In my normal course of marketing, I was speaking with a president and CEO of a credit union and she told me about the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Convention. I wanted to have a booth there, but the booth fee was out of my marketing budget. I called Les McCook and he explained that one of the benefits of being an ARA member is ARA will pay for half of the exhibitor fee at a tradeshow, if the member will represent ARA.
At the tradeshow, I passed out ARA material and every ARA member benefited. I was able to network and indirectly promote my business. I’m in Pennsylvania, so I talked about my coverage area with lenders and offered to find another ARA member for them, if it was out of my coverage area. Lenders were really impressed to learn about my strategic partnerships with ARA, DRN (with the LPR camera technology) and OPENLANE. These solid relationships helped me secure new clients.
Maximum Return on Investment
As result of exhibiting at the tradeshow, I have (so far) secured seven new clients. I have received work from six clients and the seventh client said he’s ready to start working with me as soon as he needs a vehicle repossessed. I have the potential to secure another 30 clients – I still have to finish calling my list. It only took 48 hours of my time to do this.
I think this is a great benefit from my membership with ARA.
I learned a lot from my experience. I didn’t just stand behind the table waiting for people to come to me. I stood in the crowd, shook hands and started conversations. We had a putting mat, gave away big Hershey bars for a hole in one, and we did a drawing for two Nike drivers valued at $300 a piece.
At tradeshows, you have a large number of your target demographic in one place and a captive audience. I was also the only repossessor there.
I’d participate in another trade show in a heartbeat. Every ARA member should be exhibiting at tradeshows in their state. It’s an investment, but you should be investing in your business everyday. It’s crucial to our industry, our businesses and to our association that we promote the professional repossessors.
ARA was a huge help to me.
Dave Kennedy is the CEO of First Credit Resources, Inc., one of Pennsylvania’s largest repossession companies covering Central and Western Pennsylvania.