circles around the big, lumbering oil tanker. Because you get to use guerilla methods, they can be very cost-effective.

SEMA: Do you have an example?

Norton: Sure. Zappos, on the busiest travel day of the year, moved into the Houston airport. At the luggage claim area, they set up shop and put stickers on the turnstile so, as luggage came down out of the chute, the stickers fell on various pieces of luggage. If the sticker said “iPad” on it, somebody from Zappos walked over and said, “Congratulations, you won a Zappos iPad” and handed it to them. It cost them next to nothing—the cost to rent the baggage area for a few hours and the iPads and pens that they gave away. But it got them millions of dollars in free advertising. That’s what I mean about the speedboat running circles around the oil tanker.

SEMA Show Education Days will feature more than 60 educational sessions in 12 different tracks, ranging from new-vehicle technology to best business practices to marketing strategies and emerging trends in the industry. To see the complete schedule of SEMA Show Education courses and pre-register, visit