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Shooting Industry June 2010 - Page 28
By Carolee Anita Boyles On On Zero In In Zero Optics Sales Your Customers Have The Guns. Now Sell Them The Optics They Need! oday’s array of optics is dizzying — new reticles, new body designs, new laser enhancements, new everything. Despite all the whistles and bells, the basics of selling optics are the same as they’ve always been. Know your market, know your products and know your customers. If you keep those things in mind, you can make a substantial profit selling today’s optics. Start with your customers. What are they buying? “The optics market has changed in the past five years, and it’s continuing to evolve,” said Cyndi Flannigan, sales manager for Leupold. “Just like everything else, people like the latest and greatest. Glass and coatings have become very good, and products have gotten much better. Hunters and shooters realize the older scopes they have on their rifles need to be replaced, which is where we see a lot of sales.” Flannigan says with innovation in new calibers and rifles comes the opportunity T Look At Buying Trends “ for dealers to sell new scopes. “For instance, when we saw the surge in handguns last year, and to a certain extent, in the ‘black gun’ market, customers didn’t spend money on optics at that time; they were investing that money in the guns. What we’re seeing now is people spending money to put optics on those Optics have a really good margin. Plus, people love toys, and optics are toys from a sales perspective. guns,” Flannigan said. Along with increasing sales in the civilian market, there is an upswing in the sales of tactical optics, as well. “The tactical market is growing a little faster than the rest of the optics market,” Flannigan said. “There are a lot of servicemen coming home, and they’ve used a lot of good products during their deployment. If that product served them ” well, they’re going to try to stick with that brand. We’re seeing tactical sales increasing every year, and it’s not all going to military and law enforcement — it’s also the regular guy who wants to put that kind of scope on his rifle.” Flannigan says it comes down to the fact that tactical and traditional scopes work the same way. “Tactical scopes may be more advanced than traditional scopes, but customers learn to use them very quickly,” she said. What makes many tactical scopes different from “regular” riflescopes? Reticles, finger-adjustable dials, side-focus parallax adjustments and range estimators, according to Flannigan. Appearance wise, many tactical scopes are matte black, and tend to look beefy and more rugged. The hot thing right now is laser rangefinder–equipped riflescopes. The target demographic for these products is your high-tech, What’s Moving Off The Shelves? Trijicon AccuPoint Series features self-luminous aiming technology, superb clarity and a crosshair reticle. Visit www.shootingindustry.com/trijicon.html. 28 JUNE 2010 Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com