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Council & Network News: Revised PRO Sales Training Manual Now Available

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.

Visit TORA's website.  
The PRO Sales Training Manual contains a chapter-by-chapter outline of what it takes to affect a more professional approach to selling cars dealer direct.

TORA and PRO Collaborate on Accessory Sales Tool

By Amanda Gubbins

The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) recently partnered with the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) on a revised edition of the PRO Sales Training Manual. The manual is designed to help restylers, trimmers and accessory retailers build more successful dealer-direct sales strategies, and TORA members enjoy a special discount on the resource.

“We’re always looking to do some cross-collaboration with other councils because of the overlap in our membership and additional areas of expertise they can provide for their sections of the market,” PRO Chair-elect Scott Wolin said of the project.

Beginning with an overview of the key elements of a sales marketing strategy, the manual contains a chapter-by-chapter outline of what it takes to affect a more professional approach to selling directly to car dealers. From understanding how to make an effective sales presentation to the importance of product knowledge, the manual offers hints for the daily business operations of accessory retailers.

Seeing from the dealer’s point of view is key to building trust and gaining respect, but profit is a great motivator. The fact is that many dealers make more money on the accessories installed on a vehicle than on the sale of the base vehicle, and the manual helps salespeople effectively communicate that value. When used by sales teams as a training and reference tool, the manual can help drive sales.

The PRO Sales Training Manual is available as a hard copy, bound in a three-ring binder, or, for the first time, in electronic format for easy use on a tablet. While it can be purchased by anyone for $149.95, TORA members receive a discounted price of $24.95 for the new edition.

The manual can now be ordered online at For more information, contact Clayton Drescher.

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Visit ARMO's website.
ARMO's Hot Products Showcase will take place April 23–25, 2015, at Spring Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Register Your Restoration Parts for the Hot Products Showcase

Registration is now open for the Automotive Restoration Market Organization’s (ARMO) Hot Products Showcase, which will take place April 23–25, 2015, at Spring Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

This event is an opportunity for council members to display one or more products in front of one of the single-largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.

In addition to having products on display in the Hot Products tent, a professional photographer will shoot each one. The photos will be available to manufacturers and will also be used in a slideshow at the ARMO booth and reception at the 2015 SEMA Show. A gallery on the ARMO webpage also houses each of the photos, along with a product description for those unable to attend the event. This publicity is available to ARMO members for only the cost of shipping the product entries to the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

Product entries must meet the following criteria:
  • Be the product of an ARMO-member company.
  • Be available for sale (market-ready) by the opening of the Showcase, April 23.
  • Demonstrate unique/innovative technology and/or be a benefit to the restoration industry.
Members can register products by filling out the online application. All applications must be received by April 17, 2015.

Restoration Professionals Gather for Networking at the Hot Product Showcase

ARMO will also host a networking mixer in the Hot Products Tent at the Showcase, Thursday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The mixer will be a chance for members to grab a drink and spend some time interacting one-on-one with council leadership and fellow ARMO members. The council leadership believes this event holds enormous potential for new ideas and partnerships as members network with new and old industry friends. RSVP today.

Not an ARMO member? Join today to gain access to this event and other council benefits.

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Visit SBN's website.
Amanda Matusek

SBN Member of the Month: Amanda Matusek, Aeromotive

Amanda Matusek, sales and marketing coordinator at Aeromotive in Lenexa, Kansas, is SBN’s Member of the Month.

What does your company do?

We make fuel systems for cars.

What is your position?

Sales and marketing coordinator.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

I have opportunities to collaborate, get creative and work in an industry I love.

How long have you been with the aftermarket industry?

I grew up in the industry, but I’ve only been at this job for a couple months.

What brought you to the industry?

The opportunities.

Are you a member of any other organizations?

SEMA’s Young Executives Network.

Who is your industry mentor?

My dad.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best thing to invest in is yourself.

What would someone meeting you for the first time be surprised to learn?

Usually people are surprised that I drag race.

What is your dream car?

A ’64 Mustang with white exterior and red interior. Or a Camaro from the ’60s. Of course, it’d have to have an Aeromotive fuel system on it.

What is your favorite pastime?

It’s a three-way tie between racing, reading and photography.


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Visit YEN's website  
YEN will send 10 network members on the Hot Rod Power Tour again this summer to share their industry experience.

Apply for YEN’s Highest Rated Member Benefit

SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) will send 10 network members on the Hot Rod Power Tour again this summer to share their industry experience. Not only will participants enjoy tour access, but they will also each receive an impressive prize package.

YEN Power Tour participants will receive a grant from SEMA to help cover tour expenses. Five individuals will drive their own vehicles and receive $1,750, while the five other passengers will receive $500. Each participant will also receive:

  • Hotel accommodations
  • Free VIP entry into the Power Tour
  • Ticket to the opening night hospitality party
  • Premier parking location in the YEN corral
  • Long hauler gifts
  • SEMA swag items

(Please note that all benefits received are considered taxable income.)

The participating network members will represent different niches in the specialty-equipment market. They will interact with tour attendees and visit schools along the seven-city, seven-day journey to share about their careers and engage the next generation of industry executives. The participants will also take the tour online through the YEN Facebook page, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Learn more and apply today to join the YEN Power Tour. Applications will be accepted through April 10. All members of YEN are eligible to apply. Not yet a member? Join today.

During last year's competition, Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, introduced a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers.

Let SEMA Help Launch Your Business

By Amanda Gubbins

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 SEMA Launch Pad, Presented by YEN. The competition, now entering its third year, gives automotive innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 an industry platform for their budding businesses.

Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, was a contestant in the 2014 competition. He and his concept—a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers—made it all the way to the final stage of the competition, where he gave a live presentation to a panel of respected industry leaders during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

“As I look at the experience overall, I have to say that as a very, very young company, it did a tremendous amount of good for us in the sense that we went from being a concept, an untested idea, and we were forced to mature to our best capacity,” Peterson reflected. “We were forced to ripen as best that we could. It taught us about ourselves, our will, our desire to see this through and it brought out the best in our team. It definitely brought out the best in me.”

Launch Pad applicants are evaluated based on their video submissions by a task force, which will select the top 10. The top five candidates are narrowed down via a Facebook voting campaign. These finalists will each pitch their business plan at the 2015 SEMA Show, where the judging panel will select the winner, who will receive a prize package designed to fuel the next steps of his or her business.

Peterson explained that each of the finalists gained a certain amount of validation, which made the experience valuable. For MG Research, the feedback and exposure was a catalyst for much of the growth the company has experienced over the past months.

“We no longer have to strain ourselves trying to make this vision visible to other people. It’s now plastered all over the SEMA website, and it’s represented well. It has taken us from being one of a million young companies trying to come out of the woodwork, to one of a few that actually has accomplished something. As we are moving along now to our funding activities, we are going to find out exactly what the strength of the SEMA Launch Pad experience is.”

The bottom line, according the Peterson?

“We were all winners in the sense that we all walked away with what we needed to go to the next stage [of business],” he said.

Applications are due July 3, 2015. Find out what Launch Pad can do for your business. For more information, and to fill out the application, visit If you have questions, contact Bryan Harrison.

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