THE SHOP

September '18

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SEPTEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 25 for their particular application. Before engaging this group and selling to them, take the time to do your home- work. There are big differences between mall crawlers and overlanders, just as there are distinctions between off-road racers and adventure travelers. TAKE IT WITH YOU Severe-duty or adventure trailers are another overland product niche, which may or may not involve RV dealers. Some trailer manufacturers opt to sell directly to enthusiasts, while others are inclined to work with shops who speak the same language as their customer base. Their ease in set-up and tear-down, the ability to unhook the trailer and use the rig all week for work and the notion that everything is contained within the trailer makes them attractive, along with suspen- sion setups that allow them to follow along on- or off-road without incident. Finally, if outdoor recreation is big in your area, take advantage of what can be another source of customers for your shop. Kayakers, mountain bikers, hikers and stand-up paddleboarders need some form of transportation to get to and from recreation areas. The crossover from an outdoor store to your shop is one you should encourage. Foster relationships with outdoor shops and you may find common ground with their audience when it comes to getting them geared up and to the trail. Don't worry if you both sell roof racks—they don't carry winches, sliders, lift kits or other parts and accessories that are outside their area of expertise. Also, be willing to display your vehicles when and where it's appropriate. To quote J.R.R. Tolkien, Not all those who wander are lost. Adventure travel can open up another aspect of off-roading you may not have previously considered and bring in new customers who discover they have a desire to personalize their vehicles. JASON SAKURAI heads up Roadhouse Marketing, a mar- keting, advertising and sales solutions firm dedicated to the automotive aftermarket. A fre- quent contributor to THE SHOP, Jason's byline appears in many enthusiast and trade publications, in print and online. 600+ TRUCK AND JEEP ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE WITH UPDATED DATA AVAILABLE THROUGH SEMA DATA CO-OP & DCI www.paramount-automotive.com

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