Mobile Electronics Magazine - June 2024

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Kaitlyn Young of Social Media Doctor shares how making tr ue connections attracts loyal clientele. INSTALLS

Audio Edge in Scottsdale, Ariz. shows how the ideal demo vehicle boosts business.


12// What’s Happening: Boosting Business

KnowledgeFest Nashville saw an increased focus on truck accessories, while techs reminded retailers of the financial rewards of custom work.

18// Real World Retail: Seeking the Perfect Pitch

DSP and OEM integration are the main focus at Audio Addiction in Temecula, Calif.

32// On the Show Floor: Aiming for Every Target

At KnowledgeFest Nashville, manufacturers and distributors focused on versatility, encouraging 12-volt retailers to incorporate additional revenue streams.

46// Strategy and Tactics: Driving Engagement

How can you create content to attract clients and keep them coming back? Kaitlyn Young of Social Media Doctor shared her own take at KnowledgeFest Nashville.

Volume 56 Issue 4
ARTICLES 28 Retail News 52 Installs DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Forum 6 Feedback ON THE COVER: Audio Addiction, a small shop in Temecula, Calif., aims to stay informed on DSP tuning and OEM integration to best serve its client base. ©2020 STILLWATER DESIGNS C M Y CM MY CY CMY K ADVERTISING SALES EDITORIAL Rosa Sophia MANAGING EDITOR 978.645.6466 Chris Cook EDITOR-AT-LARGE CREATIVE LAYOUT AND DESIGN Contributing Editors Jamie Sorcher and Laura Kemmerer Published by Chris Cook PRESIDENT 978.645.6434 Richard Basler EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MEMBER SERVICES 978.645.6449 Tony Frangiosa CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, MEA AD INDEX Alpine 51 Firstech - DroneMobile ................ 57 HKI USA - SounDigital 26, 27 HKI USA - TURY .................. 38, 39 Kicker 3 Ford F-150 Give-a-way..................11 JBL 43 KnowledgeFest 2024 ................... 9 MEA Websites. 15 MECP ................................ 55 ME-TV 17 Meyer Distributing...................... 7 Pixel Technologies 45 SiriusXM .............................. 10 Snap Finance 49 Sony................................... 5 Trulli 31 TM mobile electronics association 12 2 Mobile Electronics June 2024
3 KEY200.4 SMART 4-CH. AMPLIFIER/PROCESSOR + AI-Driven DSP – One-Step, Automatic Calibration that Dramatically Improves Audio Quality + Compatible with Start/Stop Vehicle Technology + FIT2 Technology Allows It to Work with Nearly Any Radio #kickeraudio #livinloud @kickeraudio WHAT MAKES IT SUPERIOR? KEY200.4 Amplifiers are now shipping. For more info, contact us at 405-624-8510, or your KICKER Sales Rep. 200 Watts of Power (50W x 4 ch.) Auto-EQ Dials In Audio Realism at Ear Level 40-Band Equalizer Auto-Tunes Sound Systematically Time Alignment Auto-Creates Excellent Soundstage Mic and
DSP and
Testing Gain Adjustment Auto-Creates Balanced Sound from Each Speaker


Does your store specialize in one category, or do you hope to become a one-stop-shop? We’d love to feature you.

On the show floor at KnowledgeFest Nashville, we saw a few new faces: Representatives from companies such as Airlift Performance, Westin, Bestop and RealTruck were on hand to talk about the opportunities available to retailers. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in 12-volt shops tackling wheels and tires and truck accessories. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some shops pivoted to fleet work and emergency lighting, or other essential categories that allowed them to remain open and working with their clientele. Overlanding, too, became more popular during this time as folks decided to spend more time outdoors, camping and exploring.

All of this has become a larger focus in the 12-volt space. In training classes at KnowledgeFest, instructors continue to stress the importance of diversifying product offerings. As one company rep said when talking about running boards and step-ups, “You’ve got the vehicle in the shop. It’s already there.” Why not offer these accessories to your customers?


KnowledgeFest in the Music City was a fun experience, topped off by an afterparty at Titan Motoring. On the show floor, Philip Lindsley’s truck attracted a lot of attention, serving as a living example of what’s possible. When I interview retailers for articles and main features, I notice that many of them are trying new categories they didn’t offer before.

As one company rep said when talking about running boards and stepups, ‘You’ve got the vehicle in the shop. It’s already there.’ Why not offer these accessories to your customers? “ ”

Last month in our Retailer of the Year feature, Titan Motoring suggested that retailers try flat glass tint installation in commercial buildings and residences, adding that it’s an easy step from automotive tint without much overhead. Some shops, though, prefer to specialize, focusing on the one thing they do best: This month’s Real World Retail feature, Audio Addiction in Temecula, Calif., is one such business. Regardless of whether you’re running a specialty shop with just a few select categories, or a larger business with multiple departments, I think we’d all agree that training is essential to continue honing skillsets.


Provide careful attention to detail regardless of the project. Qualify the customer and make sure they’re getting what they need. Creating versatility in service offerings and leaning into a flexible business model can help 12-volt retailers get through difficult times. But if you’re not ready to expand, don’t. And if you want to, but you’re lacking in support or knowledge base, start formulating your plan and attending training courses.

Business owners: What are your reasons for incorporating new categories? Or, conversely, what are your reasons for staying true to your main category? I would love to hear from you for future articles. Please reach out.

4 Mobile Electronics June 2024


Store owner Kimberly Trainer shares her experience at KnowledgeFest Nashville; Adam Devine discusses the importance of delegation; and Christopher McWhinnie recalls a lesson learned.

“Nashville was a great location for KnowledgeFest, especially since it’s the Music City. My classes were wonderful. I think the crowd was different than what we saw in Las Vegas. I had people in my classes I’ve never met before. It was a smaller show, so it was a different vibe. I’ve also heard a lot of people say they couldn’t come if it was elsewhere. It’s centralized, and a lot of people I’ve talked to have driven here, and that was very helpful for them.”

- Kimberly Trainer, Car-Tunes, Inc., Greenville, Miss..

“I’d like to share my experience about running programmable LEDs. I’d never done more than four sets off of a single controller before. I had a hard realization that the signal degrades over the length and dispersion, and that I required multiple

boosters to maintain the integrity of the data signal. I was trying to run 350 programmable LEDs on 60 different strings and through all the troubleshooting and countless hours of research, we finally got it. If I could do it differently, I would have done more research, and not assume I know how to do everything because of my past experience. I hope this helps save you some time.”

- Christopher McWhinnie, Andres Car Audio Kelowna, BC

“In the past, I made the mistake of trying to handle everything myself and not delegating. I learned that without delegation your team will not grow and learn, and you’re also stopping yourself from growing into a better leader.”

- Adam Devine, Devine Concepts Automotive Design, Naples, Fla.

 feedback 6 Mobile Electronics June 2024

94 locations serving you nationwide and into Canada.

■ Family owned and operated

■ Personalized service

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■ Toll free phone lines

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■ Full service IT staff to manage networks, infrastructure, phones, data and security

■ Over 900 product lines

■ Over 3 million sq. ft. of warehouse space

■ Company owned fleet

■ 500+ trucks serve 48 states direct

■ 12 distribution centers | 800.MEYERUSA


2022 was a tough year for the industry. Here are the top automaker brands seen in the install bay, and the top product categories sold.

 stats
TOP AUTO MAKES BY TRANSACTIONS: 2. Chevrolet 3. Toyota 4. Jeep 5. Honda 6. Dodge 7. GMC 8. Nissan 9. R AM 10. Kia Ford 2. Speakers & Subwoofers 3. Amplifiers & Processors 4. Remote Start & Security 5. Installation Kits & Accessories Headunits TOP FIVE CATEGORIES BY REVENUE: TOP FIVE CATEGORIES BY TRANSACTIONS: Speakers & Subwoofers 2. Head units 3. Installation Kits & Accessories 4. Remote Start & Security 5. Amplifiers & Processors TOP AUTO MAKES BY REVENUE: 8 Mobile Electronics June 2024


The Fall Guy


The Fall Guy opened in theaters in early May and aims to redefine the role of stunt work in Hollywood. In fact, the film was directed by a former stuntman. It stars Ryan Gosling and, yes, if you’re wondering, there’s plenty of vehicular mayhem. The plot centers around Colt Seavers, a stuntman who jumps from balconies and ejects himself in the nick of time from soon-to-be-totaled automobiles. For Logan Holladay, who did the stunts for Gosling, it turned into more than a paycheck. Holladay was challenged to beat the Guinness World Record for the most cannon rolls performed in a car. The stunt took months to plan with refitting cars and completing test runs. On filming day, on a beach in Sydney, Australia, the first attempt failed and the car was wrecked. On the second attempt, Holladay was strapped in tight to the containment seat of a modified Jeep Grand Cherokee. He got the all-clear to start driving onto the beach, accelerated to 80 miles per hour, the cannon kicked in, and the car was propelled into the roll, spinning repeatedly. When the car finally stopped, Holladay had a feeling he’d achieved the record which he did with eight-and-a-half rolls. Gosling had to do a few of his own stunts, as well, and said he was dropped from a 12-story building and dragged along the Sydney Harbour Bridge while riding a shovel.


25TH Annual Camaro Nationals


Ahhh, the Chevy Camaro. Designed to compete with the Ford Mustang, this iconic car made its debut in 1966. The Camaro shared its platform and major components with the Firebird (I had an ‘85 in red!) If you’re a fan like me, then check out the 25th Camaro Nationals this July in Morgantown, Pa. Held at the Classic Auto Mall, an indoor and outdoor venue on a 40-acre property, the event will feature judged and non-judged vehicles, the Camaro College of seminars and vendors. Off-property will be a rolling cruise, a road course challenge and a Test and Tune at Maple Grove.

 helpful stuff

The Bonfire Moment: Bring Your Team Together to Solve the Hardest Problems Startups Face

A startup business has plenty of potential pitfalls on its way to success, such as unsatisfactory products, poor timing and mismanaged cash. The biggest hurdle is with people. Even the smartest entrepreneurs have been derailed by problems like firing a loyal friend who’s not up to par, motivating a team, managing egos and emotions when they threaten to overpower facts and reason. In this valuable guide, authors Martin Gonzalez and Josh Yellin outline the common traps startups face, and share their powerful one-day workshop that helps escape those traps. Gonzalez, co-creator of Google’s Effective Founders Project—a global research program that decodes the factors that enable startup founders to succeed—works closely with Google’s engineering and research leaders on leadership and culture challenges. Yellin founded Google’s first Startup Accelerator and spearheaded its growth. Along with Gonzalez, he co-founded Google’s Effective Founders Project. He spent four years as the Chief of Staff at Google Brain. This book will help those in charge run the workshop on their own. It’s for anyone who needs to build an extraordinary team to achieve big goals.

The Way of the Champion: Pain, Persistence, and the Path Forward

Long before Paul Rabil became one of lacrosse’s most acclaimed players, including the sport’s first million-dollar man and cofounder of the Premier Lacrosse League, he always strove for greatness. But he didn’t know how to achieve it. With no manual or guidebook, he decided to create one himself. Rabil, who is now retired, reached out to Bill Belichick about how to prepare, Steph Curry about how to practice, Sue Bird about how to develop resilience, and Mark Cuban about how to build a career with longevity. From the wisdom of these and other legends, and through his own successes and fumbles, he forged himself into a champ. The Way of The Champion is the summation of everything Rabil learned on his path to becoming one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time. But don’t mistake this for a sports book. Instead, this is a guide to a champion’s mindset—in sports, but also in business and in relationships.



KnowledgeFest Nashville saw an increased focus on truck accessories, while technicians reminded retailers of the financial rewards of custom work.

12 Mobile Electronics June 2024  what’s happening

This past April, the industry headed to KnowledgeFest Nashville. During his keynote address, Mobile Electronics Association president Chris Cook recalled the last time the event was held in the Music City.

“It was 1999,” he said, adding that he’d been working for Consumer Electronics Association at the time, now CTA. “We sponsored the largest hands-on training ever. We had 225 people build a kick panel, and we had big cameras, which was a big deal at that time.”

Hearing everyone sanding at the same time was one thing, he said, but “when everyone used Activator, a cloud went up 12 feet in the room. The air conditioner came on and it went into the vents, filling the hotel with the smell. Security wanted to know what was going on. You can imagine what happened when we started doing fiberglass.”

Due to experiences like this one, he added, hands-on classes at KnowledgeFest are more on the mild side—such as with wiring, tuning and light fabrication techniques. Besides a new venue and a host of education sessions, Nashville saw the arrival of some new companies on the show floor and an opportunity for those in surrounding states to attend a nearby show.


During the installer roundtable on the final day of the show, Dave Koz and Austin Moore of Titan Motoring joined Justin Marks of Team Witt Customs to discuss making the right choices about design techniques, materials, setting expectations and more. The open conversation with the audience also delved into selling appropriately and billing for time spent on the project, along with delivering on the customer’s expectations.

Moore has been in the industry for about 11 years. “My main focus has been upholstery. With that came a lot of fabrication. I’ve done a little bit of everything, but upholstery is my strong suit.”

Koz said he’s working on perfecting his fabrication techniques. During the panel discussion, he focused on creating designs and ensuring multiple options for execution to avoid getting stuck during a project. The audience was made of mostly experienced technicians. The presentation began by discussing a project that initially lacked some communication regarding the client’s needs and expectations. The first build led to a rebuild.

“It had some creaks driving down the road, and she wanted a more luxury feel,” Koz, who’s been in the industry for 20 years, explained. “We played off the car design itself, creating continuity. I designed using the actual lines of the vehicle, taking different concepts

from the taillight angles. Everything is serviceable. That’s important when designing and install.”

The conversation about the build led into a discussion about Fusion 360. Koz said that when he started learning the program, he reached out to friends for insight. He then used a resin printer that was initially intimidating: “It shouldn’t have been. It was simple. It created a different technique. I can contrast it to a different material, or I can give something an OEM feel without a bunch of weighty vinyl.”

Marks, who’s been in the industry for around 24 years, described a project in which the dash, console, gauge cluster and more was entirely 3D printed. “It’s the only way I want to build for the rest


of my life, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said, adding that some methods of building are hard to let go of for some people because it’s how they’ve always done it. “Using a grinder and a jigsaw over a trashcan, and body filler to create shapes—is there still time for that? Maybe, depending on your budget or the shop you’re in.”

At the end of the day, he said, “The goal is to get better at this. Don’t stay stagnant. Don’t stay where you’re comfortable. If you have a CNC or laser and you’re not using it, you need to use it.” These tools, he added, are akin to “several employees who are better than you and more efficient.”


A lively conversation began between panelists and attendees when the topic of billing was raised: Marks said

any time spent on the job, including research, should be billed to the customer. Audience members and panelists also shared their feelings regarding employee training and whether or not a shop owner should pay their employee to learn something new.

One attendee shared that he made a mistake that cost the company more time. He also added that when he wants to learn something new, he chooses not to put responsibility of that education on his boss. Marks disagreed, stating, “Your boss should pay you to learn something new because it makes his business better. It’ll benefit them in the long run. They’re investing in their employees.”

When it comes to incorporating new technology or methods into a shop, Marks urged technicians to have that conversation with the store owner or manager. “If you want to grow, you need to have that conversation. If you just took it upon

yourself to download Fusion and start designing without any communication to the business owner, who’s to say that’s an actual billable hour? Communicate.”

The discussion also went into commission pay. What happens when a technician runs out of time and suddenly they’re working for free? Koz offered his thoughts on justifying billing hours and making sure that enough hours are estimated for a project. “We have to stay profitable. Sometimes things can be overlooked. Sitting down and designing and creating a full invoice comes into play here. One build I finished ended up going a little into the negative. This was my sixth Sprinter build.”

He explained an oversight that involved the number of parts. “I designed and I had a rough estimate, but there are small details we tend to overlook. For example, we might say the overhead compartments will take

14 Mobile Electronics June 2024  what’s happening

what’s happening

12 to 15 hours per side to build and construct, but what about the smaller things? Do we give ourselves enough time to create profit and not go into the negative? This is why some people hate custom work.”

However, he said, custom work can be very profitable if it’s billed correctly. “I map out my build. I create a design, a render of the vehicle, and I make sure it’s what the customer wants and that it meets the expectations. Then I break down the rendering into every second of hourly time. Each one of those doors should take me 30 to 40 minutes. Laying everything out, the design time. Then, I put 10 percent on top of that. It seems like a big number, but we all know things come up—a bad ground, wrapping a piece that accidentally breaks. We’ve all been there.”

Marks warned against doing anything on one’s own time. “Too many people are giving away money,” he said, regarding the failure to bill properly. “Too many people in this industry make excuses for losing money, and they blame custom work,” Marks added. “But you can’t do that. Custom work will pay— as long as you bill the job correctly.”

Philip Lindsley, owner of Titan Motoring in Nashville, Tenn., offered his thoughts, which demonstrated how being communicative and transparent increased profitability: “We do big custom jobs. We worked on a Land Rover recently. Every time something came up where we’d estimated so many hours for something—say, 20 hours—and we realized it wouldn’t look the way we wanted it, we’d bring the customer in. We’d say, at 20 hours, this is what it’ll look like. But we’d like to do it this other way, which will take 40 to 50 hours. The price increased, but the customer was fine with it in the end. They kept saying yes,” demonstrating that the client was willing to pay for the higher quality.

The complication comes in putting it all together, according to Marks, who said, “If you’re looking at a part on a table, it’s easy to quote that individually. But a lot goes into making a project continuous. There’s no line [on

the invoice] for, ‘Put all this together.’ That’s a month of work. If a project grows, talk to the customer.”


At KnowledgeFest, Philip Lindsley and Dan Bowman of Titan Motoring continue to teach classes on diversifying product offerings. Nashville KnowledgeFest saw an increase in focus on truck accessories, punctuated by Lindsley’s own truck on display on the show floor—an example to attendees of possible offerings to a different clientele.

During his keynote address, Cook pointed out this difference: “This is the first time we’ve introduced truck accessories at KnowledgeFest,” he said, adding that Meyer Distributing and Real Truck brought in several vendors.

“Real Truck has been at our last few events, just exploring, and they wanted to get involved,” Cook said. “If you’re interested in getting into truck accessories, attend Philip Lindsley’s class. He talks about diversifying into that category, what it takes and the profitability. This is something we’re all capable of doing.”

He also pointed out something he said he’d noticed: “The margins are lower in truck accessories, and the sale ticket or ticket prices are higher, but you’re getting a different customer in your store who will buy car audio. Philip will tell you his car audio business went up when he brought those new customers into his store. That’s the key to truck accessories.”

Cook also reminded attendees about the Ford F-150 giveaway: Anyone who registers and attends KnowledgeFest is entered into the drawing, and the giveaway will happen at KnowledgeFest Dallas. At the debut KnowledgeFest Atlantic City, taking place June 7-9, Jason Kranitz of Major League Fab will be presenting again on “CNC Laser: Programing & Projects.”

Attendees can also anticipate “Using Fusion 360 to Create 3D Printed Speaker Mounting Solutions,” by German Schulmeister of Orca Design. Those interested in this class will likely also want to attend “3D Scanning for the Automotive Aftermarket,” led by Marcio Knapik of Peel 3D. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about how they might expand their businesses, drawing in more revenue and a different clientele.

16 Mobile Electronics June 2024
Retailer of the Year 18 Mobile Electronics June 2024


Audio Addiction in Temecula, Calif. takes on the latest technologies, focusing on its main categories of OEM integration and DSP tuning.


Retailer of the Year

Linda Bradshaw opened Audio Addiction in Temecula, Calif. in 2006 with her brother, who now owns his own shop. When her business first opened, it took three months to get everything moving. “We were lucky to get a few good brands to start with, like JL Audio, Alpine, Sony, Eclipse, DEI and others,” she said. Today, the shop offers even more than before, and the team stays ahead by training regularly. Bradshaw also takes her entire staff to KnowledgeFest, and installation manager Carlos Parra—a 2024 Top 12 Installer—attends classes at Master Tech Training in Tempe, Ariz.

Most of the shop’s revenue comes from simple systems, they said. “Our specialties are DSP, custom fabrication and OEM integration,” Bradshaw added, noting that they often find themselves retuning systems from other shops. “The equipment

often looks good. It just needs to be tuned, so we’ll do that for them, and they’ll be very happy.” Some shops, she added, won’t do this. “If the wiring is bad, we’ll recommend re-doing it.”

Parra, she added, is dedicated to DSP tuning. “Shops call him from all over for advice about it,” and he said he’s always happy to assist.

Along with radio installations, lighting, marine and ATVs, the shop has been working more with a laser. This year, the team started using a 3D printer. Besides adding the shop’s logo to installations, they also create custom items for clients.

“We’ll surprise them with a personalized keychain or a sticker. We use the laser a lot for that.” It’s also come in handy in other situations, too, according to Parra, who said they’ll make parts for other shops who might need them.


Bradshaw loves numbers, noting that she attended some college courses to study accounting. Marketing and sales proved difficult hurdles at first. “The more you learn the product, the more confident you become at selling,” she said. “I think I was a little intimidated at first because, in the old days, they would say, ‘I want to speak with a man,’ even if I said I was the owner.”

Sometimes, this still happens, but Parra found a way around it. “If a customer wants to speak with me, I will come out to the front and talk to the customer. Then, we go to Linda and I say, ‘So, what do you want to do?’”

The team works well together, she said, adding that they’re currently looking for a sales manager. “We all have our strengths. Any time a big custom

20 Mobile Electronics June 2024

fabrication job comes in, we involve Carlos. We like to do big systems as a team.” If the job is security-focused, they involve the person who specializes in that. Bradshaw feels it makes the customer more comfortable when they can also interface with the technician.

The shop’s sales processes were finetuned after the team had some difficulties with communication. “We used to just ask [someone on our team], ‘Can you help this person?’ Now, we say to the customer first, ‘What is it you’re looking for?’ If they need something for a motorcycle, we ask the person who knows the most about motorcycle audio to assist them. We learned to find the customer’s needs

first and then ask the right technician to speak with them.”

After the initial introduction, the salesperson will find out more about the vehicle. Then, they take a look at the car. Once they know what the customer really needs, financing from Snap can help. Often, Bradshaw said, a customer won’t realize how much a sound system costs. “If they say they only expect to pay $400, we know this will be a hard one. We let them listen to the radio first and show them why it’s worth it.”

It’s essential to pre-qualify the customer by learning their wants, Bradshaw said, adding that many shops could learn a lot about this from additional


Like many businesses, Audio Addiction has had difficulty finding additional technicians. While it can be difficult with a small staff, the team sometimes finds employees who want to learn. Moving beyond 12-volt, the shop aims to support its community. According to owner Linda Bradshaw, they often employ the homeless as sign spinners, and help them find support, resources and places to stay. “We try to help out in our community,” she said.

The unhoused who’ve worked for Audio Addiction will spread the word: “They come to us looking for work. One will tell another about the opportunity. We do have strict rules. We’re smoke-free and drug-free.”

Additionally, the team will get their families together, make food and go to local shelters to feed the unhoused. “We also donate to our local church,” she said, adding, “It really touched my heart when my employees said they wanted to go and feed the homeless.” The whole team takes part.

“When my brother was working here with me, he organized everything. We fed everyone at a local shelter. At Christmas, we brought blankets and we’d even bring our cars and do demos there.” Bradshaw said she hopes to do more for the community in the future.



LOCATION: Temecula, Calif.



TYPE: Traditional Retail



70% Car Audio

10% Motorcycle Audio

5% Marine Audio

5% Lighting

5% Accessories

5% Off-Road


OWNERS: Linda Bradshaw



SALESPERSON: Aliza Alaverz

training, but they just don’t go. “We have friends who say they don’t have time for it or they don’t need it. I think we’ve grown a lot over the years by attending classes.”


The salesperson really has to listen, and listen closely, Bradshaw said.

“Someone will say, ‘I want a pair of 6-by-9’s.’ They might say they want some bass in their car. We try to educate them. We explain why that’s not going to get them bass—it’ll get them mid-bass. That’s why it’s so good to have working displays. We can show them the difference,” she added, stressing, “I don’t want to sell something cheap to someone that they won’t be happy with.”

Years ago, she explained, they made the mistake of just installing 6-by-9’s in

a customer’s car after it was requested, without asking qualifying questions. he shop failed to find out why the client wanted them.

“I realized he actually wanted bass. We have to find out what a person really wants versus what they think they want.”

When it comes to the sales process, the team utilizes displays. “We ask them what kind of music they listen to, and then we let them listen,” so the customer can hear the difference between each product. “We’ll ask them their price range. We’ll go up and down the displays until they find what they like best. Most people request JL Audio, although we don’t sell that as much,” Bradshaw said, adding that if someone comes in specifically for that brand, they’re often ready to buy.

“When we show them something more expensive, we show them a step below after that. But they’ve heard the higher

quality and they want it. They’ll say they don’t want to spend that much, but once they’ve heard it, they’re often willing to pay for it. You can upsell much easier when they can hear the difference for themselves.”

It’s not about getting them to spend more, she said, as this happens naturally. “We talk to the customer and hear their needs. Sometimes they want a radio but they need speakers. We try to put a good package together. I start at the top with Focal. Once they hear the top of the line, it’s just in their head. When they hear the cheaper options, they want to hear the better one.”

Along with in-store displays, the shop also relies on demo vehicles. Bradshaw said she wanted everyone on the team to have demo vehicles. “I work with my employees and let them make payments toward the system so they have one in

22 Mobile Electronics June 2024 Retailer of the Year


Over the years, Audio Addiction has tried numerous marketing strategies, including paper flyers. When the business first opened, they began by approaching local car dealers, “mailing flyers and going door-todoor and car-to-car with flyers.” However, Bradshaw found the paper flyers were expensive and didn’t draw clients as much as she’d hoped. Once, the store held its own SPL show, but it didn’t last due to noise complaints, said Bradshaw. “What we can always rely on, though, is word-of-mouth,” she added.

A past client moved to Texas, but while in California, he’d been a member of a car club: “He refers people to us even though he’s out of state now. Because of him, we’re involved with a whole Corvette club. One person shows their friend, they show their friends… The referrals are great.”

Social media is the shop’s primary outlet for marketing. “It took about a year or two before people noticed our posts. People will come in and say they saw a video we posted. They got familiar with Carlos’s face and they felt like they knew us already. Posting videos and photos with our installers made a big impact.”

Audio Addiction mostly services local clientele, but they do get customers from as far as two to three hours away, according to Bradshaw.


A top seller at Audio Addiction is the Alpine Halo. Bradshaw said customers like the size and features. Even when a customer begins with a budget, after experiencing the Halo, they often change their mind and decide to spend more: “It sells itself. We stock plenty of them. We have the 11-inch, the 9-inch Halo, and the JVC and Sony on display so people can listen to the difference. How will you convince someone to buy something unless they hear it?”


their vehicles,” she explained, adding that this helps boost sales a great deal. The salesperson can utilize whichever demo vehicle fits what the client might be seeking. “One of our salespeople has a full Sony build with a custom trunk. Another has a Musway system, and another has Alpine. If someone wants something particular, we’ll look at the car that pertains to that.”


Audio Addiction also works on Teslas and other electric cars. “We have to become more knowledgeable so we can inform customers. The first one took us hours to figure out,” Parra said, adding, “Now, we get a lot of Teslas and other high-end cars here because other shops are afraid to work on them.” If he needs information, Parra will reach out to industry friends like Matt Schaeffer. “We don’t try to guess,” he added. “We research before we get into the car.”

of the Year 24 Mobile Electronics June 2024


Throughout its 18 years in business, Audio Addiction has featured products from companies such as Alpine, JL Audio, Sony and AudioControl, according to Bradshaw. In 2012, the store began selling Memphis Car Audio products.

“They’ve always helped us with everything. It’s a great company. Nick LoMonaco, the president of Memphis, used to come into our store every month.” The shop also greatly appreciates the trainings Memphis offers. Additionally, they’re able to try a product for free, and if the store can’t sell it, Memphis will take it back. “They would take one SKU at a time until we were confident we could carry all their products.” Even today, she said, despite being president of the company, LoMonaco still reaches out himself to check and see

how things are going. Additionally, when Audio Addiction posts videos on social media discussing Memphis products or installations, the company reposts.

“Alpine is great, too,” Bradshaw said, adding that the company always listens to feedback from retailers. “We sell a lot of Alpine.”

The Sony team, she said, is also very supportive. She recalled a day when Rick Kojan came into the store, saying that he was testing subs for the Mobile ES line, and he wanted to know if he could buy a box. “I’d barely met him. I said, ‘Take the box. I’m not charging you for it.’ A few days later, he sent me two brand new radios for a regular sub box. Every time he’s here, he stops by, and he’s always asking our opinion on products.”

Most recently, the shop has incorporated Musway products into its offerings. Bradshaw praised the company’s technical support and added that Parra has learned a lot of tuning techniques and strategies through Musway, Chris Bennett and Joseph Norton.

As they continue to grow, Bradshaw and Parra said they’ll stick with 12-volt. They won’t be adding additional categories such as wheels and tires. “We want to concentrate on one thing and be good at that one thing.”

If someone needs something they can’t provide, they’ll refer customers to other businesses, having built good partnerships with other local shops. “We trust each other. They send us clients, too.”

Audio Addiction works on both large and small projects and designs custom trunks. Bradshaw added that they’re building a car for SEMA this year. “We do a lot of custom lighting,” she said. “We’ve also done jobs for Rockstar Garage. They send us a lot.”

A recent remodel has allowed for a more organized store. The team gathered a number of ideas from Kimberly Trainer’s class at KnowledgeFest on refreshing the showroom.

It’s important to put the best foot forward, Bradshaw added: “Customers go to other shops and see holes in the displays. We want to make sure we don’t have that, and that everything’s working. We’re always improving our store.” When it comes to expanding or remodeling, she said, “make sure you have the money for it. Don’t put yourself in a hole.”

Parra urged other 12-volt professionals to pursue the Industry Awards. “For years, Dalton Trainer encouraged me to go for it. I said I didn’t have the time. Then someone else nominated me. Now, I see it’s worth it. [We have to work to make] everything better and better. I can do more to support the industry.”

As the shop continues to grow, every day is different. Some days, they said, they’ll juggle seven cars. Other days, the phone doesn’t ring at all. When it gets slow, the team works on learning new products, studying or improving the look of the store. Of course, Parra said,

“As soon as we start taking a display apart or working on one of our personal cars, people come in.”

Both Bradshaw and Parra urged other 12-volt shops to attend trainings as much as possible. If they’re unable to get to a larger training event, Bradshaw said, “Vendors will gladly go to the store and train you. Some of these shops just install it and everything is tuned wrong. Get training. Do what you can and do it well. And if you don’t want to train on DSP tuning,” she added, “don’t do it at all.”


POWER @ 4 Ω : 8 X 165W RMS

POWER @ 2 Ω : 8 X 250W RMS







SNR: 114.7dB











28 Mobile Electronics June 2024

Top Categories at Tenn.-Based CarTronics: OEM INTEGRATION AND ACCESSORIES


On the show floor at KnowledgeFest Nashville, Mobile Electronics magazine caught up with Dave Hale, product specialist at the Murfreesboro, Tenn. CarTronics location. The small chain has three other stores—one in Rivergate, Coral Springs and Antioch.

At KnowledgeFest, Hale said he sat in on sales trainings and also walked the show floor to reconnect with company reps he’s known for a long time. “I’m really enjoying it,” he said, adding that the emphasis on accessories on the show floor is an important thing to keep top-of-mind.

“Accessories are a big part of what we do,” he said. “Originally, they were two separate entities, back when I first started in the industry. Now, they’ve become one.” While CarTronics might’ve sent someone to another shop years ago to handle a different category, there’s a lot more they can handle in-house, such as wheels, tires and accessories. “At our

Murfreesboro location, we do quite a bit of that, as well as lighting.” Hale said they also work on Jeeps. Accessories, he added, have become more of a natural part of the business. “We’re working on the car anyway, so why not [incorporate those categories]?”

OEM integration continues to be the increasing trend, he said. Hale recalled a time when incorporating new products was much more difficult, when “all-in-one radios in the dash came out integrated with HVAC controls.” Now, he said, products can be integrated. “We have replacement kits and new parts—like how Maestro integrates, for example, which still allows you to keep OEM functionality, while installing an aftermarket stereo or DSP so we can still get better sound than the OEM has provided.”

Cars are getting more and more complicated every day, he said, and 12-volt has to keep up with that trend.

 retail news 30 Mobile Electronics June 2024


At KnowledgeFest Nashville, manufacturers and distributors focused on versatility, encouraging 12-volt retailers to incorporate additional revenue streams.


The DSPlayer from Stetsom offers a DSP with a built-in amplifier. The user can stream music via wireless connectivity and control it using the accompanying app, pictured here. It can be used in a car, on a motorcycle, or in the home.


This year, Meyer Distributing is amping up its focus on versatility for the 12-volt retailer. Company reps noted the importance of bringing new accessory-related companies to the show floor, such as Retal Truck and Air Lift, giving retailers an opportunity to present more diverse offerings to customers. Meyer Distributing reps noted winches and step-bars as two examples of accessories that mobile electronics shops can explore and begin offering to their clientele, thereby expanding their businesses.

32 Mobile Electronics June 2024  Hot Sellers


RDV is expanding availability and compatibility for its AR-1 line of pre-amp interfaces. The company has added Range Rover, Jaguar and Mercedes MOST150, as well as compatibility for the new coax systems. “We now cover BMW from 2004 and up for MOST25 and Ethernet based vehicles,” said Rich DeSclafani, CEO. “With Mercedes, we cover MOST25, MOST150, and the new coax system. Range Rover, Land Rover, Jag, we cover MOST25 and new ethernet based systems.” Retailers can anticipate future offerings for Volvo, VW, Lexus, GM, Audi and Porsche, as well. “We’re moving forward and pushing the amplifier replacement category hard. Demand has been good, and we’ve had great feedback on these products,” he added.


MECP has launched a new online store coordinated with its trade show appearances. Courses, patches and stickers are available either online or at the show. Additionally, MECP has launched two new courses: Autosound Specialist and Light Duty Fleet Services Specialist. The website has also been improved to work better on all devices, and the course content has been updated.


VOXX Electronics has introduced a new opportunity for retailers in its leather craft category, after observing that many of its dealers work with replacement seating at both the retail and the expeditor levels. Aiming to help retailers diversify their offerings, VOXX presents a number of pre-made options as well as custom packages. A customer purchasing a new vehicle may not want to pay for the next level trim package at the dealership because they just want leather, said VOXX reps. Now, expeditors can offer that upgrade to leather seating. VOXX also offers a set of color swatches that can be shown to dealers or customers in a retail setting. The swatch can be used to match the color. A customer may choose a two-tone option, or a different type of stitching. VOXX also offers a five-year warranty instead of the traditional threeyear. Additionally, according to the company, the leather “approaches the top tier” available from leather tanneries. Visit and use the website’s drop-down menu to explore options for a vehicle.



The new X-MAX MAX90 is the latest battery release this year from XS Power. It comes with a four-year warranty and it’s currently available in this DIY “skeleton style” look. XS Power will also be making the same product with a more rugged housing, featuring the same performance and the same price. This is a flagship product in the car audio category. Additionally, the company has one available for powersports applications, with other models coming soon. XS Power plans to offer different sizes to appeal to different categories and applications.


Airlift Performance shared information with attendees about its new Towtal View Camera, a convenient camera that can be placed anywhere its needed. A suction cup mount allows for versatility in placement: Put it on the back of an RV, a trailer, or on a boat. The camera features night vision and has an 80 degrees vertical and 110 degrees horizontal field of view. It easily connects to a phone or a tablet, so there’s no need for an additional monitor. Available now.


The Inhuman 18 is a limited edition subwoofer that weighs 185 pounds. Only 200 to 300 will be manufactured. The product boosts a five-inch voice coil with almost four inches in winding length. The motor force factor is 850. In comparing it to other Sundown Audio products, the company said this is almost four times the motor force factor of a ZB6. It will be rated for 7,500 watts RMS. The final production will feature a full carbon fiber cone, a newly custom tooled spider and a carbon fiber dust cap. The Inhuman 18 was built for specifically for competition.

34 Mobile Electronics June 2024
 Hot Sellers



The WDX10MOTO weatherproof tower speaker is a pro-audio style 10-inch speaker with a compression drive tweeter inside, which allows for very loud sound while maintaining clarity. It comes with a universal mounting bracket and a full-color RGB system that can be controlled either with an app or the remote control that comes with it. This efficient design features a water-resistant polycarbonate shell, suitable for any outdoor environment. It is popular for use in UTVs, boating, Jeeps and more.


At KnowledgeFest Nashville, 12V Dashboard shared its improvements to its website: For example, if a store is running a special, there’s an option to add that call-out to the top of the page to remind salespeople. Additionally, the database has been adjusted so that only the middle of the page scrolls: This way, the year, make and model of the vehicle is always visible to the salesperson.


According to the website, ZZ-2 offers solutions for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, with high-quality products. ZZ-2 also integrates CarPlay and Android Auto systems for smartphone features in factory infotainment systems.



The JBL Rally Bar is available in two sizes—35-inch XL, and the standard 22-inch. There is also a version called the Rally Bar S, which is the same as the 22-inch, minus the lighting features. Use Bluetooth, USB or auxiliary in and out to play music: If the vehicle has a radio, this can be played through the Rally Bar. It also allows for party mode, or the pairing of a whopping 1,000 Rally Bars together, making entertainment limitless on group outings. When the Rally Bars are synced, one controls all of them, and the lighting also syncs. Subwoofers or tower speakers can be added, as well. Comes with mounting hardware.


This dash camera offers high resolution and high quality, with touch screen and threechannel capability.


The KD-MR205BTS is JVC’s IP67-rated gaugestyle marine receiver, featuring a backup camera input. According to the company, this makes it ideal for side-by-sides where it’s difficult for the driver to see behind them. It has a customizable color display, direct access to the sub control and easy audio adjustments. Three sets of pre-outs on the back provide front and rear subwoofer output, making it easy to expand the system. It is Sirius XM ready, and rugged enough to handle harsh environments. It’s also great for outdoor exploration: The receiver has a built-in weather band, great for traveling beyond typical AM/FM reception.


Based out of Boston, Mass. JK Tapes offers a range of automotive tapes designed to streamline installation and protect a client’s investment. Offering paint protection tape, interior and exterior harness wrap and more. Visit for additional information.

 Hot Sellers 36 Mobile Electronics June 2024


Kenwood is now offering four upgradeable packages for 2014-2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Street Glide motorcycles. The P-HD1F package combines one Kenwood XM160-2 and the Kenwood XM65Fs. The next step up is the P-HD2R which incorporates the CA-Cut14, which is a 6-by-9 cut-in for lids on these Harley model years. The P-HD3FR combines the first two packages. If a customer has a lower budget, they can choose the first option, but they will often return to upgrade to the P-HD2R, according to Kenwood. The P-HD4UT is for ultra-models that feature rear speakers, so this package comes with the XM65F, the XM65R, and two XM160-2. Each kit comes with everything necessary for installation. Additionally, all products in the packages come in individual retail packaging: If a retailer runs out of a particular product, they can pull it from the package and then re-order to complete the kit.


The TXX-BDX-12 is the latest competition subwoofer from Audiopipe, designed and engineered with three magnets for strong power handling and increased voice coil ventilation for ultimate performance and endurance, according to the website. Peak power is 3,000 watts with 1,500 watts of RMS power. The company has begun with a 12-inch model, stating that it’s the optimal size for a good sound system. The next model will be an 8-inch, 10- and 15- coming later. The 12 is available now.


The Drone XC is Firstech’s latest product, bringing Drone Mobile and camera technologies together and incorporating the Drone Mobile app. An interior or rear camera can also be added. Drone XC is livestream capable through the app, as long as the user is subscribing to the Firstech service. This product connects alarm remote starts to a security camera, giving the customer an opportunity to see a driving event or a security event as it plays out. Works with all vehicles.



The TXX-BDX-12 is the latest competition subwoofer from Audiopipe, designed and engineered with three magnets for strong power handling and increased voice coil ventilation for ultimate performance and endurance, according to the website. Peak power is 3,000 watts with 1,500 watts of RMS power. The company has begun with a 12-inch model, stating that it’s the optimal size for a good sound system. The next model will be an 8-inch, 10- and 15- coming later. The 12 is available now.


DOW Technologies continues to support independent retailers. According to the company’s website, “What started as a single location, electronic repair parts and off-air equipment distributor has now grown into a premier technology distributor serving 22 states, Washington, D.C and Puerto Rico from six strategically located distribution centers. Consistent family ownership for over the past 49 years has developed a strong company culture and driven DOW to capitalize on growth and expansion opportunities.”


According to the company website, Bestop manufactures premium soft tops for Jeep Wranglers and CJs. It’s also been the exclusive provider of OE soft tops for Jeep Wranglers for more than three decades. The company is located in Louisville, Colo. and all of its soft tops are designed and manufactured in North America.

 Hot Sellers 40 Mobile Electronics June 2024



The new 6.5-inch mid-range driver from Trulli Audio will likely be available later this summer. It runs 50 hertz to five kilohertz and handles around 200 watts RMS, and it’s the first in its line. The company plans to eventually sell it in a kit.


This backup camera system was designed specifically for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Simply replace the OEM teardrop brake light with the LED light that has the camera built in. The video signal is transmitted to a receiver mounted in the faring. The head unit can display the image from the taillight. A later version will include DVR functions. This camera is waterproof and the angle is adjustable, either to the left or right. The bike on display was a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street Glide, but this will fit any Harley 2014 and up which features the OEM teardrop light.


1sixty8 media aims to help businesses grow by building websites and content marketing for the 12-volt industry. The company also runs, a consumer-facing publication, and they handle social media marketing and graphic design. They consider themselves a full-service digital marketing agency. “We are also the exclusive reseller of Mitchell 1 Pro Demand to the 12-volt industry,” said David MacKinnon. “A retailer can come to us and get a substantial discount for it that they won’t find elsewhere. We also offer free training with our inside reps at Mitchell 1.” Additionally, any subscriber can benefit from the training. “It’s a great tool to have.”



Westin Automotive is the parent company of SuperWinch, which manufactures aftermarket winches for utility trucks and trailers. Westin also makes side-bars and other accessories for pick-up trucks. According to the company’s independent rep, “We want to get the industry to see that if they’re doing 12-volt, these categories are easy to add.” The 12-volt industry, he said, should embrace these accessory categories. “We want to stress diversifying [service offerings].”


Three new radios are coming from Diamond Audio, and the first model is the MSHD14. Two additional models are anticipated soon. These are specifically for 2013 and older Road Glide and Street Glide motorcycles. Each model features wireless CarPlay, wireless Android Auto and fivevolt pre-output voltage on the pre-amp stage. They offer high power on the front channels and built-in power on the rear channels, with 25 watts by four at four ohm and 50 watts by four at two home, and a built-in DSP. Ten channels of audio output. Exclusive only to the MSHD14 is a built-in Maestro RR-2 which enables the user to flash everything directly to the new bike due to the CAN-Bus system.


Airlift Performance displayed its airlift regular suspension and load support on the show floor at KnowledgeFest Nashville. The company encouraged 12-volt retailers to expand into this category and add a new revenue stream, stating, “The majority of our applications are simple bolt-on: Pull the factory struts and put in the new ones.” A 2024 Mustang GT, on display through Meyer Distributing, sported a full air package.

 Hot Sellers 42 Mobile Electronics June 2024
43 To Learn More Visit: Or Contact: Shawn Spedding 816-385-1944 or © 2018 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Infinity is a trademark of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Feature, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice. RALLY BAR • Available in 20” and 35” • 20” 150 W • 35” 300 W • RB/RBXL - Party Light • Flexible Mounting • Bluetooth Broadcast • Dome Light • IPX Rated


Arc’s main focus is LED lighting, offering a three-year warranty. The series is DOT-approved and ultra-bright, including a fan for cooling. The housing body fits import applications, as well. Additionally, Arc offers Built Bright, a series made specifically for work trucks that plug easily together without the need for drilling. The company also carries Truck Cover USA, a rolling bed cover with a small cannister. One such cover is also designed as a combination tool box and tonneau cover. Finally, Arc also offers Trimax locks, a full series of locks of all types, and Raptor, a full series of easily bolted on step-boards.


Sony’s new XAV-AX3700 radio provides iDatalink Maestro SR, RR, and RR2 compatibility and wired CarPlay in a shallow-depth, Single-DIN mount chassis. This 6.95” touchscreen multimedia unit combines Sony’s friendly User Interface and reliability with a resistive anti-glare screen. It provides Sony’s excellent Bluetooth with LDAC technology for an enhanced streaming experience. This radio is focused on high-value vehicle connectivity with the iDatalink products but eschews wireless CarPlay and all Android Auto capability to be cost-effective.


The SPEED series—Stealth Perfect Engineered Enclosure Design—was initially introduced at KnowledgeFest Las Vegas. This is the latest in the Solopass compact enclosure systems from Audiomobile, intended to meet the needs of upscale specialty retailers. At KnowledgeFest Nashville, the company debuted its first vehiclespecific Stealthbox solutions. Retailers can anticipate an array of new releases this year, each one with its own unique design.


The RealTruck Retrax EQ is the company’s latest retractable cover which ties into the factory system, allowing for use of the factory key fob to open and close the cover. There’s no need for an additional fob. The integrated T-slot system allows for rails to be mounted. Additionally, RealTruck sells an optional key pad that will open and close the cover and lock and unlock the doors, among other features. This is a high-end, durable cover.

 Hot Sellers 44 Mobile Electronics June 2024

Motorcycle Kit

The SXMKR97 is the smallest and most compact SiriusXM® Satellite Radio motorcycle kit on the market. The Commander Touch system features a beautiful full-color touch screen display controller that allows you to pause and rewind capability SiriusXM® programming. The display controller dimensions are 4.1" W x 1.7" H x .5" D. Perfect for a discrete and clean installation into any motorcycle dash or console.

•Touch Screen Display

•Water Resistant Case

•Hide-away Tuner

•3 Mounting Options

•Universal Audio Adapters

•Advanced SiriusXM® (800) 595-0845


How can you create content to attract clients and keep them coming back? Kaitlyn Young of Social Media Doctor shared her own take at KnowledgeFest Nashville.

Kaitlyn Young, founder of Social Media Doctor, shared with attendees at KnowledgeFest that she grew her business from scratch into a wildly successful enterprise in just two years. “I wasn’t always in this field. I worked at Walmart.” She shared that after she began experimenting with social media, doors opened for her. “If I can do it,

anyone can,” she said, adding that it doesn’t require much time at all. She recommended scheduling the time like anything else.

“I often hear this: ‘I don’t have the time.’ But if you have time to get up and walk across your shop, or if you have time to scroll on social media, you have time for this. Put it on your calender, reserving

15 minutes.” It only takes one post a day, she said, to begin to build a following.


There still may be businesses who feel they don’t need to put any energy into growing their social media presence, Young said. “You might have a great

 strategy & tactics 46 Mobile Electronics June 2024

Google presence, strong word-of-mouth marketing and so maybe you feel like you don’t need to worry about it. But if I get a comment on a post, that means I just started a conversation with someone that could turn into a sale,” she explained. “You can use this to demonstrate that you’re an authority in your field.”

Young said many people in the industry aren’t utilizing social media to its full potential, and it’s important to begin by including the store’s audience in its journey. “Let’s say you’re starting a new project and the client is nervous about it. When you start making social media posts to show your progress, you’re putting that client at ease, and you’re also showing other people what goes on behind your doors.” That authenticity, she added, is what wins people over day after day.

Always follow the 80/20 rule, Young said. No more than 20 percent of posts should be simply “‘follow me’ or ‘like this.’ People will scroll right past that. Even if it’s engaging, and you get people through ads, they’ll get sick of seeing your sales pitch.”

Eighty percent of time, she added, “Entertain them, engage their emotions

and educate them. Every fifth post should be a call to action.”

She encouraged retailers to post video clips of an employee explaining what they’re doing and how they are doing it: “You’re the experts. You have the knowledge.” A retailer can also share something entertaining to engage the emotions of the viewer, perhaps photos of staff having fun at a company outing. “If you’re supporting a charity, that’s emotional and people will want to see that.”

Additionally, she added, there’s no need to hire a professional: “Social media doesn’t need to be that complicated. You can put up a single post about an install, or a question to ask your audience, and you’ll get engagement.”

During her presentation, Young shared examples of successful posts. She also suggested implementing Facebook Live do to its natural authenticity: There’s no way to edit the video after the fact. “I used to heavily edit Instagram Reels, and it kills it,” she said, noting that authenticity on social media will set you apart from everyone else.

“I posted a dramatic video of my dog and it got 60,000 views,” she said.

“You might say, ‘This has nothing to do with my business.’ So what? Business growth doesn’t always mean talking about the business. People buy from people they know, like and trust. This builds trust with your audience.”


Young said the formula begins with building credibility and reliability. Then, it’s time to move on to personal intention. “I want someone who is credible on social media, not someone

“When you have that sales conversation, they’re already sold. You don’t have to sell because the content did it for you. That’s the beauty of social media.”

who started their business over and over. Credibility is: How long have you been in business? Are you consistent in social media? That’s reliability, as well. You can also create credibility by simply showing up consistently.” At the same time, she said, don’t burn out. Be vulnerable, and be willing to talk about “the times you messed up and made it right.” While a retailer may not want to air all the details, they might acknowledge something like, “We put the wrong equipment in, but we took care of the client and he’s happier than ever. I don’t want to put my mistakes on social media, but what this tells your audience is that you’re real—you messed up and you made it right.”

In discussing this point, Young reminded the audience that we might question a business that boasts only five-star reviews. “People tend to think you’ve paid for that,” she said. Whereas, a bad review with a positive and supportive response from the

business owner can help to build trust between retailer and client. “They have to know you’re human and that you’ll take care of them.”

Always question one’s motivation, she advised: “Are you thinking about what’s best for the client? Or are you posting and selling what’s best for you?” While it’s good to upsell to solve a real problem, Young said, “people can smell desperation and they can tell your intentions right away. If you post discounts all the time—and that goes back to the 80/20 rule—people will see you’re more interested in making money than helping them.”

The foundation of this, she noted, is having a clear mission statement. “When I got clear on my mission statement, my intention became clear. My mission statement drove me, not my money. This creates trust. When you have that sales conversation, they’re already sold. You don’t have to sell because the content did it for you. That’s the beauty of social media.”


Kaitlyn Young of Social Media Doctor recommended scheduling time each day, or each week, to create social media posts. Instead of doing it daily, you can plan one to two hours per week and schedule out posts for the week. Scheduling helps to avoid burnout: “I’ve seen people get excited about it, plan to post and then burn out completely,” Young said. “On Monday, you might do a team appreciation post. On Tuesday, post build photos. On Wednesday, do an educational post. On Friday, you might go on Facebook Live and talk about your process. Keep yourself accountable.” Here are a few ideas to begin with:

Create before and after posts of projects

Use time lapse to show progress

Create a short educational post

Share a testimonial or Google review

Young said, “I know someone who got 10,000 views by posting a time lapse of a build and sold four systems from it.” She also suggested creating video testimonials with happy customers, because “having a face that isn’t yours” recommending your business will help to create trust.

 strategy & tactics 48 Mobile Electronics June 2024

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During her talk, Young also touched on a few things that have changed about social media: In the future, she explained, “Instagram will start dinging posts that have the phrase, ‘Check out the link in my bio.’ That phrase will get 30 percent less engagement.” To resolve this, she suggested using an app that will automatically send a link to anyone who posts a comment. “If you aren’t sure how to do that, just manually send a link to their DM when they comment,” she added.

“If you post a link on social media asking people to go to your website, Facebook will minimize this because it’s taking away from the platform. An easy way to get around this is to put the link in the comments.”

Young advised against using a thirdparty scheduler when scheduling social media posts, saying that it’s been shown to decrease reach. “The goal,” she added, “is engagement.”

She also shared some helpful strategies about setting up Facebook profiles. “As a business owner, we don’t want to just post from our business page. We want to post on our personal pages, too. This goes back to the trust formula. If you’ve been a business owner for a

while, you have trust in your area, but you can build even more trust by using your personal profile and leading it into your business profile.” About 20 percent of the time, Young posts about her business on her personal page. The personal page should be an essential basis for social media growth.

“For example, what if your Facebook page is taken down, or you start a new business? What if you want to add a second location? Wouldn’t it be great to keep the same followers?” she asked. “Instead of having to rebuild a new page from scratch, if you’ve already built your personal brand on your main page, those followers will be on board.

But if you’ve only built up your one business page, they won’t follow a new page as easily because they won’t know who you are.”

Young suggested updating your profile photo every few months, and sharing a simple line about what you do in your intro. When it comes to Facebook business pages, keep it simple:

“Mine has a banner that shows what we offer and how to contact us. You can post a photo of your team with a logo and a website. It doesn’t need to be complicated.” Young also suggested creating a simple one-liner that focuses on a unique factor. “What makes you stand out?”

 strategy & tactics 50 Mobile Electronics June 2024


Experience incredible music detail with Hi-Res Audio Playback on the Next-Gen Alpine Halo Displays

iLX-F507 iLX-F511
 installs 52 Mobile Electronics June 2024


This Tesla from Audio Edge placed Top 10 in the country in a Sony build-off competition, and was featured in the Sony booth at KnowledgeFest Las Vegas.


Audio Edge’s 2021 Tesla Model 3 demo vehicle was featured in the Sony booth at KnowledgeFest Las Vegas this past February. Colin Buckeye and his mother own the shop in Scottsdale, Ariz. When Sony Car Audio hosted a build-off competition for its dealers, Buckeye said he learned about the competition a little

late in the game—but still managed to create the build and place Top 10 in the entire country.

“This is my personal car and it was built for the shop,” he said. “It consists of the Mobile ES three-way set, run fully active off of two of the four-channel ES amplifiers. There are also two Mobile ES 12s running off an ES mono-block.”

The build also features a Helix DSP 3S, and Buckeye noted he completed the air suspension in-house. The wrap was done elsewhere. “Ever since we moved to Scottsdale, we’ve been dealing with higher-end clientele,” he said, adding that one of his goals in Las Vegas was to connect with higher-end brands and “find the next step.”

54 Mobile Electronics June 2024  installs
Get Certi o ed Questions about how to get certiied or link your retail location? Contact us at! Verify Credentials The Mobile Electronics Certioed Professional (MECP) program is the only internationally recognized program of its kind. Verify A Retailer


“What’s the best way to connect on a level that allows you to provide information on your services and how they will make a difference for your customers? Think features and benefits.”



Letting everyone in your community know what you can offer should be a main priority.

How well are you known for what you do in your community? What’s your business’s reputation? When people in your community seek upgrades for their vehicle’s electronics, are you the first place that comes to mind? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you learn how best to tell your community that your business is awesome.

Like many business owners, you began with a vision. You took the risk and made a decision—in part because you believed in your mission and knew you could make a difference that would also provide revenue to grow your business.

At least, I am assuming this is the case. Some retailers have become known outside their immediate communities, but it’s important to remember that if we want to grow, we have to first start at home. Your potential customers—in your local community—need to know who you are and what you can do for them. Your best source of new customers are your existing customers.


For most of the industry, business has been above average, which means you have a greater opportunity to impress your customers. One method is to provide a great presentation of your offerings. This should be incorporated into your sales process. Another way is to offer a solid demonstration of what you’ve installed. In both cases, you should be planting a seed for the next sale. This demonstrates that you have interest in your relationship with your customers. They should appreciate your long-term commitment to their vehicle upgrades.

This will set you up for a follow-up call, which should happen no later than 30 days out from delivery. In the sales process, you may want to incorporate a broader pitch for products that may be of interest using the “what’s new” approach: a customer comes in for one thing, and leaves with more. Or, at the very least, a seed is planted for the next sale.

When the vehicle is delivered, take time to present highlights of the installation and explain how the customer can best take advantage of

this new technology. Also, reiterate the seed planted in the sales presentation. And finally, if they appear satisfied, simply ask if they know anyone else who could benefit from the products and services you provide. One way is to offer a reward card they can pass to a friend. This can be in the form of a business card that has a place for them to write their name and hand it to someone else. Let them know if their friend makes a purchase, you will provide them with special savings on their next purchase. This accomplishes two things: one, it shows you trust them to pass it on. Two, you’ll have a better chance of getting another sale from them.


What’s the best way to connect on a level that allows you to provide information on your services and how they will make a difference for your customers? Think features and benefits. There are many ways you can connect. If you have a good audience on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or other platforms, you can add live video presentations of your store, new products and featured installs. The video portion is important, as it connects the viewer with you and your store in a way that is better than just posting pictures. You can also do a regular Facebook Live or produce a weekly product review.

If you have the ability to attend local events— of course, most are cancelled right now—take the time to set up a booth and show passersby who you are and what you do. You can also utilize local government meetings to connect with those who are active in your community. Another good practice is to target other business owners with whom you can swap leads. Consider other automotive service providers who might be a great source of cross promotion for both your store and theirs.

Regardless of how you do it, make sure you’re deliberate in your presentation and that you follow up. With the increase in existing business and influx of new customers, it is imperative that you let them know how awesome you are and that you’ll be available to meet and exceed their expectations every time they visit.

56 Mobile Electronics June 2024

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