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Selling outdoors

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, March 2, 2009

HAY RIVER - Matt Morse's new job is right up his alley.

Morse is the sales manager at Monster Recreational Products, a Hay River business which opened in October.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Matt Morse is sales manager at Hay River's Monster Recreational Products, which opened last fall. - Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The 30-year-old said he has been riding snowmobiles since he was about 13. He then got into all-terrain vehicles and now also boats with family and friends.

"It was always something I was interested in," he said of the outdoor life.

Now, he sells snowmobiles, ATVs, boats and a variety of accessories at Monster Recreational Products, which also has a service department.

"Snowmobiles, ATVs and boats are part of life in the North," he said.

Morse said most of the new store's customers are hunters, trappers and/or fishermen.

"The majority of our customers rely on them to make their income," he said.

Morse, who was born in Edmonton and came to Hay River 21 years ago, has worked in a variety of businesses, including about seven years as a service advisor at Kingland Ford.

"The recreational vehicle area is something I've always been interested in," he said.

Morse said his regular workday involves talking with customers, either on the phone or in the firm's showroom; arranging maintenance; and selling clothing or parts.

And, there is always paperwork, he said. "That goes without saying."

Morse said he especially enjoys dealing with people.

"The satisfaction I get is when I've sold a unit to a customer and two weeks later they come in and shake my hand and say how pleased they are with the product," he said. "The satisfaction I get is from satisfied customers."

Morse said the basic training for working as a sales manager is to learn how to deal with people.

"Start off with the service industry anywhere you can," he said, adding that could include working in a restaurant or pumping gas. "You can gain a lot of skills just by doing that. Once you learn the basics, the rest is just simply training."

Morse said Monster Recreational Products, like any business, is being affected by the recession.

"It's had a major effect on our business," he said, adding people aren't buying like they used to do.

"It's scaring people from spending money," he added. "People are going to hold on to it right now. That's any business."

He said the store will make the best of it, and that business will still be generated by maintenance to vehicles. The store also sells to customers in many Northern communities besides Hay River, he said.

The store, which is co-owned by Pat Williams and Janet-Marie Fizer, sells Ski-Doo snowmobiles (and other brands of used machines), Can-Am quads and Evinrude outboard motors - all made by Bombardier Recreational Products.

"To me, it's special to be selling Ski-Doo," Morse said, adding that make of snowmobile is a market leader in technology and innovation.

Bombardier Recreational Products also offers training on the Internet for salespeople, mechanics, parts people and administrators.

"I've done quite a few actually," Morse said.

One of the perks of his job is trying out new products, he said. "If I don't try the product, I can't honestly advise the customer."