By Ronnie Garrett
Conversation flowed easily in the reception following author Chris Helder’s keynote presentation at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s in Las Vegas, last night.
Those in attendance brought out the FOR (family, occupation, recreation) conversation concept Helder introduced at a reception following the Australia-based author’s engaging and entertaining presentation on the art of persuasion.
Titled “The Power of Influence … Mastering the Customer Experience,” and sponsored by convention Platinum Partner Wells Fargo CDF, Helder taught attendees how to recognize the difference between high- and low-intensity individuals and match their own level of intensity to them.
Attendees learned only 7 percent of our communication is verbal, 38 percent is tone, but 55 percent is body language, meaning posture, eye contact, smiles and energy. He challenged attendees to be more present with people and to recognize that “When you smile at someone it automatically makes them feel good about themselves” and that “energy is a choice. You can have as much or as little as you want.”
Dealers, said the author of “The Ultimate Book of Influence,” should also pay attention to the four different color-coded personalities, which include red, yellow, aqua and blue. Reds, he says, play in the future, exert power and control and get things done; while yellows are talkative and visual people who work in the now; aquas are kind, steady and non-confrontational individuals; and blues are process-driven planners and data-driven individuals.
Helder’s presentation was the highlight of the second day of the annual event, which runs through Friday, and is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the Mike Molino RV Learning Center
Another highlight at the reception was RV Daily Report’s caricature artist in Booth V-209. Neal Portnoy served up a ton of laughs with his unique talent that combines live caricatures with humor and even magic. Check out the gallery of RV Daily Report’s new staff on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rvdailyreport/.
The second day also featured Partners in Progress meetings with Jayco Inc., Prime Time RV and Winnebago Industries Inc., Vendor Training +Plus sessions with nearly 24 suppliers and service providers, a Mini Rental School, and the opening day of the Expo.
Con/Expo Committee Chairman Ron Shepherd as well as RVDA Chairman Darrel Friesen and RVDA of Canada Chairman Sam Parks also spoke at the general session.
Shepherd thanked sponsors, committee members and RVDA staff for their work to put on this event. “There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into putting on an event like this, and I know you’re probably like me – you thought that it just all happens. But I can assure you, after being involved for several years, it doesn’t,” he said.
Friesen and Parks celebrated the RV industries’ successful year, while also stressing the need for dealers to continually work to improve by attending this educational event.
“While demand for our products is high, we need to work harder than ever to retain our ever more demanding customers and continue to bring new customers into the fold,” Friesen said. “That’s why this convention is so important to dealers. It offers education and training that touches every dealership department. These are sessions for young up-and-coming RV executives, as well as seasoned professionals, who want to sharpen the saw.”
Parks added, “The convention’s theme of ‘Gear Up for Success’ emphasizes the renewed and continuing growth of the industry, and how we all can prepare for continuing success.”
Jeff Pastore also touted the learning center and noted that “an educated industry workforce is essential if we are to grow our businesses.”
The Con/Expo continues today with additional Partners in Progress meetings, Vendor Training +Plus sessions and a wealth of educational seminars as well as the expo and annual meetings for both RVDA and RVDA of Canada. The evening will close with the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony.