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By: Lou Dzierzak,
May 22, 2012

Lou DzierzakNo matter what day, time or season the questions never stop coming for sales people at snow sports retailers.

“I want to buy my daughter her first snowboard. What should I be looking for?”
“I heard about these new ski boots. Will they work for me?”
“I want to upgrade my bindings? What do you suggest?”

Specialty retailers often hire sales people who are enthusiastic about the sports the shop specializes in to address just these kinds of queries. At times, those “stoked” employees may not be accurately informing customers about apparel and equipment choices.

“I tell our employees to never BS a customer. That’s the worst thing that can happen. You will be caught quickly and lose all credibility,” says Jonathon Southworth, owner, Adams Ski & Snowboard, Dayton OH.

Since product knowledge is the lifeblood of a snow sports retailer’s credibility, storeowners place great emphasis on training sales people. Kim Pearson, co-owner Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus, Grand Rapids MI, believes the training begins during the job applicant’s interview. “Our hiring process is one of the most important parts of the success of our training program,” Pearson says, “part of the hiring process is determining “trainability” of that person. If somebody tells us they know everything they may not be the best candidate for us. Customers don’t like know-it-alls.”

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