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Shooting Industry August 2010 - Page 38
BECOMING By J.K. Autry BRILLIANT Are You Smarter Than Your Flashlight Customers? You Can Be! W ith the vast amount of informa- than the consumer does. Manufacturers, tion available to consumers via however, provide a wealth of information websites, dealers are often challenged to and training to help dealers become eduknow more about the flashlights they sell cated — and make the sale. Two of those manufacturers are Streamlight and SureFire. “As you start to get into premium niche products, a lot of consumers know what they want before they get into the store,” said Derek McDonald, vice president of marketing for SureFire. “For something at the price-point level of a SureFire, a consumer is going to do their homework.” Pat Lucas, director of sporting goods sales for Streamlight, echoes this sentiment. “You’d be hard pressed to find a customer who doesn’t have the Internet, especially in this industry,” she said. “The home defense, tactical and hunting markets are becoming much more educated, and it’s because of the Internet.” SureFire provides numerous tools to educate consumers — and dealers — on the features of its flashlights. As leaders in the flashlight industry, Streamlight and SureFire are constantly developing new products that appeal to hunters, police officers and technology junkies. With these new products come better technology that fascinates customers and challenges dealers, as it means more jargon and details to learn. “The main challenge for dealers is keeping up to date with everything,” Lucas said. “Technology with Streamlight is changing every few months. Four years ago, if you had said an LED could be as bright as an incandescent, you would have been laughed at. These days, that’s what is happening with LEDs, and they are getting smaller and smaller.” Because high-tech flashlights carry a higher price tag, it becomes crucial for dealers to stay current on advancing technology. “In general, our number one goal with retail is to find ways to have dealers and instore staff trained, because flashlights look like flashlights,” McDonald said. “They look like a tube. So if you get a customer who’s not educated, he’s going to go for the middle-of-the-road price, not the highest price, which is where SureFire is at.” To help dealers stay on top of everchanging flashlight technology, SureFire Changing Technology Rep Group Training 38 AUGUST 2010 www.shootingindustry.com Read SI DIGITAL Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com