SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 25, June 18, 2015

Council & Network News: ARMO Hot Product Showcase Continues Online

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.


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ARMO Hot Product Showcase Continues Online

The 2015 ARMO Hot Product Showcase photo gallery is now up and running. This year, more than 80 products were displayed, which can be viewed online now. In addition to being on display at Spring Carlisle and in the online gallery, the product photos and descriptions will be featured in looping videos in the ARMO booth and during the ARMO awards reception at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. All of this product exposure is available to ARMO-member companies for only the cost of their annual dues and shipping the products to Carlisle.

The 2016 Hot Product Showcase will take place April 21–23, 2016, and be open to all ARMO members. Mark your calendar now and don’t miss out on this promotional opportunity. Not an ARMO member? Learn more about the council or join ARMO.

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Connect with Hot Rodders at HRIA’s General Membership Meetings

The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) will hold two open general membership meetings in July. These events give HRIA members the chance to connect with each other, meet the council leadership and learn more about industry developments. Included on the agenda for both meetings is the presentation of the HRIA Annual Report and a discussion about the state and direction of the hot-rod industry. Attendees will share and hear from other members about strategies for the future.

Council members and those interested in exploring group membership are invited to attend one of the following:

Thursday, July 9, 2015
3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
18th Annual Goodguys PPG Nationals
Ohio Expo Center, Celeste Building
Columbus, Ohio
Visit www.good-guys.com for more information.
Register now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
NSRA National Street Rod Nationals
Louisville, Kentucky Fairgrounds
Visit www.nsra-usa.com for more information.
Register now.

For more information, contact Council Director Jim Skelly.

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The LTAA Media Preview is an opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers.
   

Maximize Your Media Preview Experience With These Tools

By Amanda Gubbins

The Light Truck Industry Alliance (LTAA) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Media Preview event, which will take place Monday, November 2, prior to the opening of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

This event is a unique opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers. Each of the manufacturer participants is selected from the application pool by lottery to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center. Throughout the four-hour event, manufacturers can show samples and answer questions about their products.

Read more details about the LTAA Media Preview held prior to the official opening of the 2014 SEMA Show.

The key to a successful experience is preparation and knowing how to make the editors’ jobs easy. In order to help manufacturers maximize their experiences, LTAA has gathered a few preparation materials from past events and webinars. These resources will help manufacturers be prepared for the media and ultimately gain the best coverage possible. The following materials are especially helpful for companies that do not have a dedicated media-relations division, or that just want to sharpen their skills:

Apply now for the 2015 LTAA Media Preview event by June 30. For more information, contact Clayton Drescher at claytond@sema.org or 909-978-6696.

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mrn  
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Earn Up to $600 in Two Easy Steps

Manufacturers’ reps have a new opportunity to partner with the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) for a special incentive. Between now and September 2, 2015, reps who refer new suppliers to the SDC can earn a cash reward of anywhere between $150–$600.

The first step for reps is to start a conversation with their manufacturer clients about the benefits of selling more parts with data and the solutions that the SDC offers to help them manage and distribute great product data. Next, visit the SDC incentive page and complete the form by September 2. An SDC employee will follow up with each supplier to begin the on-boarding process.

As long as the supplier is referred during the incentive period and on-boarded by November 27, 2015, the referring rep will receive a check in the amount of that supplier’s first month’s dues. These checks are issued to individual reps, not SEMA-member companies.

For reps who need a little preparation for these discussions, training is available through the MRN Certification Program. The web-based educational series helps manufacturers’ representatives learn more about what the SDC offers through courses designed to build confidence in discussing the data-management system with customers. Contact SDC Director of Membership Jim Graven at jimg@SEMAdatacoop.org to sign up.

Visit www.sema.org/mrn to learn more about the MRN SDC Incentive program and start earning rewards today.

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PRO Logo  
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PRO’s newly revised “PRO Sales Training Manual” contains a chapter-by-chapter outline of how to develop a sales-marketing strategy that works, and how to relate to dealers successfully.
   

Use the “Wow” Factor to Sell More Cars

Dealers are not necessarily born wanting to accessorize their vehicles, nor understanding its value. This makes the restylers’ job tricky—dealers probably do not restyle their vehicles because it’s trendy, but they do want to sell more cars and make more money. Understanding the dealer’s point of view is key for installers and restylers to build trust, gain respect and ultimately make more sales.

Profit is a great motivator, and restyling goes a long way to making a vehicle more attractive to the buyer. The fact is that many dealers make more money on the accessories installed on a vehicle than on the sale of the base vehicle. Restylers’ sales messaging, then, should focus on the main topics that will win over dealers:

  • How restyling attracts buyers and boosts floor traffic.
  • How restyling helps move more metal.
  • How restyling increases per-vehicle gross profit.

Beginning with an overview of the key elements of a sales-marketing strategy, PRO’s newly revised “PRO Sales Training Manual” contains a chapter-by-chapter outline of how to develop a plan that works, and how to relate to dealers successfully. It’s helpful for training staff and contains knowledge and insight that the whole team can implement daily—sure-fire techniques and practical information that will get the sales team in the door of any dealership.

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 the special discounted price of $24.95 for the printed copy. The digital edition is free for PRO members. Contact Clayton Drescher to place your order today.

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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 www.sema.org/launch-pad. If you have questions, contact Bryan Harrison.

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