Saturday night marked the beginning of dealer clinics for Marhar. Every fall our regional sales reps travel to their retailers and give a clinic to the sales associates. Once the retailers lock their doors for the day, it’s our turn to go in and discuss each one of our snowboards carried at that store.
Why is this important?
I hope by the end of this, you have a new found appreciation for the sales associates at your local retail shop, and a renewed love for the shop where you buy all your gear. A lot of their employees bring vast knowledge about winter sports, and are eager to be the first to learn, test, and help sell the latest and greatest in the market. Although clinics are happening in the fall, about 7 or 8 months previously these employees were at trade shows and testing events trying out all of the gear. They experience how it rides, and can relate to who the product is designed for, even if it goes against their personal preference.
Now let’s fast forward 7-8 months and they get to experience another part of the brand/retailer relationship by attending a clinic. Clinics help cement the trust from a brand, to a retailer, to a consumer. The goal is to get everyone on the same page, make sure you (the consumer) get fitted properly for the equipment you will be using, for the riding you plan on doing. You are spending a lot of money, the retailers have invested a lot of money, and it has to be a win / win to make sure the customers get awesome service and leave with the confidence that they understand the equipment they just invested in.
(Matt going over the 2016/17 Throwback @Bill and Pauls)
While most people were getting ready to head out for the night, maybe grab a bite to eat, possibly get a little sauced up. Behind the scenes at your local winter sports retailer were brands like Marhar spending hours answering questions and going over each snowboard model.
These clinics have become vital to our existence as a company. Without retailers, Marhar probably doesn’t exist, it’s hard for me to type that, but it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, we have a website designed to be user friendly and informational, have live chat available to answer questions, show our products, the technology etc. But that alone just doesn’t do any product justice, because seeing a screen, and seeing a beautiful handcrafted snowboard in person are two way different experiences. With that said, seeing the product is great, but having a personalized experience from a knowledgeable sales associate is even better!
Clinics take up a lot of hours, and are usually before or after the store is open for business. Just another example of the investment retailers make, paying their employees hourly wages even though products aren’t being sold to compensate for those wages. They believe in educating and training their staff on the products they sell, and in my opinion the reason a lot of retailers are successful.
My local shop doesn’t carry brands I’m interested in.
A big piece of the puzzle for retailers is knowing what their customers want and need. If you are tired of your local retailer carrying the same brands and models year in and year out, let it be known. In order for retailers to survive they need to know that consumers in their area have other interests, and while they might be doing well, they could be doing better by servicing you.
If you are interested in becoming a Marhar Authorized Dealer, please contact our offices at 616-432-3104, or by e-mail , firstname.lastname@example.org