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1-2-2018 Mobile Electronics -- Jim Carrey once starred in a movie called "Yes Man." The film followed a bank clerk who found that he was missing out on life by saying no to everything. After being dragged by a friend to attend a seminar, Carrey started saying yes to every opportunity. While hilarity ensued for the sake of comedy, his character's life changed for the better, resulting in his meeting a new love, learning new skills and getting a big raise at work.

For Main Street Stereo, success came in a similar way thanks to the company's slogan, "Yes We Can!" which tells customers that any and all service requests are welcome. The store, located in Sayville, N.Y., is comprised of five full-time employees and one part-timer. Service offerings include car audio, truck accessories, window tinting, marine and power sports offerings, rims and tires, remote starters, alarms and selling LED lights wholesale to other companies.

On its way to becoming one of the hottest aftermarket retailers on the East Coast, Main Street Stereo began its journey to dominance in 1974. Having originally opened on Main Street, the shop moved to Sunrise Highway and eventually became a household name in that area. By 2010, a former employee of tech giant LG, who had an engineering background, was looking to get into 12-volt. He’d always loved car audio and electronics. Soon enough, Soo Choi bought the company and began a renovation at the same location. That same year, General Manager Steve Salvia was hired to run the daily operations. His journey to the company began with a love of both music and cars. "I started building cars with my friends in high school. Through that, I was in bands as a musician. I've got a love for car audio with customization and the audio with my musical background," Salvia said. "I bounced around in a couple jobs in college. I worked for American Racing for six years then repp'd for a couple of wheel companies for the next four to five years, worked for another stereo shop for a couple years and ended up here. It's all for my love of custom vehicles."

To round out the management team, sales manager James Geddes was hired in 2011. While Steve handles rims and tire sales, James handles general sales of everything else in the store.

"I've been in mobile electronics since 1996," he said. "I found out about vehicle possibilities when I bought my first car. I decided it was what I wanted to do."

Thanks to this dream team of auto lovers, the store developed a reputation for selling everything under the sun and knowing how to sell different categories as well as properly install every category they have.

Natural Progress

Selling a diverse product offering requires great knowledge, skill and proper tooling and facilities, which the company has in spades. The two-story building boasts a 4,000 square foot installation bay, which is split into three sections: a wood shop, a show room with product displays for each category sold, two stock rooms upstairs with an office and second showroom that features even more product displays.

Among the myriad displays are the LED lights that the company sells wholesale. The lighting business was established thanks to Choi's previous relationships with various Chinese factories. "As I go to the SEMA show every year, that's how it developed naturally. The LED wholesale business started with everyone knowing we had them so they started to contact us," Choi said. "Three years ago, everyone was struggling with HID headlights, which were notorious for returns. We're educating a lot of stores on how to sell LEDs. It happened gradually. We sell to local shops, some dealerships, and have a plan for more serious business on the wholesale side of LED."

Maintaining that organic approach to business is a big part of the company identity that has allowed it to grow over the years. That same approach is used during customer interactions to ease them into transactions without seeming pushy. "The most important thing is to immediately break that barrier between salesman and customer and be as inviting as possible. We use quick greetings with no closed-ended questions," Geddes explained. "Customers are invited to look around the store. We don't want it to look like a warehouse where we're looking to move boxes. We want it to have a homey atmosphere, very warm."

Tours of the facility are done upon request. Vehicles that relate to the job in question are shown to customers to highlight that style of work, when possible. "We'll show systems that we've done, showing photos all the time. During our installation, they can't hang out in the bay. We show them the clean shop and they're impressed by the size," Geddes added. "We encourage dropping off to manage the shop correctly. If the customer is not able to make that work, we have waiting areas in both parts of the store. We offer rides as well."

One of the company's biggest beliefs is that the shop is a reflection of the work performed. For this reason, the installation bay is cleaned before and after every installation. "There's a tray for every screw and a place for panels to go. Attention to detail before and after installation is very important and a big strength in our shop," Geddes said. "Our installers are very aware of issues with the vehicle when it comes in. We like the factory look. Instead of electrical tape, we use TESA tape. It costs a little more but the look helps with wire layout."

All vehicles are inspected before and after installation to take note of any vehicle damage, possible upgrades and to check the battery. Once the job is complete, every customer receives a call or email the following week."Our focus is not only making sure the customer is happy when they're here, but keeping them happy after they leave," Geddes added.

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