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Sitka in the Khalarhi
Black and White
Athlete Insider: Donnie Vincent
If you could meet just one person...
Dec 30, 2008
We are about to tackle trade show season. It's brutal, the hours long, the conversations repetitive, you tire of regurgitating the same material over and over and over. One thing I want to stress, ask a lot of questions and then practice "golden silence". Tell, tell, tell doesn't matter. What matters is finding out what your potential customer is trying to fix, accomplish, or avoid. Ask the right questions, you'll get the answer. And then tell them what they need to hear. It works, and it makes the day a lot more enjoyable and ten times more fun.
Now what I actually wanted to post was a piece that
had written some time back, but it stuck in my mind as being very relevant at shows. We have the incredible opportunity to meet anyone we want within our industry. So, do it. And here's why:
If you could meet one person...
Think about this for a moment. If a trusted friend could arrange a meeting between you and anyone of your choosing, who would you choose?
Not for entertainment or curiosity or bragging rights, but to help your business. Who could help? Someone who could actually aid your marketing or development...
Years ago, I went to the AOL partner's conference. I'm no runner (unless someone is chasing me) yet I signed up for the early morning run because I knew Steve Case, CEO of AOL, would be running. I ran with him for twenty minutes, almost killed myself. Didn't help. (But I'm glad I met him).
If you're an author, can Jeff Bezos at Amazon help you more than a motivated promotions manager far down the ladder? It's unlikely.
People in charge can rarely help you, because they are rarely (truly) in charge. Billionaires can't help you, either, because they have their defense force fields on full strength during meetings like this. In fact, the person who can help you the most is almost always someone who doesn't appear that powerful on the surface.
Remember, it's not just that they
help you. It's that they
to help you. Famous people qualify in neither category.
So, who is it? Hint, it's not the Wizard of Oz or the Pope or Barack Obama. It's someone not famous, someone who actually makes things happen and someone who actually cares. Think hard... Got it?
Great. Go meet them.
Epic Christmas for Karsten
Dec 29, 2008
A little Honda XR 50 did the trick for the Karsten. He was puzzled by how Santa carried it in his sleigh and then down the chimney. But nonetheless, was SO stoked.
Sitka in 2009
Dec 26, 2008
Oregon Snow Melting
As I sit and stare at 12 inches of wet, slushy, sticky Oregon snow outside my wife's parents' house, it makes me kind of miss the fall sunshine of Napa Valley. With the new year right around the corner, and Christmas passed, I'm chomping at the bit to get back to the office for a week and then off to the shows to introduce our 2009 line to the world! With our newly assembled sales team in the drivers seat, I see a year with extraordinary possibilities ahead. It is an honor to be part of it.
Cody rockin' it with his new ride.
Dec 21, 2008
Sitka's David Brinker turns 19
Dec 18, 2008
I remember when Dave first came through the doors of Sitka's World Headquarters. He was green, shy, but hungry to learn. Still in school, fresh with ideas, bad habits, and easily distracted, we had to stay on Dave to keep focused. Terrible communication skills, no organizational skills, but great with the computer. Boy could he work that laptop.
After a few weeks of practicing his phone skills, just basic "thanks for calling Sitka, can I help you?" we let him answer a few calls. That didn't last too long though. He was always hanging up by accident, or answering questions with a question. Sometimes he'd just pick up and not saying anything...just breathe.
Eventually, under a heavy hand, it all started to click. Or, maybe it was him getting married? Doesn't matter. Dave's running his own program, taken the bull by the horns, and we couldn't be luckier. The heavy breathing on the phone is still a problem though.
Happy Birthday Double Clutch, and congrats on graduating finally from the old fashion stick and string to the laser fast, big cam, speedo compound thing that shoots arrows. Maybe you'll start hitting stuff.
08 Alaska Professional Hunters Association Convention-
Dec 6, 2008
I have spent the last two days mingling among the some of the finest, most well known outfitters, and bush pilots in Alaska. (Some Both). I had lunch yesterday with Lance Kronberger, and a beer with Mike Litzen last evening (a rock star bush pilot outfitter/bush pilot with more than 15000 hours logged). Mike had Brendon Burns up for Dall Sheep this year. There is a "missing" story Brendan didn't bother to mention that I have the dirt on.......
Between running my table and sitting in on meetings I have learned much about Alaska's conservation issues, outfitting struggles and successes, and of course, how to score a Dall Sheep!! Its great to see the heads of SCI, Dallas Safari Club, FNAWS, ADOFW, and other important individuals get together for a good cause, preservation of Alaska's outfitting business.
These people live and work in last true frontier in the United States, and make their living doing so. They, for the most part, may not make a ton of money. They may not ever become famous. They do what they do because they are passionate about it and live for the adventure of Alaska's wild. Most that I have met here are look you in the eye, good people.
Among things that I have come to admire of the folks that I have met, is there honesty towards what they wear in the field. Sitka is starting to become a household name up here, a direct result of its natural fit. These guys and gals require the best gear on the market, there life depends on it. Its less about looks and more about survival. The discussions that I have had regarding the 2009 line have been nothing but positive. Details when I get back!
A cell phones view of the Chugach Range. Dec 4
Oh yes, theres an Iditarod conference next door.........they love the Dutch Oven!!!
Nice try Kevin
Dec 5, 2008
But there is only one HOT RS!
Dec 5, 2008
It's amazing how many eyes are out there, hungry to get as much information as possible. What's even better is when you get reviews that read "10 out of 10".
Dec 2, 2008
I was rethinking an exercise that Jason and I went through today, revisiting: brand, vision, philosophy, and how we create a company that becomes an Icon in this industry. We can drill down on each of those, and explore how they are interconnected, how we develop each strategically, and leverage their strengths. But as I thought more and more about companies that I like, I think the simple message was that we buy brands that we make a connection with or products that we love. We all know this intuitively, but if we are consistent in keeping these two things front of mind in our decision making, from the customers point of view, we are destined to become an icon.
Dec 2, 2008
A brand is only as strong as the folks that have created it. We are the Sitka brand. We live it, we breathe it, we can grow it. I was reading an interesting interview with featured marketing expert: Rohit Bhargava. I wanted to share this one particular Q&A, as I thought it was very relevant to what we, as a team, need to continue being proactive about. There are so many sub-communities that exist within our industry that we should be active in. Telling our story, gaining credibility, growing our brand.
What is the one social media tool that you feel right now a small business cannot live without?
It may be odd to consider this a social media tool, but I think that social networks offer a very powerful tool that many small businesses are not using as much as they could be. Depending on who your audience is, this could mean Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, MeetUp, LinkedIn, Yelp, or another niche community. No matter what kind of business you are in, there are people who care about it or are looking for information that are seeking it through their trusted networks. This is not about search optimization but about being a part of the right communities. Whether you associate your business with a particular industry or a particular region, finding the right social networks and joining them is the smartest social media tool any small business can start to master.
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