Industry Profile: The Click Manager Philip Johnston
01 Sep, 2009
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Philip: Originally From Ohio, I grew up Snowboarding a ton. My Mom used to drop me off at the local hill every fri/sat night for twilight shredding, they were open to till 1am on weekends back then. I moved to Steamboat about 7 years ago,since then I’ve been living the dream & haven’t looked back! I’ve taught snowboarding & worked here at The Click since I moved to the boat. In the summers I love bombing hills on my NS longboard, DH mtn biking, camping, Skating, & floating the river.
Shay: What snowboard shop do you work for?
Philip: The Click Skate & Snow. We have 3 shops; 1 in Steamboat Springs Co: 1 in Park City UT, & an online superstore that’s based out of PC as well. www.theclickworldwide.com
Shay: How long have you worked there?
Philip: 6 years
Shay: What is your job title?
Shay: Did your parents question your job choice?
Philip: Not so much. They support most things I do just so long as I can take care of myself & stay out of trouble. They give me a lot of credit for just uprooting my life to follow my dreams & chase snow.
Shay: What was your first set up?
Philip: 10th grade, burton cruise 163 w/ those super ricter sick 3-strap binders and my Grampa’s old work boots. It was a huge board for me back then but it was free and it changed my life to be from that moment on!
Shay: What is your current set up?
Philip: NeverSummer SL-R 158, w/ Green Union Force bindings & white 32 Sonic Fasttrack boots. As for outerwear, I like 32,Volcom, & Airblaster a Ton, Celtek Gloves, & Electric EG2 gogs.
Shay: What was your first job?
Philip: Babysitting my best friend and his 2 brothers 3 days a week for a whole summer at something like 20 bucks a day when I was 14 or 15. It was a blast getting paid to keep the peace and hang w/ my best bros’.
Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Philip: Bluebird & fresh pow on the pass w/ the sleds & good Homies, just having fun shredding out in the middle of nowhere! Or any day on snow for that matter.
Shay: Who are your influences?
Philip: My Uncle John, Sherman Poppin, Jamie Lynn, Jeremy (big mtn) Jones, Landvick, Brian Iguchi, JK, & some of my favorite reps.
Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Philip: 17 years
Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Shay: What is your role at The Click?
Philip: I pretty much do a little bit of everything with the help of a wonderful staff!! Sales floor, Buying/ receiving product, rentals, tuning, warranty, organize comps & events.
Shay: How do you select what new companies to bring into the shop?
Philip: People, products, marketing.
Shay: What’s your average day like at work?
Philip: We’re all here to shred. So in the winter, we mostly work split shifts giving us all a chance to get on the hill every day. I meet a lot of really cool & interesting people from locals to tourists from all over the world. I get to talk about shredding and sell fun to them! Sometimes I’ll slave away on tunes all night & other times I’ll shop for new product to bring into the store.
Shay: How do you educate your staff on products?
Philip: We have Clinics with the reps which are usually a lot of fun, I train the staff myself, and most importantly, being that we all shred 100+days a year, we are always out there riding & testing everything that we sell.
Shay: Is it important to establish relationships with customers?
Philip: Extremely important!!! We want them to feel like they always have a place to go to get any help, advice, or repair work for their gear. And we always want our customers to have the absolute best time shredding on the hill so we try our best to make sure that they are on the right stick & gear for the job.
Shay: How do you like working with various reps that come to the shop?
Philip: I love it! All the reps I deal with are just great. We’re all big kids just selling fun at the end of the day.
Shay: How is your pay? Do you get commission?
Philip: Pay is good. We get a lil commission & great hook ups on fresh gear. It works out to be a pretty good deal!
Shay: What do you think makes a good salesperson?
Philip: A salesperson should be friendly, outgoing, honest, and most importantly, have the ability to listen to the customer’s needs. A lot of salespeople like to sell what works for them but not every customer rides like that salesperson. So it’s very important to understand the specific needs to each individual that walks into our store. And obviously they need to not only be knowledgeable about the product but it makes a huge difference if the salesperson is really into what they are selling.
Shay: Is it important to have first hand experience with the products you sell? Philip: Absolutely!! Knowing how a board rides, responds, & holds up under variable types of riding & terrain is key in picking out the right product for the job or customer.
Shay: What is your favorite product that The Click sells?
Philip: That is so hard, We carry so many great brands & items, I love and stand behind all of it! Otherwise we wouldn’t sell it! How about rocker snowboards, NeverSummer, Union bindings, & 32 boots to start!
Shay: What do you think the industry should do to welcome and bring in new snowboarders?
Philip: We should be looking into the youth because they are our future. We should focus on building LTR programs & slam free lessons so that people want to come back!! I think Burtons new beveled LTR boards are also great for newbies just starting out. Cheaper passes & lift tickets would be nice too. It’s hard for people to drive a few hours to the mtn, then pay $90+ for a lift ticket then try to eat on top of that.
Shay: During these economic times, do you see anything that shops could do to improve sales?
Philip: Really focus on great customer service & building relationships with everybody that comes into that shop. Maybe throw some comps or other events to build the stoke & awareness for our sports.
Shay: Do you do any side projects for other companies/programs?
Philip: I’m a big supporter of “SOS” Snowboard Outreach society. I’ve been teaching for SOS for 7 years now & I love it! Those kids really mean a lot to me!
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Philip: 32 Boot camp, Vegas, Pow days at demos w/ reps, Shredding Pow w/ Sherm Poppen, Always riding/testing the newest gear before it even comes out. Comps, video premiers, Shredding the DC mtn LAB. Always Great Times with the Click!
Shay: What education/experience did you have before getting the job?
Philip: I’ve had lots of jobs dealing with people & customer service. I’ve worked sales & retail in the past, taught snowboarding, & been a snowboarder forever!
Shay: What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from your job?
Philip: Both our Steamboat & Park City stores closed down completely for the 1st time ever in 12years to go Shred the DC mountain lab, Our crew killed all the features. Jibbing the Missile & drinking Coronas on Ken Block’s Deck, Now that was a Great day!
Shay: Any disadvantages of your job?
Philip: Warranties! When you ride hard things break, & It’s tough when someone’s gear fails on them & they are forced to miss days shredding while they wait for a company to decide whether or not to replace it. Sometimes the customers think it’s the shops fault and that’s tough because we just want to get them right back out on snow asap! We do our best for a quick turn around, but some things take time and are out of the shops control.
Shay: Prior to The Click, what other shops/jobs have you worked at?
Philip: I worked in the office at Boston Mills/Brandywine ski resort way back in the day. Then I helped out at The Kilted Yak Snowboard shop for a while. Both those spots are back home in Ohio. Bartending And I teach Snowboarding for Steamboat resort.
Shay:Since you started working in shops, what’s been the best technology advance in snowboarding?
Philip: Rocker/banana/reverse camber, what ever you want to call it, is “The Greatest thing since Sliced Bread“ in my book. It’s like cheating, it’s butterlicous!
Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Philip: Pretty much the fall when we start receiving all the new gear till after new years, then again in late Feb & spring break for peak season of course.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Philip: Education is very important but Experience also goes a very long way. I like experience and common sense personally.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in a snowboard shop?
Philip: It’s a super fun job for sure. It’s not just bro-ing down watching vids though. Employees need to be Motivated, confident, Outgoing, approachable, competitive, & stoked on life!
Shay: Final thoughts?
Philip: I love My Job & I love the Shred!!!