Nov. 29, 2010 – Education and entertainment: It is possible

Maybe it’s because I’ve endured another dreadfully long political season, but I have this desire to set the record straight here.
You see, as we were preparing for our dealer educational conference & expo in October, things got a bit busy here and a PowerPoint template that was sent out to our Profit Xcelerator seminar providers had a slight error. Not a big deal, not even really worth mentioning here. But, OK, yes, the PowerPoint template was not supposed to be set up with some French font. Excusez-moi!
A slight error, no? But still, there was our longtime industry compatriot and dealer consultant Sam Dantzler callin’ me out on this miniscule glitch in front of a packed seminar room at ProfitX. He might as well have thrown some tea into a harbor while he was at it.
So, yes, that led to quite a barb-filled, intermittent faceoff during a separate seminar.
His dig: “Somewhere in Minnesota is a village missing its idiot.” (Powersports Business is published in the Twin Cities.)
Mine: “There are four things you need to know about Sam: star athlete, homecoming king, valedictorian … homeschooled.”
His: “Does your dealership have a Facebook site? And if so, how many followers do you have? 500? Hundred? Two? Neil, what’s it like to have two followers?”
My point in bringing this up — beyond setting the record straight! — is to stress that the educational process does not have to be a tedious, mundane affair. We proved that at ProfitX, thanks to some absolutely terrific speakers.
It’s an incredibly important point to make now as so many of you look at your 2011 budgets. ProfitX mirrors the industry, so it’s much more than just a meeting or two about how to create the latest new unit sales process. There is so, so much more to dealership profitability now that we struggle to contain our educational agenda into two days. The preowned market. E-commerce. Retail lending sources. Lead management. The vast subjects that one has to immerse themselves in just keeps growing.
And to succeed, you have to become educated. But it doesn’t mean it has to happen in a stale environment. Dantzler knows that. So do we. That’s why below this column you’ll see some photos that captured the atmosphere from the October event.
We know from our post-event survey that 100 percent of dealers said they accomplished what they had intended by being at ProfitX and 76 percent of them had clear business initiatives (ones they could actually cite) that they were bringing back to their stores due to the ProfitX experience. Those are crucial results. Those pay the bills. But we also know — through these photos and more importantly, dealer feedback — that profitability doesn’t have to be translated — in French or English! — into snore-ability.
We’re excited at the prospect of sharing more industry education and laughs with you next fall through ProfitX 2011.
Oh and by the way, a day after returning from ProfitX I received this e-mail message: “Sam Dantzler wants to be friends on Facebook … Neil, we have to get your Facebook friend count past two …”
How do you say “homeschooler” in French?

A note on this edition

You’ll notice there is no “ATV” section in this edition. That’s because we’ve devoted an entire supplement to the ATV and UTV segments of our industry. Of course, we’ll bring back the ATV section as usual in the next edition.
Neil Pascale is editor-in-chief of Powersports Business. He can be reached at

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