Bob Clements, the dealership management consultant who has helped spearhead the dealer education at GIE+EXPO 2013, points to a three-prong agenda for this year’s program –
• Classes to help owners and managers take their businesses to the next level.
• Certification and training for techs to improve performance and quality.
• One-on-one networking opportunities between peers and with suppliers.
“I talk with dealers around the U.S. every day,” Clements says. “They are always looking for better management and marketing strategies. This year’s education at GIE+EXPO can’t be beat. Dealers and their techs will be exposed to a variety of highly effective ideas, suppliers and new products – all in one place over a three-day period.”
Clements will lead six free classes for dealers Wednesday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 25. Topics include Find and Hire the Right People for your Dealership, Improve Your Margins Without Losing Your Customers and How to Handle Objections and Close More Sales. Key points in each of the six classes will be illustrated in the parts and service department of the Dealer Resource Pavilion, an exclusive area for dealers and distributors and the companies sponsoring the feature – ARI Network Services, Bob Clements International, EETC, Gravely Commercial Lawn Mowers, Heftee Industries, Husqvarna, Ideal Computer Systems, Lista International Corp., NAEDA, Stanley Vidmar and STIHL Inc.
On Wednesday, while dealership owners and managers are gleaning great advice from Clements, their technicians will be improving their skills and some will also be taking certification exams. The North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) and the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC) have put together a day-long program that is Power Pro Approved and approved for EETC Continuing Education Units. Classes cover service training in electrical, two-stroke engine, hydraulics and diesel engine diagnostics. The optional certification tests cover two-stroke cycle engines, compact diesel engines, driveline/hydraulics and electrical systems. Anyone who pre-registers for a technician class will receive an email confirmation with a link to register for the optional test.
A new feature this year is the Dealer Summit on Wednesday, noon – 3 p.m. This lunch-and-learn program for dealers and distributors will include a session unveiling new research about buying and attitude trends to help dealers reach top contractors more effectively. It will include a panel discussion on important developments like diversification, marketing, social media and sales management. Attendees will receive a full copy of the State of the Industry report, which will be presented by GIE Media, the publishers of Lawn & Landscape and Golf Course Industry magazines.
That presentation will set the stage for a discussion featuring representatives from Toro, Honda, Briggs and Stratton and Excel Industries , moderated by longtime industry leader Kim Rominger of NAEDA. Topics will include how dealers fit into the future for these companies, how the companies plan to use online sales in the future, compatibility of electronic communications and billing systems and, of course, how they are responding to the challenge of E15.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, rental dealers will gather for their own lunch-and-learn program, 1-3 p.m., which will combine a session on effective advertising strategies for rental shops and a competition to test their knowledge of the industry.
If you have ever wished you could learn from other dealers’ mistakes to avoid making them yourself, be sure to sign up for Thursday’s Dealer Resource Roundtable Breakfast. You can reserve your spot at the table when you register for the show or through your registration dashboard. The discussions allow you to hear how other dealers around the U.S. are overcoming challenges and finding better ways. The breakfast is sponsored by Gravely and STIHL.