Kickoff reception, Power 50 and PSB Institute — Are you in?

By by Dave McMahon

Based on what we in the PSB offices are hearing at various industry shows and events, dealer turnout for the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) is expected to be decidedly higher when the 2nd annual trade show kicks off Thursday, Oct. 16 in Orlando, Fla.

It’s the best place for dealers to be in October. We’re busy making the final selections of the hotly contested Powersports Business Power 50 Dealer Awards program. We’ll honor the winners on Oct. 16 in Orlando beginning with a cocktail reception from 6-6:30 p.m. in room W204A at the Orange County Convention Center, home of AIMExpo. A dinner and awards presentation will follow from 6:30-8 p.m. as the Power 50 winners get to know more about their highly successful peers.

Only Power 50 winners can attend that event, but we’re inviting all dealers and industry members to get AIMExpo started on the right foot by joining us at the inaugural Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo Kickoff Networking Reception at the Rosen Centre Hotel Pool Balcony. That will get rolling on Wednesday, Oct. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m., so that you renew acquaintances prior to heading out for dinner on another fine October Orlando night. We’ll have drinks and appetizers for you, and tunes will be provided by PSB’s resident DJ, national sales director Allison Gruhn. Send her an email with requests at (unless you’re cool with listening to bro country all night)! On second thought, send her requests. And we’re thrilled that longtime PSB and industry supporter GE Capital is sponsoring the Kickoff Networking Reception.

And as you’ve seen in various print and online forms, the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo is raring to go again in Year 2 of AIMExpo. Sponsored by ADP Lightspeed, Sta-Bil, Dominion Powersports Solutions and McGraw Powersports Group, the free dealer training seminars will start Thursday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m., and run throughout the day Thursday and Friday.

You can view the entire schedule of seminars on page 44, but here’s a primer of seminar topics from a handful of speakers who will be presenting at the PSB Institute. We’ll take a closer look at the remaining sessions in our next edition, or you can find them online at

Tim Parsons, The Art of Communication: Much More Than Words. Turn your staff on to visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles to communicate their message. The V.A.K. Learning Style is extremely popular because of its simplicity. Individuals use three styles: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic to receive and learn new information and experiences. However, according to the V.A.K. theory, one or two of these styles is normally dominant. This dominant style defines the best way for a person to learn new information by filtering what is to be learned. According to V.A.K. theorists, in order to be better understood, we need to present information using all three styles.  This allows all learners the opportunity to become involved, no matter what their learning style is. How does V.A.K. play a role in a sales and service environment within the powersports industry? Simply put, to realize any degree of success we must be able to communicate our message to the customer in order to be better understood.

Leslie Prevish, New Blood=More Profit: A 4-Step Plan to Sell to Women, Youth and Hispanics. Facts:
1) Women control 85 percent of household expenses and earn 60 percent of college degrees; 2) Youth ages 8-18 spend an average 7.5 hours in front of a screen each day; 3) By 2043, Caucasians will be the minority population in the U.S. How are you addressing these audiences? Leslie Prevish’s 4-Step Outreach Roadmap will show you how to strategically discover, define, pursue and sell to women, youth and Hispanics.

Mike Lee, Social Listening: Do you know what your online reputation is? Ever wonder if there was a way to see what people are saying online about your company, brand, or products? “Social listening” is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product, or brand across all social media channels including blogs, forums, news, video sites, photo sites, etc. Social listening can help you find new opportunities, manage your brand and reputation, identify your biggest industry influencers and much more.

Ron Cariker, Mobile Marketing: What should it really mean for the powersports industry? Mobile is fast becoming the most talked about, and possibly the most misunderstood, marketing medium we have today. A clearly defined mobile strategy can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line of your business. From apps to advertising, you will learn why your dealership cannot afford to ignore this incredible marketing opportunity.

Ty Bello, Coaching Your Team to Improve Customer Service and Upselling Opportunities: Scripting to Increase Sales and Improve the Customer Experience. Strategically scripting how we interact with our customers has long proven to be beneficial. Ty Bello will share ways to increase the overall customer experience, change ordinary interactions with customers into opportunities to upsell, and share coaching tips to raise the bar for customer service and selling.

Erik Stephens, Make Your Dealership the Hub of the Local Adventure Riding Community: Ways to participate in and profit from motorcycling’s fastest growing market niche. While adventure riding started as a relatively small market niche, it has recently become the fastest growing segment of the motorcycle industry. Dealerships can significantly grow sales, PG&A and service income by becoming involved in the adventure scene, but having the right gear in the store is less than half the battle. The presentation will include examples of critical product types to have in the store, ways to build and recommend all-inclusive packages addressing specific customer needs, and concrete actionable steps on how to connect with your local adventure riding community with relatively inexpensive events and promotions while providing the expert customer experience adventure riders expect.

More WaveRunners ahead

I just returned from a media launch of the 2015 WaveRunners and sport boats, and I’m on my way out the door to visit with dealers at the 2015 Yamaha Watercraft Product Premier in Miami. Be on the lookout for more coverage from both in upcoming editions of PSB.

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