Crimson Trace

News | Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BlackBore Sports, LLC Competition Chokes

BlackBore Sports, LLC this month announces the BlackBore Competition shotgun choke. The patented ports give the sport and competitive shooter the best chokes for busting clays. BlackBore also uses its unique technology for their HunterPro chokes and Tactical HD chokes.


Orion Scoring System Implements Referral Program

Orion Scoring System has implemented a referral program for their new Orion at Home bundle. If an individual athlete who orders an Orion at Home bundle is a member of a club or school that uses Orion, they will receive double the initial target set at no additional charge.


Midwest Gun Works Offers Wide Variety of Timney Triggers and Trigger Spring Kits

Midwest Gun Works Inc. announces the Timney Triggers section at MidwestGunWorks.com. Midwest Gun Works now offers a wide variety of Timney Triggers and trigger spring kits for most major manufacturers.


FMG's Online Editor Kakkuri Reviews Custom Glock 19 And Spyderco Des Horn

In this week's online-exclusive articles from Mark Kakkuri, readers get an inside look at the innovative personal custom touches Kakkuri made on his Glock 19 and a peek at the Spyderco Des Horn knife.


Team Bushnell Tactical Duo Outshoot 17 Teams to Win Bang Steel Long Range Precision Match

In a test of skill and equipment, Team Bushnell Tactical Pros Jon Lester and Clark Kennedy took on a field of competitors and the Virginia Mountains before securing the win at the second annual Bang Steel Long Range Precision Match.


American Handgunner Personal Defense Survive Special Edition Preps Readers

Staying safe on the road, prepping for apartment dwellers and the importance of treating injury during the "golden hour" are just a few of the topics found in the Fall/Winter 2014 American Handgunner Personal Defense Survive Special Edition.


New TAC-BOSS 250XT BB Pistol From HatsanUSA

HatsanUSA is pleased to announce the release of its TAC-BOSS 250XT - a CO2 BB pistol that offers the realistic look and feel of a classic American handgun, perfect for both target shooting and plinking with new and well-versed shooters.


Rock Island Armory Now Shipping .22 TCM Rifles to the US

Rock Island Armory this month shipped the first batch of 100 production .22 TCM Bolt-Action Rifles to the United States. The company plans to continue serving the American market with a recurring supply of 300 additional rifles every month for the foreseeable future.


Insightful and Challenging Marksmanship Events Offered at 2014 Western CMP Games

The 11th Annual Western Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will return to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility Oct. 10-29, 2014 to a growing crowd of enthusiastic competitors. New and experienced marksmen alike are welcome to participate in these recreation-oriented competitions.


TriStar Arms Sponsors Powder Creek Shooting Park Event Pavilion

Powder Creek Shooting Park, located in Lenexa, Kan., recently dedicated their event pavilion to TriStar Arms for their continued support of the shooting sports.


Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. Currently Stocking Exclusive Ruger 10/22 Rifle

Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. is offering exclusive Ruger 10/22 Mossy Oak Rifles. The Distributor Exclusive Model 1280 is a Semi-Automatic Rimfire 22LR rifle with a 18.50" stainless steel barrel and synthetic stock finished in Mossy Oak Treestand.


Glock and Warne Scope Mounts Sponsor The VJSSA Steel Fundraiser Match

The Vermont Junior Shooting Sports Association (VJSSA) is proud to announce that Glock and Warne Scope Mounts have both returned as major match sponsors for their annual Rimfire Steel Match Fundraiser on Saturday, September 27 to support junior shooting sports in Vermont.


MidwayUSA Releases Larry's Short Stories #71

MidwayUSA is excited to announce the release of "Jack and the Beanstalk" a short story by Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA.


Morgan Allen takes "High Overall" at Mountaineer Classic

Team ITI shooter Morgan Allen took the "High Overall" title at the 2014 Mountaineer Classic held in Boone, North Carolina.


Black and Blue Bullets Steps Up To Sponsor 2014 California State IDPA Championship

Black and Blue Bullets (www.blackandbluebullets.com), the manufacturer of premium coated lead bullets, has signed on as a major contributing sponsor for the 2014 California State IDPA Championship taking place on Saturday, October 4, 2014.


Michigan Updates Shooting Ranges Status

Although renovations are "progressing nicely" Michigan officials say the Dansville Shooting Range in Ingham County is not yet open to the public.


Michigan DNR's Ranges Open for Labor Day

The DNR staffed shooting ranges (Ortonville, Pontiac Lake, Rose Lake, and Sharonville) will be open on Monday, September 1, for the Labor Day holiday.


Colt's Mark Redl Wins CDP Division at New England Regional

Colt sponsored shooter Mark Redl won the Custom Defensive Pistol Division of the New England Regional IDPA Championship.This win increases Redl's lead in his division for the 2014 King of New England title, which he looks to claim again after his victory in 2013.


Winner of LaserMax Ammo Sweepstakes Announced

A grand prize winner has been named from the more than 70,000 entrants in the LaserMax 2014 "Win a One Year Supply of Ammo" Spring Sweepstakes.The winner wins 100 rounds of ammunition each week for an entire year.


Colt's Mark Redl Wins CDP Division at New England Regional

Colt sponsored shooter Mark Redl won the Custom Defensive Pistol Division of the New England Regional IDPA Championship.This win increases Redl's lead in his division for the 2014 King of New England title, which he looks to claim again after his victory in 2013.


MidwayUSA Foundation Appoints New Board Members

The MidwayUSA Foundation, a public charity working to sustain youth shooting sports by providing long-term funding to youth shooting teams, recently welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors.


H&H Makes Eighth Straight Inc. 500 Listing

For the eighth consecutive year, H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has been named one of the nation's fastest growing companies by INC magazine.


Baratti Marketing Group Named Sales Reps for TALO States for Sonic Boom

Exploding Targets Sonic Boom Exploding Targets announces the appointment of Baratti Marketing Group as its new regional sales agency of record covering the TALO States.


Adams Arms Expands Lineup of VooDoo Innovations Barrels

Adams Arms is proud to announce the complete offering of VooDoo Innovations Barrels, now available on their website.


Safariland Group Names Harris Chief Financial Officer

The Safariland Group announces the appointment of Scott F. Harris as Chief Financial Officer.


GunBroker.com Publishes Top 5 Best Selling New Firearms for July 2014

GunBroker.com has released its list of Top 5 best selling new and used firearms for July 2014. Ruger SP101 is the best selling new revolver. Remington 700 reclaims its position as the #1 selling Bolt Action Rifle in both the new and used categories.


Firefield® Unveils New Agility™ Riflescope Series

Firefield® is proud to introduce a new line of illuminated reticle riflescopes, the Agility™ 3-9x40IR and 4x32IR. True to Firefield's reputation for high quality, value-based optics and shooting sports accessories, the Agility™ series is right on target.


September issue of Shooting Illustrated features the new Heckler & Koch VP9

The September issue of Shooting Illustrated, on newsstands now, features the exciting new VP9, a striker-fired, polymer-frame handgun from Heckler & Koch. The new pistol offers a dizzying array of grip configurations and safety features, making it customizable for all shooters.


Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation Relocates Home Office to National Shooting Complex in San Antonio

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) has relocated its home-office administrative and financial operations from Maumee, Ohio to the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas.


New BLACKHAWK! SERPA Holster For Springfield XD-S 3.3-Inch Model

BLACKHAWK! SERPA Holster Springfield XD-S 3.3-Inch BLACKHAWK! has expanded the SERPA holster line to include a model for the Springfield XD-S pistol in 9mm and .45 ACP with a 3.3-inch barrel.


FEATURE

Between The Berms: Listen More. Talk Less

Hanging out in a gun shop can be enlightening.

While waiting around hoping somebody hunkered down behind a desk at an undisclosed federal phone bank would discover that the "I" in NICS stood for "Instant," I listened in on a cross counter conversation between customer and associate that drove home the need for a new sales strategy: Listen more. Talk less.

It was a slow day, and not just at the NICS call center but in this particular gun store. Since it was mid-afternoon on a week day, well before people normally got off work, customers were outnumbered by store employees two, maybe even three to one.

I watched as a younger woman approached the gun counter and inquired about purchasing a gun. Judging by her demeanor and the quiet, reserved tone of her inquiry it was clear she was new to firearms.

She did not have any preconceived opinions or brand preferences and relied on the associate behind the counter for his expertise and guidance towards a first firearm.

Listening in on as much of the conversation as I could without intruding, I watched as the associate did nearly all the talking. It seemed to be less a discussion and more like a lecture as the associate attempted to impart as much generalized information as possible.

I heard that revolvers are the easiest guns to operate, because - presumably - as a woman the enormous complexity of a semi-auto was well beyond her abilities. There was something about the need to protect our second amendment rights, because when you go to buy that first gun you're really there first and foremost to make a bold political statement.

Honestly, I felt bad for the woman as it appeared she was now being asked to drink from a firehose with the barrage of information being thrown at her.

From the 10 or 15 minutes I watched this process unfold it became clear that how we handle those new to buying a gun, or joining a shooting club or starting out in a shooting sport for that matter, is probably all wrong...particularly when it comes to women.

Despite the big increases in female participation, the shooting world is still dominated by males. And, being men, we often feel the need to be experts and show off how much we know. This isn't the best plan, especially when we should be concentrating on how much you the woman would like to know.

In a perfect retail world this woman's shopping experience would have gone a lot differently. Something more like...

Step #1: Ask More Questions - Realizing the woman across the counter was new to firearms and unsure of what to ask, and therefore probably a little uneasy about potentially saying the wrong thing and making a fool of herself, the associate should have asked a series of probative questions to better understand what she was looking for.

Not knowing what to ask means the customer is likely far less talkative. This unfortunately can give the associate the false impression that the customer is enthralled with their dissertation on all things gun related and can't wait to hear more.

The fact is they are probably just being polite hoping you'll get around to actually helping them find their way to a purchasing decision. Asking questions about familiarity of firearms, purpose of the purchase, potential additional uses (like competition) and generally striking up a back and forth dialogue will make the customer more comfortable with this new, unfamiliar process.

Step #2: Listen - If there had been more questions asked they would have led to answers. Taking the time to listen to the answers and will help develop additional questions. In addition to putting the customer at ease, this process will also demonstrate that the associate actually care about helping the customer and isn't there just to hear himself hold court on guns.

Step #3: Go Hands On - While watching the customer associate interaction at the counter it dawned on me that the associate was doing all the gun handling instead of letting the customer handle the gun.

While we all have a brand bias of some sort, it's the ergonomics that play a key role in the purchase process. With women, as well as any other new gun owner, this is particularly important because they have no established allegiance to brand. Comfort and balance in the hand can have a far greater impact on their opinion of the firearm than any ad or celebrity endorser.

And let's not overlook the obvious, talking about the gun but not letting the customer hold the gun sends a not too subtle message that they aren't trusted with the gun.

Step #4: Go Shoot - "I'd love for you to shoot a couple of these guns before making your purchase" is a phrase that ought to be part of every sales process with a brand new gun buyer. Yes, it does send them away (and their money) if you don't have a range at the store, but nothing irritates a consumer more than being talked into a bad purchase that they later regret.

If your ability to build a rapport with and create a comfortable buying experience for the consumer is so bad that you hate letting them walk out the door for fear they will make their purchase elsewhere, then you have bigger problems than just how to handle a first time gun owner.

How we sell to new gun owners, and how we welcome those new to the broader community of firearms owners, determines how we grow and survive in an increasingly hostile political environment.

If you have ever walked into an Apple store then you have experienced the kind of customer service that all gun shops should strive to provide. If you know very little about computers or which model you should purchase, you'll get the help you need in an Apple store. And leaving without buying isn't a problem because their service is so good that you're likely to return when ready to pull out that credit card.

These same principles of customer service apply when it comes to firearms. And if we did apply them, the first time gun buyer, like that woman I observed, would feel right at home in any gun shop.

And, she might feel more like the sales associate was talking with her rather than at her.

- Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network

Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at info@shootingwire.com.


Aug 24
Ridgway Rifle Club, Ridgway, PA
Sep 13
Ephrata Sportsmen Club 1114 W Columbia Moses Lake, WA
Sep 9-13
U.S. Shooting Academy, Tulsa, OK
Sep 13
Ashland Lakes Gun Club, West Salem, OH
Sep 20
Schultz Resort Rod & Gun Club, Muskego, WI
Sep 27-28
Ridgway Rifle Club, Ridgway, PA
Sep 26-28
Hyatt Regency O'Hare Airport, Chicago, IL
Sep 27-28
Lead Farm Range, Versailles, Missouri
Oct 3-4
Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, Sloughhouse, CA
Oct 6-8
Oct 17-19
Pioneer Sportsmen Club, Dunbarton, NH
Oct 26
Ridgway Rifle Club, Ridgway, PA
Nov 6-8
S&W Shooting Sports Center, Springfield, MA
Jan 20-23
Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

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