Revised “PRO Sales Training Manual” Gives Restylers a Competitive Edge

SEMA Member News—March/April 2015

Revised “PRO Sales Training Manual” Gives Restylers a Competitive Edge

Although rather nondescript on the outside, RCTS Canada houses a lot of experience and technological knowhow on the inside. In fact, the staff makes knowledge, expertise and customer education a high priority for every sale and vehicle project.
The “PRO Sales Training Manual” is the restyler’s guide to developing a more professional and effective approach to selling directly to dealers.

The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) recently released the second edition of the “PRO Sales Training Manual,” a resource designed to help restylers, trimmers and accessory retailers build more successful dealer-direct sales strategies. The original idea for the resource came about at a long-range planning meeting a decade ago.

“We wanted to put together a very comprehensive sales manual that would be used by PRO-member sales representatives who went to new-car dealers, in particular, to really professionalize their approach to the general sales manager and other sales managers within the dealership to promote aftermarket accessories,” said Chair-Elect Scott Wolin.

Many of the guidelines and techniques included in the original manual are as pertinent today as when it was first released, but the market has evolved, with vehicle technology becoming more complex and the Internet playing a more prominent role in the way companies do business. With more accessory specialists looking for ways to expand their reach into the dealership arena, a few important adjustments were needed. This edition also provided an opportunity for a new perspective contributed by SEMA’s Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA).

“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,” Wolin explained.

Many of the images in the manual also got a refresh, and specific addendums include forms for dealership visits and structuring weekly sales calls.

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 and how to structure a company for success, the manual offers hints for the daily operations of the restyling business.

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. Wolin believes that the resource contains valuable information regardless of a restyler’s experience level.

“If you’re brand new to the industry, this is an invaluable resource for you to just understand the process and procedures as well as the makeup of a dealership,” he said. “It really helps the salespeople to structure their days and bring more value for them and for their company as well as for the dealerships. When you come in, you’ve got a plan of attack and you understand the inventory that’s sitting on the dealer’s lot. You understand how your products can bring them more gross profits and really bring the product their customers are looking for.”

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, PRO and LTAA members receive a specially discounted price of $24.95 for the printed copy.

“Anyone who is doing business at the new- or used-car dealer level should join PRO just to take advantage of this one resource, which will pay for itself many, many times over,” said Wolin.

The “PRO Sales Training Manual” is not the only resource members have at their disposal. PRO represents the collective interests of all SEMA-member companies serving the restyling and accessory markets—including manufacturers, warehouse distributors, manufacturers’ reps, restylers and installers. Member companies also work with the council to build mutually beneficial relationships with OEMs, participate in ongoing efforts to elevate the level of professionalism throughout all sectors of the industry, enhance customer satisfaction and have a voice about issues affecting the industry.

Other useful tools for members include the “PRO Business Development Guidebook” and a brochure entitled “Vehicle Accessorization: The Fast Track to Greater Profits,” which is designed to educate dealers about the value of vehicle accessorization and the importance of working with a professional accessory provider. PRO leadership is continually working on improving and adding new business-development resources for council members.

The “PRO Sales Training Manual” can now be ordered online at www.sema.org/pro. For more information, contact Clayton Drescher at claytond@sema.org.

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