If you've been following the Paramotor Community on Social Media or have called around, we're sure you've noticed that the Paramotor Industry is unlike anything else! Manufacturers, Dealers, and ESPECIALLY Customers have noticed a surge of "negativity" that just doesn't belong in this sport. It's actually preventing many people from realizing their dream of flying. This absolutely must stop.
Many people have seen Manufacturers go as far as telling newcomers that they "will DIE if they buy anything but their brand of equipment." Can you just imagine for a minute if Honda Motors was advertising that people will die if they purchase from Suzuki Motors instead of them? As ridiculous as this sounds, somehow this has become the "accepted norm" in the PPG world. Somewhere along the way, many people have lost sight of the fact that this is all about the flying... Nothing more, nothing less. Spending the majority of a conversation talking negatively about other brands does nothing to educate or benefit customers. It leaves a potential Pilot with confusion and a lack of confidence in the sport as a whole. It really hurts everyone involved in this potentially life-changing sport.
So, why does this happen so often? We ask ourselves this a lot, as customers every day express their concerns or disdain with what they've been told. When Dealers are on commission, selling a high-dollar item, and in a very competitive growing Industry, things get messy. When "Brand X" hears that their competitor has said something derogatory about them, they respond with equal hostility to defend themselves (or to ensure a sale). It starts a cycle that just continues. This isn't as prevalent in other Industries where people focus on the strong points of their own products. If you go to a Mercedes Dealer, they won't spend half their time spewing negativity about BMW. They stick to talking about what makes them stand out, as they should.
Another major concern we have is when customers are sold equipment dubbed as “the best” or “right for them,” when it's actually “what's best for the Dealer.” A heavy engine, an undersized Paraglider, or outdated technology all of a sudden become “the latest & greatest for the customer” because that's what the Dealer has in stock. Or the most expensive “fancy-looking” Paramotors somehow become “better” than a less expensive competing product with the exact same specs/engine. With so much contradicting information out there, it's hard for someone new to the sport to know who is being honest.
Lastly, we know that new Dealers start up business every day because of the opportunities out there. Many of these people have only recently learned how to fly (and there's nothing wrong with that). There is so much to learn and it takes time. If a new Dealer is asked a question and they don't know the answer to it, BE HONEST! We're finding that they will most often “ad-lib” or provide completely inaccurate recommendations to not look “inexperienced” in front of a customer. It couldn't be more important to give accurate information – especially when it comes to selling someone an Aircraft!
BlackHawk hopes that we can use our influence as the Industry Leader to stop some of this behavior. Flight is a dream Dealers have already realized, so is it fair to take that away from those who haven't lived the dream yet? We can all work TOGETHER to make this sport better for all involved. There's plenty of room for everyone in this growing sport. Remember – it's all about the flying.