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New Federal Minimum Wage Takes Effect July 24, 2009

Lawmakers decided on January 10, 2007 to increase the minimum wage three times in three years, from $5.15 to $5.55 per hour in 2007, to $6.55 in 2009, to $7.25 in 2009. Arguably, this was a good idea, since the minimum wage had not been increased in 10 years. But somewhere near the middle of all this the economy began its downhill slide. Now business owners are saddled with an increase in the minimum wage that is burdensome at a time when they are burdened enough

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I’m supporting the 2009 Top 50 Dealer Awards Program ….. and hope you will also!

What a difference a year makes! I was quite vocal when I blogged against this program last year. But fast forward twelve months and we have a completely different industry and railing against anything that can position the RV industry in a good light really doesn’t make any sense. We are all in this business to see our dealers succeed because they are the people responsible for bringing products to the marketplace. We live and die by their success.

Lord knows there has been a litany of challenges that have forced many to close their doors, others to scale back their operations, and the rest of them fighting for the businesses they cherish and have worked so hard to preserve this past year.

I’m completely behind the program this year …. and here’s why …..

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What are YOU hearing?

“So – what are you hearing?” It’s the most common question I’m asked. I’m hearing snippets and pieces on a consistent basis that things are looking up. People ask the other question – “How are YOU doing, Chuck?” I have been saying, “Business is slow but life is good.” Even my business lately has been picking up. Maybe I’m a bit more focused on the relationships and the marketing that I was. I’m sure it’s true. It’s likely true for you. I going to start saying it this way, "Business picking up and life is GOOD!

Here’s what I’m hearing…


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Memorial Day Weekend – Check up and check in . .

The unofficial start of the camping season took place last weekend and as many RVers hit the road to enjoy the RV lifestyle we want to take the pulse of the industry on your first reactions now that we approach the second weekend of the season.

I’d like you to tell us your opinion of last weekend. If you are a dealer; was your lot traffic way up? If you are a campground; were most of your sites filled with happy campers? If you are a consumer; what was your impression of the RV environment after speaking with others around the campfire?

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Dealing With Failure Comes with the Job

If you could talk to the people you have most admired in life, the biggest successes, the top names, you will find that they also are the biggest failures. They lost more games, struck out more times, lost more money and had more doors slammed in their faces. The difference in their lives is that they never quit.

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A Modest Proposal ….. or a topic that the entire industry must resolve once and for all?

Larry Troutt, RVDA Chairman of the Board, has penned an outstanding column in the May issue of RV Executive Today. In his column Larry presents a very logical solution to a lingering problem that raises its ugly head around this time of year – every year – for far too many years in fact. Larry presented what he likes to refer to as a modest proposal to solve, once and for all, this issue of model year introductions.


The article should be required reading for all manufacturers! He may want to call it modest, but I suspect suppliers and dealers will praise it as gutsy, on target, and an idea who’s time has come.


What do you think?

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Developing Your Referral Business

One of the most difficult parts of selling is prospecting/networking, or getting new customers. By far the most powerful thing you can have when approaching new people is a referral from their colleagues, friends or others they respect. The big question that comes before "selling" referrals is "getting" the referrals in the first place.

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Customer Loyalty in 3 Easy Steps

Do you spend a lot of time and energy trying to attract new customers to your dealership, hoping to pump up your bottom line? If so, you're probably missing an untapped source of sales that exists right inside your dealership - there's truth in the statement that your customer base is your most valuable asset.

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Time to get serious about social networking in the RV industry . . . . .

There’s a revolution out there and it’s time for the RV industry to jump on board because it’s not going to go away. Your customer’s might if you don’t get your hands around the phenomenon and how it will play a major role in retaining customers and growing your business.


The generation of workers we are hiring “get it.” The students in college “get it”. And it is very important that the RV industry “get it” as they develop their strategies for the rebound and how you can deploy new technologies to be where your future customers are going to be – in cyberspace!


Think about it. Did you buy something worth more than $1000 in the last six months? Did you do your preliminary research on the web? Your prospects and customers did . . . . . . . . .

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Praising Your Employees

A common complaint among sales managers is that they don't get enough cooperation from their employees. You have to realize that you need to give before you can expect to receive. If you want employees who will work with initiative, ingenuity, and enthusiasm, you have to make them feel good about their job and about themselves.


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Recession Selling

Selling RVs in tough times requires a tough attitude. Half the battle is in your head and the other half is on the streets. Customers will object to price—that’s what they do. First, they test your price; next, they test your resolve. Being prepared to sell in tough times is the mental game of success. Positive thoughts provide the mental fuel you need for your journey. Positive behavior results from these positive thoughts. These tips will help you move in a positive direction in tough times:

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Out On A Limb

Ask five economists a question and, it is said, you will receive six different answers. Unsurprisingly, Harry Truman, like every president, often had difficulty extracting useful information from his economic advisors. "All my economists say, 'on the one hand... and on the other hand...'" Truman once cried. "Someone give me a one-handed economist!"

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Why Listen to Business Audiobooks?

Most successful salespeople and managers would love to improve themselves by reading and taking courses, but lack the time to do so. This is where audiobooks can play an important role in your professional career and give you the competitive edge.


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RV Business playing games with RV Industry News and technology . .. . . .

Another member of the evil empire collection of companies ( has shown that they, like some of their sister companies, can be just as devious when it comes to playing games with their competition. In this case the are a day late and a dollar short on brains and implementation, but it does speak volumes about their business ethics and how they will go to extremes to disparage anybody or any company they consider to be competing in their space – which they seem to think they own.


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Your Road to Success

What is success? Success has been defined as “the progressive attainment of a worthy goal”. While this is a good general definition, each one of us has our own specific idea about what success means to us. So, what does success mean to you? For some people it means status, prestige, and respect; for others it means power - the ability to influence and command others. But for most people, their definition of success includes financial independence and security.

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