Asking for help

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

Moderators: adamin, kenneth, sbroam, TheKrikkitWars, Mike W., Sir Adam, KNeal, PAC

User avatar
CBoats Addict
Posts: 851
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:17 am
Location: Fayetteville, AR

Post by Shep »

Hey Richard! I've got an idea... Make Dave Thomas go! I'd ride shotgun with him in order to keep him awake (and just happen to get a ride out west for some paddling). 8)

C Guru
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:38 am
Location: Sacramento, California

Post by johnd »

I don't know about open canoeing in the West as a whole, but I can definitely say the open canoeing scene in California is terrible. Don't waste the gas money coming to California. The canoeing clubs generally do Class II stuff. So you join a kayaking club to run harder stuff, say like one based out of Sacramento, like the Gold Country paddlers, and find that people rarely return your emails asking to get on basic, local Class III runs. If you show up for a Fourth of July weekend, you are snubbed, avoided, shunned for even a Class III run.

Don't go west, young man. Or if you do, don't go as far as California.
CBoats Addict
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:43 am

Post by cheajack »

Richard; You have said that you "aren't real happy" with demo days. Why? Because you didn't sell any boats that day? It is clear in your responses in this thread that you aren't happy, but sales is not an instant gratification profession. It is really hard. You first have to establish a presence and staying home minding the shop and paddling the Tellico won't get it done. Do you know how people hear about Mohawk Canoes? Perhaps having buyers fill out an on line questionaire as part of warranty registry might at least tell you where you need to put your sales emphasis. Maybe folks saw your products at a demo day but out of time constraints, shyness, or what ever reason tried and purchased your product later.
People here on this thread have made some great suggestions but all your responses have been negative. I have never met a successful salesman with a negative attitude. They are all cheerful and positive even if the walls are crumbling down, they would never let you know it.
If you can't leave the shop for two weeks to make a trip out west, consider recruiting and training someone who can. Learn to delegate. Visiting your friends in Richmond would be nice but may not be a reason to hold a demo day there. And if you can't afford the gas to make an exploratory road trip, maybe it is time to revisit the business plan (you do have one don't you?) including how you are capitalized. Now before you blow me away, remember you did ask for suggestions at the very beginning.
User avatar
C Maven
Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:38 pm
Location: Willow Grove, PA

Post by gumpy »

put your newest team member in charge of a demo day on the cheat, one on the toh, and one on the deerfield. and if the demo fleet includes a pe maxim, there's one sale right there :D
Mohawk Canoes
Posts: 751
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:14 pm
Location: Chattanooga

Post by 2opnboat1 »

Ok here is why I have not been happy with demo days, They are not the fun that I wan them to be. We have sold a few boats off of ever demo. I love to hang out with and visit with our customer base But I want to hold them in places that are fun that people want to come to and paddle. Dont get me wrong every demo day that we have held has been fun and worth it money wise. I did not ask this question for marketting advice or business plan advice. I was asking for locals. As for as out west Yes there are hot spots but in all everything is too far apart and it takes a long time to get out there. I hope next year we can head west but this year is out of the question.
Richard Guin
Lazy good for nothing slacker
CBoats Addict
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:06 am
Location: Milton,Mass

Post by craig »

I mentioned Deerfield fest. Another option could be the Forks in Maine. The Kennebec and Dead are right there and sections of the Penobscot are 1 1/2-2hrs away. The Deerfield in western mass is a long drive each way 16 hrs+/-, but probably add 6 more hours to get to the Forks. More people at the Deerfield,but I have more fun in Maine
User avatar
Yukan Canoe
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:27 pm
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon,Canada

Post by Yukon »

Richard hope you take any of the ideas here to heart including if someone thinks you have some negativity. If someone has that percpertion and shares it, take it as good feedback. I know up here the solo boat market is very small, but the tandem tripping boat forum is huge in relation to the population base. We only have 30 000 people inthe Yukon and have 2 very well stocked paddle shops and they sell a ton of tandem boats.

Mohawk used to be on the top of the whitewater game,they have fallen from that position and behind the game. You need a new design for a solo boat if whitewater is were you want to put your efforts.

We have heard of a new material from Mohawk for some time but still no word on it. People are excited about Esquif and the new L'edge as it is something new and progressive. It will create more excitiment about solo canoeing. Mohawk can hopefully capatilize on it.

I would think demo days could cost a lot of money and time and hard to be in several places at once. You need to get your boats out there. Since I own a paddle school I am a bit biased but I believe that is were your new customers are going to come from. If paddlers have success learning in one of your boats they are much more likely to buy it. I have seen it time and time again. So far I have found manufactures to underestimate the value of having their boats in paddling schools. It can even be worked out to be cost neutral. Demo boats that can be used by lots of students and then sold for a great deal at the end of the season are very effective and cost way less than print advertising.

I am Mohawk can climb the whitewater ladder again. My first success in a solo boat was I think an xl-15 in 1991. In 1992 I bought a Viper 12 in glass from Western Canoeing-which I still paddle. I then went to a Viper 11 for a long time then to a Taureau and onto a L'edge.

Brand loyality goes deep. My father had a Bombadier snowmachine and that is still what I drive. Dont ask me why, never had another manufactures machine.

My father drove a ford, my first van was a ford and that is still what I drive and I have no love affair with them.

I still buy Crest toothpaste and so one. The new paddler and the first boat people buy is critical for long term success
C Guru
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Springfield, MO

another venue

Post by Helly »

to consider is all those outward bound type programs/schools whatever you call them.
Seems like Wed and Thur at the Nantahala are days those groups instructors/trainers are there practicing their skills.....I know I've seen 15 of them from Soar, and others I can't remember the names of. I know their boats are owned by the company they work for....but they are fairly young paddlers who are enthusiastic....and need lots of boats for the kids they take on trips.... a demo day with those groups could be fun, and they may want to add more boats to their armamaterium. just a thought. You could search for the outward bound companies, and then advertise to those groups specifically what day(s) you'll be having a demo day.....and may want to ask them what day(s) they would be more likely to attend. Just a thought.
Post Reply