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Shooting Industry February 2013 - Page 18
Defense Personal Defense Market “Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” lose on the heels of “the customer is always right” is the rule, “If I bought something I don’t know how to use correctly, it’s obviously the fault of whoever sold it to me.” It’s in the Customer’s Manifesto somewhere, right? If it isn’t, why do dealers hear it so much? The retailer always has a delicate balance in matters of explaining how to use the product the customer buys. The tailor who sells a three-piece suit and tells the buyer, “By the way, you’re not supposed to fasten the bottom button of the vest” risks insulting a high-dollar customer who has been reading men’s fashion magazines since he was in high school. Insulted customers take their business elsewhere. At the same time, a few well-chosen words of advice at time of sale may just be remembered and appreciated. Let’s say you have a customer who you know is familiar with Glocks. You know this because you sold him his first Glock 17, and the Glock 19 he bought later, and the Glock 34 he purchased to shoot when he got into IDPA matches. Today, you’re selling him a subcompact Glock 26 to round out his “Glock wardrobe.” You just might want to mention that, unlike any of the Glocks you sold to him, the butt on this Glock is so short that he may pinch his hand painfully when inserting its small magazine. A one-sentence explanation takes the insult element away: “This seems to happen everybody who handles these little semiautos in the same way they use bigger models.” Later, when he’s out shooting with others, I can pretty much guarantee he’ll see someone pinch their hand while inserting the magazine into a small semiauto. It may happen with another “baby Glock,” or with a subcompact Smith & Wesson M&P or Massad Ayoob C The pinky finger of the firing hand is about to be painfully pinched as the magazine is inserted into the subcompact pistol, in this case a Glock 26. How to avoid this? Warn the customer beforehand! Springfield XD series, or even some of the micro 1911s. It’s not a Glock thing; it’s a subcompact pistol thing — the heel of the hand and the little finger tend to meet right where the magazine floorplate joins the shortened grip frame. When your recently cautioned customer witnesses the “painful pinch,” my bet is he’ll remember your advice, and silently thank you. Let’s examine other areas of customer dissatisfaction that you can prevent. Preempting Dissatisfaction With Holsters T he customer buying his first shoulder holster often adjusts it wrong. This may come from years of watching TV and movie detectives wear their holsters improperly. If the straps hang down too far, the gun will bounce painfully against his ribs with every step — and concealment is lost. As your customer walks, he’ll look as if he’s just shoplifted a live ferret and is trying to hide it under his suit coat. As a rule, it’s best to adjust the actual holster of a shoulder holster as high as is feasible — this for concealment and comfort. Once your customer has selected the shoulder holster he wants, take a few minutes to adjust it for him. He’ll very likely be grateful, not only for your advice, but also for “making the holster work.” Customer satisfaction is one of those semi-tangible assets. You never know exactly how much you’ll gain from it, but you know you’ll be rewarded with referrals, additional sales or — at the very least — know you did the right thing. least bit tight. This means the customer should wear the ankle rig with boot-cut jeans, Dockers-type casual slacks, or the traditional “men’s sack suit” leg shape. There are few methods of concealed carry that present so many problems as ankle holsters. First, the customer who is not accustomed to this type of carry must be reminded that it won’t offer good concealment or good access if the pant cuffs are the 18 FEBRUARY 2013 “This Ankle Holster Is Horrible!” Advise customers to put on the ankle holster before they insert the handgun. (Seen here is an Alessi ankle holster.) This guarantees better fit, comfort and concealment. Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com