Dealer Day Teaches How to Successfully Integrate Accessory Programs With New- and Used-Car Sales

A recent study on vehicle accessorization by the automotive marketing research and consultancy firm AutoPacific confirmed that accessories influence more than a million vehicle sales each year. And while many new- and used-vehicle dealers understand the power of accessorization, others have questions about how to incorporate accessory sales effectively, providing not only an added impetus for vehicle shoppers to make purchases, but also adding to the dealership’s bottom line through a supporting profit channel. Dealer Day at this year’s SEMA Show will address those questions.

Sponsored by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association and SEMA’s Professional Restylers Organization council, the 2011 SEMA Show Dealer Day will take place in the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 2 from 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The program’s sole purpose is to teach dealerships how to tap into the $28.6 billion automotive accessories market. It will provide attendees with proven strategies showing how to identify pitfalls and maximize opportunities, utilizing clearly defined approaches that integrate the dealership’s fixed operations with vehicle sales.

The program provides the latest trends, tools and resources to sell more cars and increase the dealership’s bottom line. Dealer principals who have attended previous Dealer Day programs were pleased and enthused about the information they received.

“Personally, I feel the foundation of SEMA is the exchange of ideas,” said Phil Tucker, who attended on behalf of Cerritos Infiniti in Cerritos, California. “Dealer Day was able to take most of the benefits SEMA has to offer dealers and concentrate them for a more effective use of time away from the store.”

The Dealer Day program for 2011 will kick off with an introductory address beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by a session at 8:10 a.m. on “How to Partner With the Right Accessories Installer.” Bill North of Classic Design Concepts will moderate the session, which will focus on concepts that go beyond sales alone, including fashion, trends and technology. The session will also discuss how to find qualified professionals who have the skills, training and resources to create fast-moving, high-value accessory packages, with panelists Joey Johnston of Tops & Trends and Ron Leslie of Katzkin.

A consumer focus-group session will take place at 9:20 a.m., centered around the concept of “Understanding Buying Decisions: Auto Enthusiasts Speak.” Enthusiasts are frequently looked upon as expert consultants by their peers and can become evangelists for a dealership. A diverse group of auto enthusiasts will discuss the factors that go into their car-buying decisions and what keeps them loyal.

The next session, scheduled for 10:45 a.m., will detail the “Seven Simple Steps to Running a Successful Accessory Business.” Dealer and industry professionals will offer tried-and-true practices that can boost any dealership’s bottom line, from picking the right partners to creating multilevel buy-in. The panel for this discussion will be moderated by SEMA Council Director Zane Clark and will feature David Boutwell of CODA Automotive, Chris Ferren of Bewley Allen Cadillac and Jon Titman of Automotive Essentials.

Following lunch, which is provided as part of the program, Diana Braschler of Dealer Source Ltd. and Josh Elliott of Auto Trim of Denver Inc. will conduct a vehicle walk-and-talk session. The presentation will showcase the features and benefits of accessorization and the strategies of industry-leading restylers, as well as effective strategies to consider when showcasing accessory-equipped vehicles.

Dealer Day will conclude with a networking mixer, where attendees will have the opportunity to confer with fellow dealers as well as with SEMA-member restyling experts and the event organizers. Make plans to attend today, and let your dealership colleagues know that this is a can’t-miss event for SEMA Show attendees.

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