Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
November 12th, 2014

Three Important Takeaways from the SEMA Show

Well, another SEMA Show is in the books and the week went WAY too fast, as it usually does. I wanted to share three quick things that I either learned or got re-enforced at this year’s SEMA Show. So with no further delay, here we go!

  1. The automotive aftermarket business is back to pre-recession levels. Although many of us could feel this when we spoke to people or saw it in our sales data from 2014 YTD, there was no doubt once I arrived at SEMA that the auto business is back. I have been attending SEMA for 15 years and this was the largest I have ever seen the show. The previous largest shows had been in the 2005-2007 time frame, which was also a good time for new car sales. The same is true now, which shows that when the new car business is booming, the automotive aftermarket business follows.
  1. The successful shops are looking to add new products and services. One of the biggest trends I noticed while at SEMA this year was that business owners looking to add a service beyond just window tinting that complements their main business. They did not want to go in a complete other direction but simply have discovered that selling products or services to the customers that they already had is a way to grow in 2015 and beyond. As a result, there were many products at the show designed to be added easily to an shop’s existing offerings that will either improve the shop’s current product/service line so as to upcharge successfully or add revenue via an additional sale.
  2. As good as technology might be, there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. In a day of email, texts, FaceTime, Skype, etc. it is easy to overlook the importance of face-to-face meetings. The beauty of a show like SEMA is that it gives people the opportunity to have real meetings in person. While I value all the things modern technology allows us to do, there is an unmistakable advantage to people being across the table from one another. It is hard to explain other than to say that I was able to get more accomplished with certain individuals at SEMA in a 60 minute meeting than I would have been able to get done in a month of emails, texts, phone calls, etc. So whether it is at the next SEMA Show or another industry event, I would encourage you to attend just for the opportunity to have those needed meetings in person.

Well, after that week, I have a ton of emails to return and phone calls to make. If you did not make the show this year, I hope to see you at a SEMA Show, the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) or another industry event sometime in the near future!

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  1. For those of us that could not attend, thank you very much for those takeaways Patric! I find tremendous value in all 3 of those evaluations, and can put all of them in to practice and/or application immediately. Hope to see you at the next event also.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Wayne! I am glad that you enjoyed the article and found the takeaways useful.

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