Weekend Update…

MARI’S HOME!!!! Well, that’s the most exciting thing to happen this weekend. I have really been missing her and she is finally back. It sounds like she had a good time out in Portland. Now she will be around for a while… at least until the next time she leaves. Fortunately, the next time she leaves (which just happens to be Friday) I will be going with her. Anyway, this weekend was pretty uneventful.

Saturday I had to work at the challenge course for MTU. It was pretty fun. It is always interesting to see how different groups deal with challenges and work through problems. Honestly, a lot of the things we do seem fairly ridiculous, and what is really interesting is to see just to what extent the participants embrace the challenges. Some groups are always looking for the easy way out. They want to give up early or want me to relax the rules we’ve established. Some groups however fully embrace the challenge and set to completing the challenge under the conditions presented to them. Most groups consist of a mixture of these personalities and it is fun to watch and see which one wins out over the course of each challenge.

Anyway, after a challenging morning I had to head down to the beach to help out with Down Wind’s Paddle Fest. This is honestly my least favorite paddling event to help out with. Mostly it has to do with the fact that we are selling recreational kayaks mostly. I have nothing against someone buying one of these, but what does bother me is how much himming and hawing it takes to get someone to make a purchase. They really aren’t spending that much money, they probably will hardly use the product, and the differences between the models are so slight. Sometimes I think these events don’t actually help our cause. We end up giving the customer too many options, and in the process put ourselves in a position where we have to explain the differences between boats that aren’t that different, thereby providing the customer with heaps of info through which they now have to sort. For example take Wilderness Systems Tsunami line of kayaks. There are 16 different models:

tsunami sp
120 pro
125 pro
140 pro
145 pro
160 pro
165 pro
175 pro

What a list! It seems like you have one model that runs the gamut from 12 foot rec boat to 17 foot sea kayak. You could easily break this list up into 3 or 4 different models to lessen the amount of confusion both with customers and salesmen. Craziness I tell you. I would rather sell $3000 boats and $500 paddles than deal with the rec crowd. Maybe I’m just a little jaded after working in retail for so long. But, it always seems like the small dollar sales require the most amount of work. The shops that only sell high end equipment have figured it out. Selling cheap products creates cheap customers, selling high end products creates high end customers. This is a philosophy I plan to embrace in my future endeavors. Anyway, I’m off to bed.


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