JUNE 2022

COVER STORY- Mr. Chain Saw Builds Customer Loyalty –

Dealer Paul Linden finds himself in a predicament many dealers have found themselves in over the years: Expansion and growth are a challenge thanks to labor issues, as he seeks the best way forward. It helps that his services are in demand thanks to decades of building a loyal customer following by the business owners who preceded him.

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Mr. Chain Saw

Dealer Paul Linden finds himself in a predicament many dealers have found themselves in over the years: Expansion and growth are a challenge thanks to labor issues, as he seeks the best way forward. It helps that his services are in demand thanks to decades of building a loyal customer following by the business owners who preceded him.

Linden and his dealership are challenged by the pandemic and recovery, but that’s nothing compared to the challenge of dealing with a huge hole in his life and business when his wife Sherri died unexpectedly in 2014, throwing his life into turmoil and derailing a major business expansion that was in the works.

A native of Peoria, Illinois, Linden had followed his brother West to the University of Oregon, graduated and had operated a gas station and restaurant-lounge in the Eugene area. He had married a local girl, Sherri Watson, the daughter of “Mr. Chain Saw” Cecil Watson, her father who was operating the dealership at the time.

Linden went to work in the business in 1994 and began learning the small engine industry and handheld equipment and technology.

Soon after Linden went to work with Mr. Chain Saw, he and Sherri bought the business from her father. Watson continued to work at the dealership for several years afterward.

The couple and dealership perked along, and the two were planning an expansion in 2015 with a new and larger showroom. Sadly, the plan still remains on the shelf after Sherri’s tragic death from a brain aneurism on Christmas Day 2014.

The death threw Linden into a haze for years after losing his life partner who worked so closely with him in the business. Looking back, he says he was just going through the motions for several years, “still hanging around because of our customers and employees,” Linden remembers.

Article by Dan Shell, Senior Editor, Power Equipment Trade

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