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Old September 6, 2013, 03:46 AM   #1
iraiam
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typical sales people in LGS

I witnessed a typical sales mistake in a LGS, a younger woman came in and wanted to buy a semi auto 22lr pistol.

Immediately the salesman began trying to talk her out of it and to buy at least a .380, she said I don't want a .380 I want a 22.

The salesman began spewing some rhetorical nonsense about how ineffective the 22 is, the female customer cut him off and sharply told him she carries a 357 for defense and she would buy her 22 elsewhere, and left.

It seems that some gun sales people are the same as used car sales people, some of them just can't get past their own egos.
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:05 AM   #2
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That's very typical of many lgs unfortunately. Too much salesman mindset with the "know-it-all" attitude while ignoring what a customer is really asking.

I've witness one myself a couple of months ago at my lgs. A middle-aged lady comes in and wants to buy a handgun. She has no prior knowledge and experience with guns and asks the employee what is a good pistol they recommend. Employee was not helpful at all and did not recommend her a good 22lr or 9mm for a new shooter, and she walks out the door frustrated.
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:22 AM   #3
JimmyR
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Let's face it, I see the same thing here on the forums! I see posts asking for advice between pistols, and people begin waxing poetically about this and that pistol, with most folks never asking the basic question of function. We all do it. We assume pistols are for concealed carry. We assume that a woman coming in looking at a 22 was told by some bozo that it's the best she can handle, and he's trying to give her better information.


Let's face it, we're all good about ASSUMING, and we know what it means.
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Old September 6, 2013, 06:42 AM   #4
rotten mick
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I see this two ways.. first all guns stores try to push sales to a gun or guns they have a deal with to buy so many at a discount or to get dealer discounts or models.

Second, if some one walks in and doesn't ask to see a specific gun like " say let me see that sr22" the guy behind the counter will try to sell on a better deal...just like car shopping if you just walk in an ask to look to see a compact car the salesman will 100% of the time tell you why when for nearly the same or a little more you can get a much better deal on the mid size car instead.

Every shop has a gun or brand they push when they can. Same on blogs or here if someone asks "what gun should I get my wife/daughter/son or buy this over that gun, We give our opinion based on our likes and and experience and mistakes buying guns.

Finally I'll agree at some point you need to allow the other person to do what they want after you offered you view.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:37 AM   #5
Louca
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I have a love-hate relationship with most LGSs. I love going into them to see and maybe touch something I don't have. But almost always, the places are overly crowded and I can't stand dealing with the LGS staff. They often times look unhappy and burned out (overworked); they act like I am taking up too much of their time; they tend to dis or downplay guns they don't carry. At times I got the feeling the attitude of the sales guy was essentially saying, "Hey bud, there are five people behind you that want to buy Glocks, so why don't you go away until you figure out what you want." (And he was right about the five people waiting).

And they wonder why on-line sales are booming. Sometimes it's worth it just to avoid the abuse.

On the other hand, I have seen some LGSs that are exactly the opposite. I went into one a couple of weeks ago and could not help but overhear the conversation between a lady and the LGS worker. He took a lot of time with her, answering all her questions, and not pressuring her at all to buy something or even make a decision, and not making her feel stupid. She had neither a CPL nor a license to buy, but that did not turn the sales guy away. He patiently explained the process that was needed to buy a pistol. Knowing that she was new to shooting, he also mentioned classes that they and other establishments offered. I mean it was so well done EVEN I was feeling better for her. For some reason, I didn't want to leave the place.

Lou
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:19 AM   #6
mehavey
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Quote:
"...assume that a woman coming in looking at a 22 was told by some bozo that
it's the best she can handle, and he's trying to give her better information...."
+1 But....

I've been teaching women who've never handed weapons/handguns to shoot for more than [classified number] years.
We always start out with a 22 on the bench, then a 38Special, then a 1911 using wadcutters... then hardball.
Always two-handed grip

We take a full afternoon, do it at a range that has a decent/adjacent range house w/ bathrooms & refreshments
and explain/break down each change of gun before going back out.

At day's end, not ONE has ever said anything other than "...I really like that 45...."

Steel Magnolias all......

Last edited by mehavey; September 6, 2013 at 09:48 AM.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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It seems to me that the problem was assuming that the customer had no knowledge or skills because she was a woman. My daughter has faced the same patronizing baloney at ranges and gun shops. It gets ridiculous at times. Testicles are not the location where knowledge of guns (or anything else) is stored.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:53 AM   #8
mehavey
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The lady/man walks in and says:
"I want a 22 semi-auto."

The LGS response to either the lady/man should be:
"We have several types. What do you want to use it for and we'll match it up."

No one's insulted.
Everybody lays their cards on the table.
Buyer and seller calibrate each other.
Everybody wins.....
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:56 AM   #9
g.willikers
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Salesmanship is a skill.
Just because someone is hired to man the counter doesn't mean they have it.
Most store owners don't have it and don't even know what it is.
Kind of sad when the people running the store are better at running people away than satisfying their customers and selling their wares.
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Old September 6, 2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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typical sales people have no knowledge.

At best they know the difference between 22lr and 22short. If your lucky they know the difference between a revolver and a semi auto. I still know of only 3 gunstore employees in 80 miles of me that actually dont need the customer to GET the correct gun down for them.

its really bad when you say 'i wanna look at that ruger 1911", and they keep trying to hand you a beretta
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Old September 6, 2013, 10:29 AM   #11
g.willikers
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Yeah, the first rule in successful sales is knowing the products.
A lot of gun store personnel must be store owner relatives, who couldn't get a job anywhere else.
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Old September 6, 2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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What really got me was the the fact that there were 4 or 5 different 22lr pistols in the case, He could have likely made an easy sale if he had just listened to what the customer wanted.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:12 PM   #13
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Most salesfolk are so used to talking, they don't bother to listen. This happens frequently when the salesperson is a male and the customer is female. This happens everywhere, not just in gun shops.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:23 PM   #14
gotthegoods
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Understand the typical employee is NOT a professional salesperson nor has had any type of sales training.

A sales professional asks questions to determine wants / needs / desires / use / purpose / etc...these are called qualifying questions.

2 ears, one mouth, listen at least twice as much as you talk.

Most importantly if you don't know the answer, swallow you ego and pride and ASK someone who may know.

If that fails, be honest and tell you customer, "I don't know, but I will do the research to find out for you."

That's how you get customers for life, meaning repeat and referrals.

In the LGS world, some of these yahoos "info dump" or simply vomit their opinions to show how intelligent or cool they think they are.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:29 PM   #15
kilimanjaro
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If I walked into my LGS and asked to buy a .22 pistol, I'd walk out with it in 20 minutes. Same if I wanted to buy a .44 Magnum, or a .38 Special.

Some folks just make assumptions about the customer and blow a sale.

Remind me if I ever open a gun store, to hire a female clerk who can deal with the ladies from an equal standpoint, no ego trips.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:47 PM   #16
rotten mick
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Big +1^^^^^^ but make sure she knows her stuff... couple here in town have some that don't know Anything. I had one hand me a gun with a magazine in it with out checking it and pointed in my direction. I wasnt too thrilled. Another here is a gun shop but has the tourist range for full autos other toys. Bunch of short skirts or tight spandex 20 somthing hard bodys that are clueless beyond the sales speech for the gun rent cost. Thankfully they dont touch the guns, just take the cash and write up the order for the range.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:56 PM   #17
Slopemeno
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Honestly, I'd say most gunstore sales people would be rated pretty weak-vs the sales people I deal with every day.
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Old September 6, 2013, 04:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Remind me if I ever open a gun store, to hire a female clerk who can deal with the ladies from an equal standpoint, no ego trips.
You don't have to be female to provide outstanding customer service to a female. You have to not be an ass. It's not like the guy described in the OP isn't just as much of an ass all the rest of his life. It's not something that generally comes and goes. He just spends most of the rest of his time with other asses who act just like him, so he seems "normal".

It's also not specific in any way shape or form to gun dealers. An awful lot of people who are on the front lines in the customer service industry should really be washing dishes somewhere.
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:07 PM   #19
johnwilliamson062
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It is a business. The salesperson may be on commission. It may not be his ego guiding him.
Sometimes I wish I was female when I went to a gun store. At least then someone might greet me in a timely fashion. I bet my wife would get more attention in 5 minutes than I have received in 5 years from my closest LGS. To be fair, it is a 5 year old store and has improved greatly.
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:07 PM   #20
Jim March
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People seem to buy .22 handguns for one of three purposes:

1) General target/practice/small game, running from casual to high-dollar competition.

2) As an understudy for a specific larger caliber defense piece, so they'll want it as similar as possible.

3) As a primary defense piece.

Sorting out which category they're headed to and narrow it from there is fine.
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:15 PM   #21
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educated consumer....

My point is for a new gun owner or CC license holder is to be a educated consumer. Guns like other high value items; cars, TVs, computers, washer/dryer, etc can be researched or evaluated before you hand over a wad of cash.
My friend got dealed into a new Smith & Wesson M&P pistol by a smooth talking sales pitch. He liked the .45acp pistol & it came with a free Glock white light so he was happy but I advised him to get a new S-A XDm .40S&W 3.8 model. The XDm series comes with a bunch of extras; free mag holder, lock, case, magazine loader, holster. My friend got hustled by the sales clerk saying how much "better" the M&P was, .
Some consumers enjoy the shopper experience & like the attention they get from buying products. They feel "empowered" by the decision & feel smart by thinking they made a good choice.
Savvy gun owners & armed professionals advise trying a few brands first or renting a few handguns before you spend $400-900.00 on a new weapon.
Sales, freebies & add-ons are good but be a educated buyer, .
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Old September 6, 2013, 05:36 PM   #22
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With gun sales, you listen first, then address the question. Sometimes it is better to ask more questions to get a feel for what a buyer might be looking for.

What is almost as bad is for a anxious customer who overhears the question just can control his urge to chime in with his 2-cents.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:26 PM   #23
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OMG, I had the same thing happen to me over a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard.

I wanted a Bodyguard, asked to see a Bodyguard, and got a whole speech about Ruger (I forget its name .380) being a better gun...

I also walked out without a purchase...
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Old September 7, 2013, 06:48 AM   #24
gaseousclay
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typical sales people in LGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louca View Post
But almost always, the places are overly crowded and I can't stand dealing with the LGS staff. They often times look unhappy and burned out (overworked); they act like I am taking up too much of their time

Lou
I've had the exact experience with one of the employees at the gun/pawn shop by my house. The few times I've been in he basically treated me like I was wasting his time. The thing is, it's a waste of my time if the employee in question doesn't want to help me or has an attitude. Customer service is a BIG deal to me and if a employee goes out of his way to be rude or unhelpful I'll just take my business elsewhere
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Old September 7, 2013, 08:14 AM   #25
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Quote:
What is almost as bad is for a anxious customer who overhears the question just can control his urge to chime in with his 2-cents.
guilty.
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