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Shooting Industry January 2013 - Page 40
Arms Arms and the woman Lisa Parsons-Wraith Create “Fiercely Loyal” Customers Through Sincerity incerity is an important part of serving female customers well. Every woman can relate stories of how the guy at the garage tried to get her to pay for a service her car didn’t need. Many women have equal stories of gun shops trying to sell them a gun they didn’t want. Preying on inexperience and upselling gives a store a bad reputation — but sincerely explaining why you are making a recommendation in a non-condescending manner creates a loyal customer base. According to Wade Duty, co-owner of Precision Firearms & Indoor Range in Baton Rouge, La., women are an important part of the shooting industry. “Retailers need to aggressively pursue the women’s market,” Duty said. His ideal customer is a young, professional, single The staff at Precision Firearms & Indoor Range in Baton Rouge, La., take the woman. time to listen to female customers. “In return, you get fiercely loyal customers,” “They have their own income, they see gun ownership said co-owner Wade Duty. as a personal safety issue, and they don’t mind spending money if you are sincere in your recommendations,” Duty said. they perceive that your staff is sincere, then it makes sense. I “You have to take the time to listen. In return, you get fiercely recommend they stay with the .22 until it gets boring, and then loyal customers.” move up,” Duty said. Most of the women who come to Precision Firearms are interThe idea of a rimfire for training and a more serious-caliber ested in personal-defense guns. gun for personal-defense makes a lot of sense. Duty said his store “You’ve got to spend time with a customer and determine her stocks a range of firearms in the same family that have a similar goals,” Duty said. “The Smith & Wesson J-Frame .38 revolver is operation. For example, the Walther P22 is similar to the PPK the first one guys try to sell women, but it’s often the wrong gun .380 and PPS 9mm in operation. for a new shooter, with its heavy trigger pull and recoil.” “Walther’s modular system is a normal progression from Duty encourages women to purchase a .22 rimfire semiauto training to self-defense,” he said. or revolver as a training gun. He uses an analogy: Just as most Another firearm family Duty recommends is the Ruger LCR people don’t learn to drive on a high-performance car like a Fer- .38 Special and .22 caliber. rari, most people shouldn’t learn the fundamentals of shooting “Smith & Wesson also does the same thing in its revolvers — using a higher-caliber semiauto. .22, .38, .357,” he continued. “Kimber offers a .22 conversion unit Rimfire .22s are easy to shoot, have less felt recoil and the for use on its centerfire frames to include 9mm/.45. The shooter ammo is much cheaper, according to Duty. can train with the conversion unit, and then have the same trigger “Once you educate women (about the benefits of rimfires) and pull and frame when they switch back to a centerfire caliber.” S Suggested Add-Ons At Precision Firearms W hen it comes to add-on sales, Duty said he always suggests women purchase a good quality flashlight. “Streamlight and SureFire are reliable, and they put out a tremendous amount of light,” he said. The difference between those quality brands and the cheap flashlights found in big-box stores is immediately obvious, Duty noted, and women are willing to pay for quality. Precision Firearms also does a brisk business in Kimber Pepperblaster pepper sprays. “Many women want something they can use right now,” Duty said. “Pepper sprays are easy, effective and small enough to carry all the time.” The main advantage to the Kimber Pepperblaster is it is not a pressure-based aerosol pepper spray. It has two highly concentrated pepper solution charges that shoot spray 13 feet at 90 miles an Continued on page 42 Wade Duty encourages women to purchase a .22 rimfire semiauto or revolver as a training gun, and recommends the Ruger LCR .22 (shown) and .38 Special. www.shootingindustry.com • NEW BUSINESS YEAR EXTRA 2013 40 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL