Shop Talk

SEMA 2014

This was my first trip to SEMA. and the easiest way to summarize the experience for a first timer, would be a quote I saw on a billboard at the show, “If its not here, it’s not happening in the Automotive Industry.”  Man is that a true statement!

Once you get past the mere size of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 60,000 onlookers pouring in and out of the show, the marching band playing outside and be able to focus alongside the wonderful noise of cars doing burnouts on the test track next door (more expensive than I could even dream about)…THEN you may be able to focus your attention on what I believe SEMA is all about. EVERYTHING that is the Automotive Aftermarket.

The old Vegas saying doesn’t exactly hold true for this show. Everything that happens at SEMA, doesn’t stay at SEMA. The show is filled with opportunities to grow your business, develop new partnerships and think outside the box for innovative new ideas and concepts that can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

This was Vital Media’s first trip to SEMA. We had on display our digital menu board (Menu Plus), which is designed to influence consumer behavior at the point of purchase while promoting the products and services our dealers offer (shameless plug). Given the overwhelming production that is SEMA and it being our first time there, one may think a new company may have difficulty finding our place, but we fit right in.  

SEMA provides the opportunity to make connections with other companies that can give them the tools to run more efficiently, be more productive, increase profitability and take their business to the next level. Vendors on hand included everything from SEO, packaging, workforce efficiency, new products in the industry, signage, tires, wheels and everything in between.

I’ve been to Vegas several times in my life and I am always in awe of what this place has to offer. Never did I expect to come away with so much industry knowledge and experience packed into a 4 day event. As I mentioned this was Vital Media’s first trip to SEMA, but I can promise you, it will not be our last! I can’t wait to come back next year when we’ll no longer be greenhorns and be able to share a new chapter of the innovation that Vital Media has to offer the Automotive Aftermarket. Stay tuned for the ensuing awesomeness. 

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Building Relationships

When Norm Peterson walked into Cheers, everyone knew his name.  It was a warm, unanimous greeting that he counted on as he was welcomed into his favorite hangout.

Studies show that hearing our name activates our brain.  Even a chemical reaction can take place when we hear our name.  Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest most important sound in any language.”

When I walk into my auto repair shop, which is often because we have had so many old cars, I am always greeted with a cheerful, “How are you doing today Mrs. Betts?”  I feel welcomed and it helps build trust.  I also think it’s brave of them to ask considering I’m probably there because of car trouble and to spend money when I don’t really want to.

In my line of work at Vital Media, I call accounts on a frequent basis.  I appreciate the tips I get along the way such as, “Don’t ask for Bill.  He’s William.  I’m telling you, you will get a very negative reaction if you call him Bill.”   Noted.  Clearly.

Once I called and asked for Dave.  “Dave? Dave?”  Then I gave the last name.  “Oh, you mean Doug!!  Ann, let me tell you right now– you gotta get the boss’s name right or you won’t go very far.”  Again, noted.

It’s also important to pronounce names correctly.  I note that, too.  “Jonet, like bonnet,” I have somewhere.

There are also tricks to remembering people’s names.  Here are just a few.

1.) Match the name with a verb or other association, “Jogging Jenny,” or “Giggling Ginger.”  (Keep it nice!)

2.) Meet, greet and repeat.  You can do this by saying their name back to them in conversation. Don’t overdo it, but give it back to them.

3.) Have a contest and a prize for the employee at your place of business who can be the first to name ten customers.  Or…who can name the most. Kevin would easily win where I work.  I wouldn’t even want to go up against him.

But the best way?  Decide to care, and watch the relationship grow.

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