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Shooting Industry March 2013 - Page 38

Who Is Your By Pat Covert Customer? Pinpoint Customers’ Cutlery Needs Through A Few Questions ost firearm owners are also knife owners. A knife is necessary to hunters for dressing game. For the survivalist or camper, it’s a must-have for building shelter and for countless field chores. Law enforcement and military users regard a knife as an everyday tool and an essential lifesaver. And for tens of thousands of Americans, a knife is a tool they carry as a part of their normal routines, in addition to being a means of personal-defense. Most cutlery manufacturers offer sales aids, including brochures, point-of-purchase displays and co-op advertising programs, but if you’re not stocking the right knives for your customer base, these aids aren’t being used to their maximum potential. The truth is, no amount of inventory can be expected to fly off the shelf if it’s not geared to your target clientele. Dealers, it’s likely you know who your gun buyers are through years of cultivating customer relationships. But have you spent time developing your cutlery customer? Large companies spend thousands of dollars annually to determine their target customers’ likes and dislikes, along with other information, such as budgetary considerations. The good news is you only have to spend a small amount of time — and no money — to acquire the same valuable information. You’ve developed a profile of your customer base over years of determining their buying habits, likes and dislikes, budgetary considerations and brand preferences. You can speed up the process of identifying your customers’ cutlery needs by doing your own free “focus groups.” All you have to do is take the time to ask a few questions. Joey Powell is an avid hunter living in New Orleans, La., with a modest hunting camp in the Louisiana boondocks. He takes advantage of every hunting season, from deer and wild hogs to turkey and waterfowl. Which rifles and knives are Powell’s go-to favorites? 38 MARCH 2013 Knife M Debbie Davenport, co-owner of Southeastern Guns in Trussville, Ala., shows a customer her wide selection of Benchmade Knives. “The two rifles I use most are a Browning BAR semiauto in 7mm Rem. Mag. and a Remington Model 700 Custom BDL in .280,” he said. “I own seven different knives, all of which are used in my hunting and fishing activities. The two knives I primarily use are a Gerber Gator fixed blade and a Buck 110 folding hunter. I personally don’t carry a knife on my person when I’m not hunting. For my personal protection my choice is a handgun, not a knife.” Caroline Raybon is a single, divorced mother who lives in a midsized town in southern Georgia. Protection for her and her daughter is one of her top concerns. Caroline carries a knife in her purse. Ask Some Simple Questions Sergeant Sonny Lovetto carries four knives and tools daily: a Benchmade Elishewitz Auto, an Uncle Henry folder, a Boker Cop Tool and an original Leatherman multi-tool. Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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