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Shooting Industry June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 34

HANDGUN inda Ewasiuk of The Bullet Hole in Omaha, Neb., brands herself a “rule breaker” when it comes to selling handgun accessories. She believes the key to increasing add-on sales isn’t in unique marketing tactics or special promotions. “The real answer to increasing or broadening your sales is to engage the customer in conversation,” Ewasiuk said. “Nine times out of 10, when you get to talking to customers, they will actually tell you what they want or what they’re looking for.” Simple and uncomplicated — that’s Ewasiuk’s approach. “Start a dialogue. If they are a first-time handgun owner, ask, ACCESSORIES? By J.K. Autry L Ruger LCP LaserMax CenterFire Get Out From Behind The Counter, Ask Questions ‘Are you interested in taking a lesson? Have you thought about how you’ll safely store that gun at home? Do you have kids?’ If you ask the right kinds of questions, you’ll be able to make accessories sales by pointing them to the products they need,” she said. Ewasiuk also believes it’s crucial for dealers to get out from behind the counter, which is “a barrier between the store clerk and the consumer.” Ewasiuk points out that dealers should remember what it was like to be on the other side of the counter. “When I have someone who comes in, I try to put myself in their shoes. I remember when I was on that side of the counter; I remember the help I wanted. Treat people the way they want to be treated and they will become wonderful, loyal customers who continue to come back for their add-on accessories,” Ewasiuk said. Those add-on accessories rate high in consumer purchasing. In a November 2011 NSSF survey, the 8,671 handgun owners responding to questions concerning accessories purchased: holsters (69%), cleaning kits (58%), hard carrying cases (33%), gun/ range bags (30%), three or more extra magazines (30%), soft carrying cases (27%), aftermarket grips (14%) and rail-mounted lights (5%). The survey also revealed that handgun owners are most likely to use their most-recently purchased gun for concealed carry (32%), non-competitive shooting (28%), home defense (24%), hunting (5%), collecting/investment (5%) and other (6%). While home defense ranked third overall, it’s important to note that for consumers owning only one handgun, home defense ranked highest in primary use (42%). How will your customers use their handguns, and what types of accessories will meet their needs? Do as Ewasiuk advises: get out from behind the counter and ask questions. Being “in tune” To increase sales, Linda Ewasiuk, of The Bullet Hole, advises dealers to get out from behind the counter and ask questions of customers. Top-Selling Accessories 34 JUNE 2012 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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