Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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26 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 PERFORMANCE line offered from their vendors. Although the dealer may not carry all of the products dis- played, this will give them some insight to what is available for their particular mar- ket," he says. "Vendor representatives are available at the shows to educate their deal- ers and discuss which products will best work for the applications racers in their area are requiring. When a customer places a call to their dealer asking for a particular item that is not carried, the dealer will be able to say, 'I know exactly what you need and I know exactly where to get it.' This answer will in turn boost sales and strengthen the dealer-customer relationship." COMP's Douglas reminds us that, as always, it's about being there for the racers in your area. "Offer exceptional service and guid- ance to customers," he says. "I also feel it's important that race shops become an advocate for racing in the local commu- nity—organize car shows, charity func- tions, etc. Being a successful racing retailer is probably one of the hardest ways I could think of to make a living these days, but it can be done and it is critical that the sport have these hubs of local racing knowledge for the future." Utt has seen this approach work as well. "Many retailers benefit by working closely with their local tracks. Get involved in the rules-making if possible; the pro- moter may not have a working knowledge of the parts industry and the retailer can guide the promoter to make the right choices. Many times a promoter doesn't understand that allowing aftermarket parts can actually save the racer money. A retailer should also know what is required and what is allowed at their local track—be sure to read the rule books so you and your staff can be the go-to-guys for the racers in your area." So the only thing left to do, says Douglas of Rod End Supply, is get out there and do it. "The local retailer needs to visit his local tracks on a regular basis. He needs to talk to the racers, hand out fliers and busi- ness cards. Let the racer know that they can buy everything local and save shipping and handling costs as well as getting it the same day if time is important. The racer can touch and feel the part when he visits his local retailer, making sure that it is the product that he wants." And then take it to the track. Today, circle track racers at all levels are looking for value more than ever in their gear. (Photo courtesy RaceQuip) (Photo courtesy Rod End Supply) (Photo courtesy QA1) PHBMAY.indd 26 4/2/14 11:38 AM

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