Industry Profile: Sierra Snowboard & Ski Salesperson Matteo Mezzetti
11 Jul, 2008
Shay: So tell us about yourself?
Matteo: My name is Matteo Mezzetti and I was born in Sacramento, California. I have always enjoyed being involved in board sports since I was little, which prompted me to start snowboarding when I was eleven. I like individual sports because they require you to count on yourself instead of others as well. I currently attend California State University-Sacramento. I have no clue about my major, but I will enroll in the Coast Guard in about 1-2 years. I enjoy where I work and could not ask for a better job then to sell stuff that pertains to the sport I love most.
Shay: What snowboard shop do you work for?
Matteo: Sierra Snowboard & Ski, and www.sierrasnowboard.com
Shay: How long have you worked there?
Matteo: I’ve been there for about 2.5 years now. Ever since I was 16.5 years old. It’s been fun.
Shay: What is your job title?
Matteo: Either hardgoods salesman or snowboards salesman.
Shay: Did your parents question your job choice?
Matteo: My mom was really excited I got this job just because it was my first real job. My dad pressured me to get a job, but once I got this one he told me that I don’t “need” one. I basically told him off cause I was not going to let the chance to have a sick job go. They are stoked for me now that they know I can juggle school and work pretty well.
Shay: What was your first set up?
Matteo: I think my first set-up was a Hyperlight Fusion Snowboard with some old Flow Amp 5 bindings. I thought it was the sickest set-up ever at that time.
Shay: What is your current set up?
Matteo: I have a Ride Society with Ride Beta Bindings. I rock Burton Hail boots. I have a Salomon Special board with Burton P1 bindings as well. I’m about to pick up a 09 Lib Tech Dark Series MTX when we receive them in the store.
Shay: What was your first job?
Matteo: My first technical job that I got was working at where I am now, Sierra Snowboard & Ski. I pushed really hard to get this job when I was 16 and have just been enjoying it ever since. I started out in the shop/rentals and then got bumped to the sales floor.
Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Matteo: Snowboarding on any day that’s not icy is a great day to me. But literally just getting to the snow and getting some runs in makes my day. An epic day would just be hitting the backcountry pow lines, hitting some big drops, and riding through thick sections of trees, all in 2-3 feet of fresh. I went to Whistler one season and that was some great days of riding.
Shay: Who are your influences?
Matteo: At first my influences were only my parents cause I did not have any friends who went to the snow. I have always been stoked to see pro’s stomping tricks as I have grown up as well. Nowadays my friends, parents, and mostly my co-workers influence me to ride as often as I can. I really like going to the mountain and seeing people who are respectable when riding, rather than some who act like hard ass’s just to seem cool.
Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Matteo: I have been snowboarding for about 8 years…ever since I was 11. But I have been snowboarding consistently for about 6 years.
Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Matteo: It definitely depends on if I get hurt or not. I seem to hurt myself nowadays. haha. But on everage I would say I get about 20-25 days in a year. I really take schoolwork seriously, so I don’t get as many days in as I would like to. I’m shooting for 35-40 days next season.
Shay: What is your role at Sierrasnowboard as a salesperson?
Matteo: I have a few…First, I need to make sure that I know all of the products that I’m selling through and through. Next, I try to give the best customer service possible to every customer I talk to. During that I basically give my insight to the customers about which products they should buy to compliment their riding style. Overall, my role is to get the customer out the door with some new gear in their hands.
Shay: What’s your average day like at work?
Matteo: During the wintertime we are pretty busy. I roam around the snowboards wall and I help out each customer with his or her questions and concerns, and make sure that everyone is receiving assistance. Sometimes I will go in the shop/rentals area for mounting or to rent out set-ups. During the summer, we work with our internet website www.sierrasnowboard.com to help customers worldwide. We also try to formulate new ideas to make each new-year easier and more organized for the customers and ourselves to work with.
Shay: How do you educate yourself on products?
Matteo: A variety of ways…I go to the store clinics to hear the reps talk about their products. I also read each company’s booklets to understand the tech and board measurements. In the store we talk to each other, to educate one another, about the equipment and to compare companies. And when I get to go and demo the products. At Sierra, we are really big on making sure you know the stuff before you sell anything.
Shay: Is it important to establish relationships with customers?
Matteo: Yes, I believe it is important to gain trust and a bond with your customers. That way they know you’re truly there to help them with whatever they need. I try to get the customer to open up about their experiences with snowboarding and I like to relate myself to them. This way they feel comfortable in the shop, and look at me as a person and not a salesman. It just makes their experience more enjoyable.
Shay: How is your pay? Do you get commission?
Matteo: I get paid well. But I am looking to move up sometime soon, so we will see what happens next. The reason I like working as a salesman at Sierra so much is because we don’t make commission. That way I can involve myself with the customer and not always have to pressure them into buying something only to make money for myself.
Shay: Working in a shop, you get to meet a lot of people…who is your favorite person you have met?
Matteo: I have met the largest variety of people while working here, including a good amount of pros when we have our premier days. My favorite person I have met was this new Forum pro named Matty. He is a pretty down to earth dude. I have also met many families that I have enjoyed talking with.
Shay: What do you think makes a good salesperson?
Matteo: A good salesperson is a person who knows his or her stuff and does not try to feign knowledge when talking with customers. Also, someone who has good people skills and because on the floor you won’e always meet people you like. Definitely knowing how to speak with persuasion is a must. Don’t be fake.
Shay: Is it important to have first hand experience with the products you sell?
Matteo: Of course. That is the best way to give you the information about how something rides and performs in certain situations on the mountain. You can read up on all the tech and measurements of a board and have an idea of what its good for, but when you actually ride it you feel and know what it’s good for. This way you can explain to customers how you felt it ride on the mountain.
Shay: What is your favorite product that Sierra sells?
Matteo: Everyone is going to have their biases when selling products, myself included. Some of the people I work with like to sell only certain products because they believe in it so much. I myself try to sell a large variety of brands, but sometimes leave out some brands because I think another kind is better. The only thing is to not hate on any brand when speaking with customers because that is your sole opinion.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working at Sierra?
Matteo: The 07 Forum Premier, when we all went over to my old co-workers house and partied with the whole Sierra crew and with the Forum pros. It was a fun night. Also, there are a select few people and families that I have met and that I will never forget.
Shay: How is working for Sierra (any cool work events, work environment, job perks)?
Matteo: Working for Sierra is probably going to be my favorite job that I will have for a while. All of my co-workers get along with one another and party, which is cool. We also put together premiers every year, which are insane. And we will sometimes get free lift tickets or season passes as part of certain rewards. It is all definitely well worth the work.
Shay: What education/experience did you have before getting the job?
Matteo: All I had was the experience as a snowboarder and was a kid who knew how to talk with people. I did not really know much about any board products before so I got trained and now I am where I am at today.
Shay: What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from your job?
Matteo: I received, along with my co-worker, a 06-07 Double Whammy Season Pass for being voted the salesperson that gave the Best Customer Service.
Shay: Any disadvantages of your job?
Matteo: Every job has their problems. I really cannot complain too much about this job. Miss some snow days here and there, and sometimes there are some co-workers that get on my nerves, but that is really it.
Shay: Since you started working in shops, what’s been the best technology advance in snowboarding?
Matteo: There have been a lot of great advances. I think Burton ICS EST tech, Salomon Era tech, and Ride Slimewalls are all great advances for their own reasons. Overall though, Magne-Traction is the best all-around advancement that helps a variety of snowboarders. Everything in general has become more individualized…especially women’s equipment.
Shay: How often do you try out the products you sell?
Matteo: Whenever I get a chance to grab a demo that we receive from reps, and I will try to make it to the on-mountain demo days as much as possible. School makes it hard to get out a lot though.
Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Matteo: From October thru December, especially around Christmas time. Also we’re busy from january 3rd thru the end of February.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Matteo: As I have said, Experience is more important than only education. You may know what the product is by reading a pamphlet, but until you actually ride it, you do not know how it truly feels and functions on the snow. The best way is to blend education and experience with the products.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in a snowboard shop?
Matteo: You need to put your time in so you can learn the product and understand it. I would definitely say you’re better off if you actually do the sport too cause people will know if you don’t. Have good people skills. Be aware of everything going on around in the snowboarding industry. Be consistent with your knowledge you express to customers, know how to be persuasive, and a hard-working employee.
Shay: Final thoughts?
Matteo: After all that I have none…Peace out.
*Photos courtesy of Matteo Mezzetti and Sierra Snowboard.