PRO Resource Recognizes Restyler Skills and Expertise

SEMA News—March 2020

  The “PRO Sales Training Manual” is available as a hard copy for purchase, bound in a three-ring binder, or in a free electronic format for easy use on a tablet or PC.
   

By Ellen Mckoy

PRO Resource Recognizes Restyler Skills and Expertise

Competition is stiff, so what are you doing to increase sales? If your shop’s core business stems primarily from dealer-direct sales, start the year off with a bang by earning a coveted credential that can take your sales career to the next level and deliver a competitive edge.

We’re talking about the SEMA Accessory Sales Professional (SASP) certificate program. The new resource, inspired and presented by SEMA’s Professional Restylers Organization (PRO), is designed to help restylers, installers and accessory retailers build a more prosperous dealer-direct business through recognition of their sales skills
and expertise.

Invest in Your Career

The SASP certificate program is geared toward shop owners and employees who seek to earn recognition for their achievements, so if you’re looking for ways to increase sales and set your shop apart from the pack, investing in yourself and your sales personnel is a smart way to improve your business and gain a valuable marketing advantage.

The SASP consists of two parts. First, there’s the “PRO Sales Training Manual: A Restyler’s Guide to Selling Dealer Direct.” Developed by industry experts and volunteers from both PRO and the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA), the 80-page, easy-to-read guidebook covers virtually every aspect of a dealer-direct sales strategy.

The second part is a knowledge-based online exam centered on the sales manual. Advanced study of the manual is recommended. The five-section exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and answers tied to core topics:

  • Customer relations and strategy covers knowledge of key elements of sales processes and strategies.
  • Salesperson knowledge and practices covers knowledge and understanding of salesperson best practices.
  • Business structure and sales process covers knowledge of dealership operations and guidelines for sales success.
  • Marketing and promotion covers branding, marketing and promoting one’s company.
  • SEMA (PRO) recommended business practices and preparations covers knowledge and understanding of the “PRO Codes of Recommended Business Practices” and “The Essentials of Successful Sales Meetings.”

Upon completing the exam, the participant’s score is immediately posted. Those who pass are awarded an accessory sales professional certificate and badge and also receive the SASP logo, which is suitable for printing on business cards and other marketing collateral.

Get the Designation That Gets You Noticed

Those who pass are awarded an accessory sales professional certificate and badge and also receive the SASP logo, which is suitable for printing on business cards and other marketing collateral.  
   

To date, nearly 150 restyling pros have earned their SASP certificates. While most participants thus far are PRO-member restylers or retailers and their sales personnel, other member companies have also stepped up to the plate.

Bill North, who heads up sales for Katzkin Leather, is a member of the PRO select committee and the chair of the council’s sales certificate subcommittee. He was among the first to take and pass the exam.

“OEMs and large dealer groups have utilized exams to accredit salespeople for many years,” North said. “PRO is following that path with the SEMA Accessory Sales Professional initiative, which gives us a credible way to tangibly demonstrate a level of sales professionalism. So take the test, pass the test, and be proud of your achievement.”

But achieving SASP accreditation isn’t a slam dunk. The test is designed to measure a candidate’s real-world knowledge, so it stands to reason that it not only requires some job experience but also study and knowledge of sales strategies.

At Chrome Enhancements, a nationwide accessory retailer, the goal is to get everyone on board.

“We have made it our goal at Chrome Enhancements to have our entire workforce review the sales manual and then hopefully pass the test,” said Rod Bennett, general manager and a PRO select committee member. “At last check, we have about 40 who have passed, so we’re about halfway to our goal of 80.”

Reviewing the sales manual has proved worthwhile for restylers as well. In September, while Hurricane Dorian plowed through the Florida coast, Cristina Jorge of Specialty Automotive Treatments in Ft. Lauderdale gathered her sales team.

“We took advantage of the stormy weather and had my sales team here for a sales manual study-and-share day,” said Jorge, also a member of the PRO select committee. “We all found the training manual to be super-useful, making highlights and discussing practices we currently use and some we don’t and plan to implement. We all took the SEMA Accessory Sales Professional exam and passed.”

Tony Hinton, general manager at AutoPlex Restyling Centers, which operates three facilities in the market around Denver, Colorado, has been a SASP booster since the get-go. Determined to be the first PRO-member restyling business to see its salespeople earn certificates, he organized a study group. The investment was well worth the effort.

“Most people don’t like taking tests,” said Hinton, another a select committee member. “So I organized a study group around a breakfast-club theme to make it a fun, interactive day. For us, the camaraderie built internally by studying the sales manual together and taking the test together was a team-building effort, and it paid off. Our salespeople are now accredited, and it’s really built self-esteem and pride.”

It has also opened dealership doors.

“The SASP logo is on our business cards, and it has been an icebreaker at a few dealerships that wouldn’t give us the time of day before but have now given us some business,” Hinton said. “The SASP accreditation really adds credibility to what we do as professional restylers.”

Join the Cause

The “PRO Sales Training Manual” is available as a hard copy for purchase, bound in a three-ring binder, or in a free electronic format for easy use on a tablet or PC.

If you are not yet a member of PRO, now is a great time to join and take advantage of the discounted price for the manual and the exam and to learn more about the many other council resources. If you are already a member, take your membership—and your company—to the next level.

The special PRO/TORA-member price for the printed version of the manual is $24.95, and the member price for the exam—which can be taken multiple times at no additional cost if necessary—is $19.99 per individual. The nonmember cost for the printed version is $149.95; the nonmember cost for the test is $39.99 per exam.

For more information or to receive the discounted member price for the manual and the exam, contact SEMA Council and Network Marketing and Communications Specialist Kristopher Porter by phone at 909-378-4859 or via email kristopherp@sema.org.

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