New job in hunting sales

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Shawn Carlock, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    THE GUN WORLD IS VAST IN ITS DATA BASE AND IT IS DIFFICULT STAY ON TOP OF EVERYTHING. MY BEST ADVISE WOULD BE TO LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN ABOUT THE AREAS YOU DON'T KNOW, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY WHEN SOMEONE ASKS A QUESTION YOU CAN'T ANSWER TELL THEM YOU DON'T KNOW BUT WILL FIND OUT. NOTHING IS WORSE THAN SOMEONE TRYING TO "FLOAT" A SUBJECT THEY DON'T KNOW.
     
  2. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

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    I agree with shawn. Don't try to buffalo anyone. Get help from someone who does know, even if you lose a sale it will look far better on you and the store than if you bs'd someone with info that was incorrect.
     

  3. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

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    Things not to do:
    #1 If a woman comes to the counter with her boyfriend/husband and SHE wants to see a gun, hand it to the bf/hubby (buddy had this happen to him and his wife)
    #2 Customer asks for a brand x, model y - salesman grabs something else (more expensive) and hands it to the customer - customer says I wanted to see the brand x model y - salesman says "I thought you wanted quality".
    customer gets [​IMG] and says "when you pay for the gun, then you can decide what I can get" (watched this happen with another buddy).

    The point is to listen to the customer, odds are they have an idea as to what they want. Shawn's comments are right on the money as well. I will add that the more you know about what the store carries and where will help also, but will take time to learn.

    And Shawn C, Please, oh please turn off the caps lock! Its like you are YELLING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS. Thanks.
     
  4. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Yes those are a few things NOT to do.

    BTW the buddy Gonehuntingagain was referring to was me and my bride. I would have to say that peeved the wife just a bit. She asked to see a winchester ranger in .308 (by name, she didn't just point.) and the gun clerk grabed it off the rack, cleared it and handed it to me. OOPS.

    I ended up working at that same gun counter for about a year or two.

    The above advice is good. I would suggest that you ask the customer what they want. Learn about them before you go spouting off all that you know. You will find that many counter cruisers have a very good knoledge and can tell you quite a bit that you don't yet know.

    You will find that some customers whant you to confirm what they have learned and others are near void of knoledge and want answers to many basic questions.

    Answer the questions as best you can. Don't BS.You will get caught and look like a fool.

    Don't overload any customer with too much info. They will get confused (or bored) and you will lose the sale.

    Learn about the types of guns your store carries and sell them. Don't worry about every feature on every gun ever produced and talk the customer into a gun you dont carry. (unless you sell crap and can't reccomend the guns you sell out of a guilty concience)

    Don't give instructions on anything at the gun counter unless asked how to safely handle a gun that the customer wants to hold. You are a salesperson not a weapons instructor and many customers that think they know what they are doing will get offended and others will get confused or bored and you will lose the sale.

    Keep your annecdotes to your self. No one cares how many deer you have shot and how you shot them. If someone asks you if a gun is dependable or accurate or easy to use or what ever and you have experience simply say something like " I have shot this same model gun and I find it to be....."

    What else? Oh yes! Don't argue about anything with some "bubba" who wants to give their input while you are helping someone. Even if they are dead wrong. The customer will give you the due respect because they came to see you. They will tend to side with you in ignoring the other guy if you take the lead and ignore (in a friendly manner always) the "helpfull" stranger.

    Going for the "up sale" is good if you say something like "I like the ... you picked. This .... might also fit your needs." Don't say "That gun is crap compared to this... brand." Insulting a customers choice is a bad thing coming and going. It offends their taste, knoledge and possibly their financial abilities. And it tells them that your store sells crap sometimes.

    Lastly, dont worry about what to learn right now. You will soon find out what type of customers you normally have and what interests them. Learn that stuff and sell every gun in the store.

    I have also gone a bit long but I hope it helps. (See my sig line)

    [ 10-12-2004: Message edited by: 4ked Horn ]
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In this same situation couple months ago.. started job @ local Gander Mtn... and me being a bone head only had my head in the LR custom area... since i have found my self knowlegdable about every thing behind the counter.. if someone asks a question you dont have a clue about.. .dont BS with them too much... ask your fellow salesman.. he is your best answer... and if he doesnt know... your SOL.. just dont get nervous about it... people sense it... be confident in the answers you do know... and when a guy comes in with his wife or girlfriend... talk to her to.. hand her some items.. might get your self a date.. lol good luck to you
     
  6. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    My wife agrees with Jordan. Alot of guys bring in the "little woman" to fit her with a "her size" gun for those moments when he ain't there to protect her. They usually have her look at .22s and .38 snubbies.

    Well .22s are a bit small and .38 snubbies have a dang snappy recoil and neither of them aim worth a hoot. If the lady at the counter is remotely interested in guns in the first place try offering her a sweet Beretta .40 or a modest semicustom 1911 .45.
    The rounds are formidable, the recoil is firm but not sharp or excessive and she might appreciate the gesture enough that she comes to visit for a second look without the "He-man" next time. [​IMG]

    Don't forget to tell her that you help with the concealed weapons class your store offers and you would be glad to let her know when the next class is if she would like to leave a phone number with you there in the counter note book. [​IMG]

    No funny stuff.

    [ 10-12-2004: Message edited by: 4ked Horn ]
     
  7. tanata

    tanata Member

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    I just got a job with a new hunting store here in my town, what do you guys most often ask employees when your at a hunting store and what do they most often not know. I would like to be able to help out the customers as much as possible instead of some yuppy that doesn't know what he's talking about. [​IMG]
     
  8. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

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    4kedhorn--a 2.5lb 1911 is probably not the best to start a lady out with--I tried this and it is tough for them to rack the slide

    revolvers all the way for beginning shooters--less to think about and much safer.

    a model 10 38, or 681, 686 are probably the best starters--heavy enough to buffer recoil and damn near idiot-proof.

    also a beretta 96/92 are too freakin big for my hands (im 6"1'), no way a lady can get a proper grip.

    Best auto for a women/beginner is probably a spwingfield XD, but i still think revolvers are best.

    BTW--i worked in a gun shop for 5 years.

    And for god's sake, stop trying so hard to get a date [​IMG] [​IMG]

    JB
     
  9. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    One thing I've found helpful is to just listen while standing near a sale that is about to happen.
    I once watched a customer listen to a bunch of bs about how this gun does that and this gun does this and the saleperson ended up selling him a Wby rifle at around 1200 or so dollars then sold him a tasco world class scope to stick on top of it.
    The salesperson was just trying to make a sale and he did but the customer lost out.
    I like to watch and listen and then formulate a plan to where the customer wants to go and offer them a selection unless they name off a particular gun.
    If the customer names off a particular brand you can be assured that he or she has done their homework, or been told to get that particular weapon so stay in their path and just help them as best you can.
    When they ask you for your advice its best to find out what price range they are looking at and try and get them a good combo for that price range.
    Just my two cents.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    i found most woman in my area looking at concealed... either like the lady smith, bersa thunders,walther and sig variants.. and that great little kahr pm9... so sweet.. but either way, involve her into the sale either... and that personal defense class is always a positive! [​IMG]
     
  11. tanata

    tanata Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.
     
  12. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    jb1000br

    Thanks for the input, always welcome but...

    The point was simply to not relegate the female customers to the gun their male counterpart wants them to have. Find out what EACH customer has in mind and offer them ANY appropriate gun.

    My 5'2" wife hates revolvers and shoots a Springfield compact .45 better than I do (22lb slide spring) and shot Gonehuntingagains .40 Beretta last weekend with no apparent problem which is why I threw those in as examples.

    My 6 year old has, within the last month, begun shooting paper with a Colt .380 Mustang pocketlite semi auto. He doesn't seem to have a hard time understanding how to operate it. I think it depends on the type of instruction and if there is any instruction at all. If there will be no instruction for a new shooter (some beginner that just wants to buy a pistol and load it and put it in the top drawer) then I agree, revolver all the way. If the person is seeking instruction as well as a gun then please don't assume that they are too dim for either semi or revolver.

    As for getting a date, of course you know I am joking and don't intend that The gun counter personell "hit on" all the customers that they find attractive. [​IMG]
     
  13. sdiehn

    sdiehn Member

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    well as one other posted i worked as a gun smith for gander mountin the biggest thing I can offer up is listen to what the customer is telling you they want.Dont try to sell them something you want or think is better I was real amazed at how much reaserch some of our customers had done.But dont faint when a guy asks if this box of 30-06 is good deer ammo and what has to be done to his old FOX side by side to let him shoot them
     
  14. erikljoh

    erikljoh Member

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    This spring I had money in hand, with my little heart set on a .338 RUM, as I went to the Bass Pro Outdoor World in Pontiac, MI (Detroit).

    I saw none on the shelf, so I asked the older (60's) gun counter employee (not the one with spiked up hair and a eyebrow ring if they could order me a .338 RUM in a Model 700 LSS. The guy looked at me and said "you don't need one, a 30-30 will kill anything you want, besides do you know how much they kick?"

    I personally know how much the 30-30 will kill and have respect for it, but when a customer asks you a specific question, do your best to answer it, and don't give your "expert opinion" unless asked.

    That is why I don't shop at Bass Pro anymore. Actually never did before, but had a gift card to burn up.

    just my 2 cents.

    Big E