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View Full Version : The lack of good salesmanship in retail gun stores.


rp55
02-15-2009, 10:49 AM
I had an interesting experience recently. I was jonesing for a new gun so I went on a gun "road trip" to see what available. I had never done anything like this before. I had no specific gun in mind but rather a sort of shopping list with various rifles and pistols on it that I would buy if one was available. So I got my checkbook and HSC, hit the road and went to almost every retail store that sells firearms in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County.

Now I like good salesmanship and good salesmen. Several times I have hired or tried to hire salesmen who had talent that was unappreciated. But today you see so much poor salesmanship or even a complete lack of it. I'm talking about a restaurant server who brings the check and does not try to sell you a dessert. Or the guy who sells you a pistol and doesn't even try to sell you a cleaning kit or something to go with it. These two common examples happen to me all the time.

I never went in to more than 2 gun stores in a day before so I probably just never noticed it before but the salesmanship is atrocious in them. In more than one instance the guys were standing around talking with each other or doing nothing and I had to approach them. That should be a no-no. Every potential customer should be welcomed and asked if they can be helped. Even this basic is ignored in gun stores. So I say "Hi, I'm looking for a .... do you have one?" The most common result was a "No" and then they went back to talking or stared at me stupidly.

There was only one exception and it was somewhat refreshing. I was in Hunters Supply in Salinas and asked about several rifles which they did not have in stock but the salesman did his very best to get me interested in something they did. He took them down from the rack without me asking and handed them to me to look at. Man! He was not going to let me out of the store without buying. I definitely did not want any of the guns they had but I resolve to do business with them in the future whenever possible. The only other store that even showed an interest in what I was looking for was Sportsmans Supply in Campbell but it was a weak attempt.

So after my trip, on which I bought nothing, I was left with some questions. Why is the basic salesmanship in retail gun stores so crappy. Is it because they can sell almost everything they have without trying? Why do the owners put up with that behavior?

RP1911
02-15-2009, 11:02 AM
Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

audihenry
02-15-2009, 12:13 PM
Yep, same experience. The buyers put up with it and the sellers don't care to make it better.

Saigon1965
02-15-2009, 12:15 PM
I feel you hit with all points -

Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

Czechsix
02-15-2009, 12:25 PM
It's not just gun shops, poor salesmanship is rampant all over the place. Has been for years, even when I was back in retail sales. Put them on a commission + base, and see what happens...

Tarn_Helm
02-15-2009, 12:47 PM
Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

My first job at age 15 1/2, with work permit, was in a fish market.

I was taught by an OLD salesman how it is done.

Always speak to the customer before he speaks to you.

Always greet courteously.

Always suggest something that goes with whatever the person is buying--if it is an entree, suggest appetizers; if it is an appetizer, suggest entrees, lemons, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, boxes of batter mix, shucking knives, etc.

Store clerks today are not trained in anything, as far as I can tell.

And for the sheer fun of it, we used to compete to see who could turn a 4 dollar sale into a 20 dollar sale.

I see no effort or talent in most places.

None.

After a couple of failures, I was coached on how to explain food preparation and cooking instructions--sales went up!

But effort had to be made.

Nowadays, most counter clerks ignore you until you demand attention.

The people inspire no confidence or desire on my part to spend money or seek information from them.

I hope for change.
:p

audihenry
02-15-2009, 12:47 PM
It's not just gun shops, poor salesmanship is rampant all over the place. Has been for years, even when I was back in retail sales. Put them on a commission + base, and see what happens...

What would happen is pushy salesmen and that's no good, either.

JeffM
02-15-2009, 12:47 PM
I think with the internet, that probably 75% of the shoppers know exactly what they want, and probably know more about that specific model gun than the salesman does.

So in turn a lot shoppers have turned into buyers. They know that they want and want a good deal.

Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

+1

Just about all retail sales jobs that I know of, even at gun shops, are barely minimum wage jobs, maybe a little more. The run of the mill worker has no incentive to actually make sales due to all the points above.

Many, if not most gun buyers usually looking for something specific and have a price in mind already, so the guns sell themselves for the most part.

Now many mom-&-pop stores are different and can be better or worse depending on a few factors. Sometimes the shop owner is a retired ol' fart that does it more as a hobby so they can ignore customers and shoot the breeze with their buddies. Or, on the other hand, they are real business people who have a vested interest in keeping the customers happy, so they do what it takes to make the sales.

RP1911
02-15-2009, 1:50 PM
....Or, on the other hand, they are real business people who have a vested interest in keeping the customers happy, so they do what it takes to make the sales.


You know you are doing something right when your price is $40-$50 more than your competition, the customer knows it, mentions it, and still buys from you.

Fjold
02-15-2009, 2:27 PM
One other thing that I see amplified in gunshops is the macho and "I'm the expert and customers are lesser beings" attitude.

Rukus
02-15-2009, 2:47 PM
Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.

3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts

5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)
I think these are the key points that I've seen. I worked in retail for 2 years, on a non comission basis. What makes a good salesperson is the WANT to be a good salesperson. When you feel like you are taking care of a customer, the job comes naturally. My coworkers and I also took pride in turning a $20 one item sale into a cart full of items totalling over a hundred dollars worth of sale.

Salesmanship is about knowing your product and knowing your customer. When you know what it is they want you are also presented with what it is you can sell them, whether they know they want it or not. Anyone that just wants to collect a check and skate by doing as little as possible should not be in sales. Anyone that doesn't enjoy talking to people shouldn't be in sales. Anyone with limited social skills should not be in sales.

wildhawker
02-15-2009, 4:11 PM
Agreed, although BAGV and J&R have been pleasant surprises here in the Bay.

dac41
02-15-2009, 4:24 PM
I think with the internet, that probably 75% of the shoppers know exactly what they want, and probably know more about that specific model gun than the salesman does.

So in turn a lot shoppers have turned into buyers. They know that they want and want a good deal.


Excellent point. I was in sales for a while. Then i realized retail is a scam. Why should someone pay up to 75% more than the product costs to make? If someone wants to eat for example let them introduce something useful and sell it themselves, not scam a living off the public by making money only on transcations. The internet has broken down the wall between manufacturer and consumer, and the jig is up! There must be a more direct link from producer to consumer in many industries, why should I pay two or three times what the product is worth, because I like you?

Creeping Incrementalism
02-15-2009, 5:48 PM
The kind of sales clerks I like at gun stores, or almost any store, are the kind that never bother me until I ask them a question. Or try to sell me something else. If I don't know, I'll ask. Otherwise don't bother me. The only reason I have ever bought a gun at a gun shop is because of the laws that make it such a pain to buy mail order. If a shop doesn't have it, don't waste my time with anything other than "no", or to briefly mention the closest available substitute. That's it. Clerks always trying to sell me stuff I don't ask for will drive me out of a store for good. Anything other than an initial, "Hi, can I help you with anything?" once I come in the door is excessive.

On the other hand, I suppose there are people out there who are clueless, or who are new to shooting and don't have any friends that are knowledgeable. Pushy/overly friendly clerks could help them, I suppose. But I think a more "normal" retail-looking shop would help more. Most gun stores look like semi-run down hobby shops for men.

dfletcher
02-15-2009, 6:10 PM
Now I like good salesmanship and good salesmen. Several times I have hired or tried to hire salesmen who had talent that was unappreciated. But today you see so much poor salesmanship or even a complete lack of it. I'm talking about a restaurant server who brings the check and does not try to sell you a dessert. Or the guy who sells you a pistol and doesn't even try to sell you a cleaning kit or something to go with it. These two common examples happen to me all the time.

I never went in to more than 2 gun stores in a day before so I probably just never noticed it before but the salesmanship is atrocious in them. In more than one instance the guys were standing around talking with each other or doing nothing and I had to approach them. That should be a no-no. Every potential customer should be welcomed and asked if they can be helped. Even this basic is ignored in gun stores. So I say "Hi, I'm looking for a .... do you have one?" The most common result was a "No" and then they went back to talking or stared at me stupidly.

So after my trip, on which I bought nothing, I was left with some questions. Why is the basic salesmanship in retail gun stores so crappy. Is it because they can sell almost everything they have without trying? Why do the owners put up with that behavior?

Maybe they should sit through the Alec Baldwin scene in "Glengarry Glenn Ross" - that would liven them up.

I've bought literally over a hundred handguns and rifles, most over the last 10 years and almost all from a storefront FFL. I have never had anyone ask me if I needed a holster with my new handgun, or a scope or rings for my new rifle. Really - you're standing in the gun store holding your new rifle with NO SIGHTS and no one offers to sell you a scope. I probably wouldn't buy the scope, but I might go for the rings.

I think most gun store owners are not themselves the professional sales type and as such would not know how to teach it to their employees.

I enjoy going to the gun stores and almost always have a good experience. I think it would be a major undertaking to learn why gun stores function as they do. I'll bet everyone here has grown up with the typical messy as hell small gun shop run by a half deaf sole owner - and it's probably a positive memory as compared to a nice new Cabelas or Sportsmans Warehouse.

dfens
02-15-2009, 6:36 PM
The main problem is that sales people get complacent with their job. I worked at a gun store for a bit and they don't get minimum wage except for target masters and that's why they have a high turn over rate they're cheap and over work the employees. Their's no real training when pushing guns, it's all based on previous knowledge and your ability to research and learn more. It's impossible to keep up with everything. If you never complain to management/owners then nothing will ever change.

Anyways after awhile salesmen if they aren't getting any commission or bonuses, guess what they aren't going to see another dime so why work harder if your job is not on the line.

One of my part time jobs is sales based and we get bonuses but if I didn't, I still love the sense of satisfaction that I'm doing my job, so I push sales and customer service as best I can.

But also it's the customers fault as well. Me personally I hate when a sales person hovers over me like when buying a car. I'll come get you when I need something. Let me be in peace. Or you spend so much time with a customer and they still don't buy a thing. I don't remember being a slave to you and you waste my time and never had the intention of purchasing in the first place. Various factors come into play. When I help people I'll even recommend options that will cost me a sale if it is in the customers best interest. You hardly ever see that anymore I hate ripping people off. Building that trust is just as important getting that loyal customer who will also refer business.

I find it weird that you want a sales person to try to push other stuff down your throat too. Sometimes I offer it but if you don't ask or show a interest I won't hassle you. Want a desert with your meal, hell no I'm full and don't want to spend extra money. Need a holster, no I have one or why their ain't no CCW in most of CA. As I said most people don't want to feel like they are being milked for their last dollar. Really love how car salesman try to sale you all those options you don't want or need. Yeah my mom needs a 6 disc CD player and DVD combo when she hasn't bought a CD in over 15 years.

I've seen some gun stores talk a persons ear off and scare them away. So when buying a gun make sure to research as much as you can. Ask questions if need be. The final thing to finalize the deal is the price. I know what I want and what I want to pay. Do your home work on the price so you know what the going rate is whether it be MSRP, or mark up or under valued. Either you pay it or shop else where and hope to find it at a lower price.

CRTguns
02-15-2009, 6:37 PM
Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

RP1911 is a genius. Really- well put. With emphasis on points 3, 5, 1, 4, and 2.:thumbsup:

pullnshoot25
02-15-2009, 6:50 PM
I would love to work in a gun store, I think that I could be a good salesman for that and no training required! I would have to brush up more on some reloading stuff and maybe some of the higher-end rifles (I like simple stuff :) ) but other than that, I am G2G.

Any gun shops hiring? :)

Physical Graffiti
02-15-2009, 7:13 PM
As a local Firearms Salesmen, (this is Steve at Ade's Gun Shop in Orange, hello to all of my customers) I think I can shed a little light on the subject.

The majority of gun salesmen in the area simply, pardon my language, do not give a ****. In the words of Chris Rock, if they had a pocket full of ****s, and you asked for one, they'd say, "Oh, well, y'know, I don't give a ****."

They are there to collect a weekly paycheck based on the amount of time they put in. They don't care if they are wasting their employer's money and time, they don't care whether or not their customers get what they are looking for, and they'll be damned before you interrupt one of their conversations to force them to do some goddamned DROS paperwork.

On the other hand, some of us realize that we are getting paid to do one thing and one thing only, and that is SELL GUNS. Doing DROS paperwork is my JOB, and if I ever get tired of it, I just think back to all the previous jobs I had, which were quite crappy, and suddenly I have no problems doing some paperwork to get someone their firearm.

I have a deep-rooted philisophical belief in my profession. I am here to Arm my fellow Americans, end of story.

Sure, I may not always offer someone a cleaning kit or optics setup, but as anyone who has been to Ade's knows, we're a GUN SHOP, we don't really carry accessories, especially not cheap aftermarket junk.

There are some good sales people in the area, and I will come to their defense, and my own in case anyone is critical of how I treat my customers.

Let me shed a little bit of light onto what it means to sell guns in CA in this day and age:

1.) I have to explain how to make an AR-15 California legal a MINIMUM of FIFTEEN TIMES A DAY. Both over the phone and in person. When someone interjects and says "Oh you can use your bullet button and drop mags at the range, no problem." it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated, if not get them serious jail time. We are the ones who get inspected by the ATF and we're the ones that get the rundown on what is OK to have and what is not. TRUST ME.

2.) Trading one gun for another is a royal pain in the ***. There is no "Trade" option when we are DROSing guns. If you trade one gun for another, I have to do FOUR sets of paperwork, instead of one. Like I said, there is no "trade" option. I have to act as if both parties are selling a gun, and buying a gun. The only time you'll hear me sigh at a customer is if I've done more than one trade already that day; because they can take up to or over an HOUR, and in that time I usually have customers tapping their feet looking at me like it's my fault the transaction takes so long and not the State's fault.

3.) I have this conversation on the phone almost every day:

"Ade's Gun Shop, this is Steve."
"Hi, do you guys sell guns there?"
"Ade's GUN SHOP, this is Steve, how can I help you?"
"Do you guys sell guns there?"
"... Yes."
"Great do you have a Smith and Wesson?"
"Yes sir, I have several, which are you looking for?"
"The revolver."
"Which one, sir?"
"The .357?"
"Sir, Smith and Wesson makes hundreds of revolvers, and probably over fifty types of .357 Magnums, you're going to need to figure out the model before I can tell you whether or not I have it in stock."
*they hang up angrily*

4.) People treat us like we write the laws. I **** you not, I once had a customer rant at me about needing a second proof of residency to buy a handgun, saying "YOU WANT ME TO PROVE I LIVE HERE? THAT'S RIDICULOUS, MY ANCESTORS LIVED HERE WAY BEFORE YOURS DID, AND YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCUSE ME OF NOT BEING AN AMERICAN?"

5.) Some customers act like they are bothered by me when I ask to offer assistance, and treat me with distrust and disdain when trying to make an honest suggestion. For example: "Tauruses are alright, but if reliability is paramount to you, I'd go with a Sig Sauer." - "Pfffft, no thanks, you're not gonna talk ME into paying 850 bucks for a goddamned handgun."

The bottom line is, some of us actually care. Some of us actually try. Some of us want every one of our customers to be 100% happy with not only their experience, but with the firearm that they someday may have to trust their life to... some of us.

I hope some of my customers will back me up on here.

dac41
02-15-2009, 9:03 PM
Physical Graffiti nailed it!

I was thinking that what really makes gun dealers surly is dealing with people who ask things like the ones posted above!! They are bound by law to allow the public into their shops, including obvious gangbangers and any creep on the street. It must really get old after a while. That, and constantly being reminded that your prices can never compete with internet dealers. Why else would they charge $100 for transfers, it's because gun sales at shops are lagging in the last 10 years until this recent thing.

Barbarossa
02-15-2009, 9:09 PM
Physical Graffiti +1,

It is very easy to tell who gives a damn, and who is just collecting a check.

Crusader
02-15-2009, 9:11 PM
When I got my first job, I was almost ashamed of the staff I worked with. I learned at a young age how to greet and help people from my father and grandfather. However, when I started my first day, my supervisors gave me no instructions or training, and when I asked my co-workers what was to be done, I basically got "nothing" as the answer.
It seems strange to work for a business that doesn't give a crap about making as much money as it can. Of course, I work for the city government, so that explains A LOT.

wildhawker
02-15-2009, 9:13 PM
1.) I have to explain how to make an AR-15 California legal a MINIMUM of FIFTEEN TIMES A DAY. Both over the phone and in person. When someone interjects and says "Oh you can use your bullet button and drop mags at the range, no problem." it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated, if not get them serious jail time. We are the ones who get inspected by the ATF and we're the ones that get the rundown on what is OK to have and what is not. TRUST ME.

Sounds like we need to get some flowcharts printed for you!

I, for one, appreciate your honesty and candor here. We all sometimes forget to be empathetic to others' burdens, and need straightforward folks such as yourself to man the counters if we are to maintain our right to keep and bear arms here in the state.

B.D.Dubloon
02-15-2009, 9:25 PM
If I were down south I'd go to Ade's because I like that PG came here and explained the way it is. However, I have a Taurus revolver and a Sig Mosquito, and the Taurus is way more reliable. I know it is apples and oranges, I am just saying.:p

OutlawDon
02-15-2009, 9:45 PM
Went to City Arms on Pacifica yesterday. Been there before and the staff have been helpful. Yesterday, there was a young kid with hat working. Checked out a few couple of glocks and M&P's. Then asked if they were going to get some Glock 19's in and he just started laughing condescendingly and said they've been bugging their distributors for a long time and get what you see now. I found the laughing disrespectful and if I wasn't in such a chilled and tired mood yesterday, I would have said...."What the F is so god damn funny? I asked a legitimate question dipshiit!"

Idiot.

CHS
02-15-2009, 9:52 PM
When someone interjects and says "Oh you can use your bullet button and drop mags at the range, no problem." it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated, if not get them serious jail time. We are the ones who get inspected by the ATF and we're the ones that get the rundown on what is OK to have and what is not. TRUST ME.


In this case, clearly it is you who does not understand the law.

The ENTIRE POINT of the bullet button is to create a legal situation where you can drop your mags at the range to reload.

Get angry all you want, but you're the one in the wrong.

mydogsmonkey
02-15-2009, 10:04 PM
i agree with you but have to say that it kinda relieves pressure from making a decision and i have already done most of my research online so if i have any questions i would ask, besides that i'd just ask to hold it or whatnot, i'm probably not looking for other things.

Ernest

sb_pete
02-15-2009, 10:54 PM
Maybe they should sit through the Alec Baldwin scene in "Glengarry Glenn Ross" - that would liven them up.

I've bought literally over a hundred handguns and rifles, most over the last 10 years and almost all from a storefront FFL. I have never had anyone ask me if I needed a holster with my new handgun, or a scope or rings for my new rifle. Really - you're standing in the gun store holding your new rifle with NO SIGHTS and no one offers to sell you a scope. I probably wouldn't buy the scope, but I might go for the rings.

lol, as if they even had them in stock. Every gun store I have been to has had a pitiful selection of holsters, bases and rings, and a scope selection that borders on laughable. The best selections of accessories I have seen is at Turners and Big 5, and that ain't great. The prices are always insane in relation to online as well. I think the salesfolk, if they even know what "upsell" means figure why bother when they all they have is a pitiful selection of overpriced stuff.

From what I have seen, most gun store clerks are either college age kids picking up a paycheck, retired dudes hanging out and shootin the sh*t with their buddies when they come in, or the owner's cousin's retarded kid who couldn't hold down a job elsewhere.

The only decent sales people these days are the people who sell to the retailers. I think two main factors are to blame:

1. retail and sales jobs have, by and large, become transient hourly wage jobs for people in between "real jobs" and for young kids who don't have a "real job" yet. I think this is largely because big box stores and national retail chains have pushed the labor market in this field in this direction. They rely primarily on national advertising rather than salesmanship to sell product. Gun store people, bad at sales though they are, are better than most big box store employees. The kids working at those places just don't give a **** about the store's bottom line or reputation at ALL. I remember seeing 3 little punk middle school aged kids riding those razor scooter things around the local Sports Authority about a year ago. They were jumping the scooters and being a general loud nuisance. An employee asked them to stop and made some comment about buying them before jumping them and stuff. The kids replied that those were their scooters and they would just leave then. The scooters were obviously brand new and had plastic hanging off them. Employee shrugged and said whatever. Kids left. Sure enough, three empty boxes sitting in the scooter/rollerblade isle.

2. The internet has by and large become the primary research resource for purchasing decisions. Whereas before, people would seek product info from salespeople who, if they knew their business, could help the customer into walking out with just what they wanted or needed. They might not have wanted or needed it before, but they knew they did now. Many customers of the products for which salespeople are even still involved (mostly financial instruments; cars; firearms; watches; and high-end, luxury, or professional-grade versions of most other goods) have already researched the product ad nauseum and know what they want. In the case of cars, they even know what the dealer paid for the product, etc. Many good sales people can convince a person who doesn't know what they want that they want product x. Only very good sales people can convince a customer to buy product x, when, after long and careful consideration of many options and opinions, they are firmly convinced they need and want product y. Such sales people don't work for min wage, or at least they don't do so for very long.

Once this happens for a few years, stores that can't have a massive selection and volume oriented pricing, shrink down and cut costs. Car dealerships focus on selling new cars in order to service them and then make the sales profit on selling used cars where the pricing structure is more opaque thus leaving the seller in a better bargaining position. Specialty stores either go out of business, become retirement hobbies with low profit margins, or go online and aim for volume. Most of those gun stores would be out of business if it weren't for the simple fact that a byzantine regulatory structure makes entry into the market prohibitive and forces customers to buy from brick and mortar FFL holders within reasonable driving distance.

Sorry if that sounds pessimistic, but I just think the kind of salesmanship you used to see all over is, for better or worse, largely gone for the forseeable future in retail.

-Pete

CapS
02-15-2009, 11:00 PM
Being a gun salesman because you love guns is not good enough. You must want to be a good salesman, which means putting up with 1) customers who think they know everything, 2) customers who have never been in a gun store before, 3) customers who must be watched because there are four of them, they are in various parts of the store asking dumb questions, wearing big jackets and touching absolutely everything in sight while swaggering around, 4) customers who want to play one-up, 5) customers who want to know why you charge so much, and 6) customers who genuinely want your help.
It also means remaining genuinely interested in helping the customer find what he wants, what he needs, and what he doesn't even know exists.
That's what it takes to be a good gun store salesman (like PG). As he explains, it's not always easy. From my experience in retail (not gunstores) I know how easy it is to fall into all the bad habits we see in gunstores everyday, just from sheer frustration.

/Cap

sb_pete
02-15-2009, 11:08 PM
I would love to work in a gun store, I think that I could be a good salesman for that and no training required! I would have to brush up more on some reloading stuff and maybe some of the higher-end rifles (I like simple stuff :) ) but other than that, I am G2G.

The funny thing about sales is that extensive knowledge of the product is no indicator at all of whether someone will be a good salesperson. The best salespeople know their sh*t, yes, but some of the worst salespeople also know all about the product and end up coming off as a talking dictionary that confuses the customer instead of selling them. You can overload someone's brain and make them think, "man I just can't take all this in. I have to go home and think about this." Once they start doing that, they can shut down and become unreceptive to anything but the really coarse attempts like "Buy this today for this great price or when you come back tomorrow it'll be more expensive." That kind of stuff either works or disgusts customers. Either way, its an ugly technique that doesn't inspire repeat business.

Good salespeople really don't need to know much about the product. They need to know enough not to lie about it to the customer. Other than that though, the best salespeople have a knack for making a customer comfortable. They inspire confidence in a customer while subtly making them realize (convincing them that they've convinced themselves) that product x is exactly what they need. The customer then either wants to buy it from you because they like you, they are convinced that you will provide the best aftersales service, or because you can convince them that your price is the best.

These days the first part is done on the internet, and as to the second part:
the liking you part still works
aftersales service is mostly mail to factory
price is mostly known or easily checked.

:shrug:
-Pete

(btw, I am not talking about you personally pullnshoot and I sincerely hope that didn't come off as an affront. It is just that what you posted provided a perfect segway to a discussion of sales and why you are not seeing much of it in this kind of market.)

chickenfried
02-15-2009, 11:33 PM
:confused:
When someone interjects and says "Oh you can use your bullet button and drop mags at the range, no problem." it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated, if not get them serious jail time. We are the ones who get inspected by the ATF and we're the ones that get the rundown on what is OK to have and what is not. TRUST ME.

Physical Graffiti
02-15-2009, 11:58 PM
I got the bullet button tip from an ATF inspector, and I'll trust him before I trust the DoJ who gives a different answer every time the subject comes up. If I told a customer that it was OK to drop his mags, and he gets caught by someone who doesn't know the full extent of the law, and their guns were confiscated because I have them bad advice, I'd feel just awful. I'm in the business of keeping customers, and that means help keeping them out of jail.

Just because something is in writing as being OK doesn't mean the cops or feds on site wont confiscate your gun.

You can get it back with a good lawyer, but...

Playing it safe and using MMGrip/Fixed-Stock/Muzzle-Brake > Paying thousands in lawyer fees getting your gun back.

Like I said, trust me on this one.

caldude
02-16-2009, 7:09 AM
It is very easy to tell who gives a damn, and who is just collecting a check.

When I first started shooting I stopped by American Outdoors in Livermore. I had never been in a gun store before and was just looking around and had questions about purchasing firearms. This was just when Randy was purchasing the place (it's now J&Rs). Randy probably spent 20-30 minutes with me answering my questions and giving me advice. I didn't buy anything that day, but that experience led me back to J&Rs when I was ready to buy.

Bottom line - When you find someone who is willing to help you and answer your questions, that's probably where you'll return. If I felt like I was 'intruding' in the store, I would have never returned.

That being said, several times the salespeople at J&R have suggested accessories or ammo for whatever I was purchasing.

tenpercentfirearms
02-16-2009, 7:24 AM
I got the bullet button tip from an ATF inspector, and I'll trust him before I trust the DoJ who gives a different answer every time the subject comes up. If I told a customer that it was OK to drop his mags, and he gets caught by someone who doesn't know the full extent of the law, and their guns were confiscated because I have them bad advice, I'd feel just awful. I'm in the business of keeping customers, and that means help keeping them out of jail.

Just because something is in writing as being OK doesn't mean the cops or feds on site wont confiscate your gun.

You can get it back with a good lawyer, but...

Playing it safe and using MMGrip/Fixed-Stock/Muzzle-Brake > Paying thousands in lawyer fees getting your gun back.

Like I said, trust me on this one.
LOL. Are you trying to start a flame war? You got a tip from an ATF inspector about state law? I got a tip about colon clensing from my car mechanic too.

You don't give people advice then, you tell them what the law is and you warn them that any DA or law enforcement officer might disagree and confiscate your weapons, so proceed at your own risk. You also tell them about the Calguns Foundation and state if you ever run into one of these astronomically rare situations, to contact you and you will put them in touch with people to fight for their rights.

Or you can keep spreading FUD from an unreliable source. I do not trust you on this one as you are wrong and you should know better.

Now if you said, "I personally do not feel like taking the risk and this is why..." I would respect that. But you are pretending to be an authority on the subject and stating opinions that fly in the face of the very specific law. And your reasoning is "just because something is in writing as being OK doesn't mean the cops or feds on site wont confiscate your gun". THE LAW IS WRITTEN DOWN SO YOU CAN FOLLOW IT! And why do the feds give a damn about California law?

How disappointing.

radioburning
02-16-2009, 7:25 AM
Can't stand that "good 'ol boys club" mentality I run into every now and then at gun stores. I really can't stand it. Store's empty, four salesguys standing behind the counter in a loose huddle talking about one of their idiot friends at the range, one of them looks over at you condescendingly, after a minute one of 'em walks over to see what you need. Thanks for making me stand there staring at you while you finish your conversation, dick.

On the other hand, I stop in at the Signal Hill Turners once or twice a week because it's a couple blocks away from my house and just across the street where I get my morning coffee. Almost every time I'm there there's at least 3-5 people shopping for guns, and I'll hear Robert(who, it seems to me, has been there long enough to have sold guns to Moses) yell out "who needs help? Who wants help? Who's beyond help?" The rest of the staff(well most of them) are helpful without being condescending, or coming across like used car salesmen. I think that is definitely one reason they are consistently busy, and at the same time you see very few angry rants about that particular store.

.02

OrovilleTim
02-16-2009, 7:55 AM
This thread makes me thankful for my local gun stores. Although, I live in an area where a large percentage of the population is steeped in a rural culture in which guns have a large role (although, the percentage is getting smaller as more city-transplants come around.)

CHS
02-16-2009, 8:00 AM
I got the bullet button tip from an ATF inspector, and I'll trust him before I trust the DoJ who gives a different answer every time the subject comes up.


I'm just going to go ahead and quote myself here:

In this case, clearly it is you who does not understand the law.

The ENTIRE POINT of the bullet button is to create a legal situation where you can drop your mags at the range to reload.

Get angry all you want, but you're the one in the wrong.

The ATF doesn't know or care about state law. bullet buttons are not needed at the FEDERAL level and AW's no longer exist on the FEDERAL level where the ATF operates.

FYI, I've also sold lots of bullet buttons to very hard-line cops who are trying to stay within the law themselves.

Fire in the Hole
02-16-2009, 8:28 AM
I think Physical Graffiti has the right philosophy about salesmadn ship. I've tried my hand at retail salesmanship when I was between jobs for a few months. What I realized very quickly that without any commision involved as an incentive, salesmen are just going to punch the clock, put in their time, and go home. MY biggest irk is when I've invested the time, inconvience, and gas to go to a retail store in person for face to face service, while the salesman is speaking to me the phone rings, and they run off like Pavlov's Dog, and begin answering the questions of someone shopping by phone. Hey, let the phone ring. I'm here in person. Let the machine pick it up, and call them back when you and I are finished. When this happens now, I turn and leave. Usually the salesman/owner will come out to find out what's up. I tell them point blankly that I'm punishing their poor salesmanship behavior, and why.

Kid Stanislaus
02-16-2009, 9:33 AM
It's not just gun shops, poor salesmanship is rampant all over the place. Has been for years, even when I was back in retail sales. Put them on a commission + base, and see what happens...

BINGO!!

movie zombie
02-16-2009, 9:41 AM
think you've got it bad walking into a gun shop?! try being a woman. i've literally had to tell an employee i was there first, had to ask if i could get some help, etc.

however, there are shops where i've had good service and i repeated do business with them.....even if i could get it cheaper at big 5 [lever rifle].

mz

Fire in the Hole
02-16-2009, 10:59 AM
You forget the most important inside information of sales... people are stupid. Some just like to get out of the house and go somewhere. Some like to fondle things in person. You have at least a 50% better chance of selling someone something once it is in their hands.

As far as gun stores, I guess you have tons of looki-loos. I usualy look at something a few times before buying it. I mean, guns are usualy big purchases, and I like to mull over big purchases for a while. If I look at something and get good service, I'll go back and buy it. If I get bad service, I'll take my money elsewhere.

Kind of like buying a car. You do your research, talk to friends, a non-involved mechanic, etc. Then you go to the car lot, kick the tires, take a couple of test drives, get a feel for the salesman, narrow down you choices, run a history on that car, then return to buy it. Would the salesman prefer that you just forked over your money on the spot and bought it right then? Of course. But then that's now how the car salesman buys his cars either.

gdr_11
02-16-2009, 12:15 PM
I think a lot of it is the number of people who go into stores, ask 100 dumb questions, fondle a few pieces, then walk out without ever having had the intention of buying a gun. I try to do some research first. specifically by calling a number of shops and asking if they have what I want in stock. That way, when I walk in I can say "I called about a---- and I want to see it". This immediately lets them know you are serious and gets their attention. Generally, it also lets you take control of the interaction and you can lead it wherever you want.

I seldom if ever ask a salesperson for advice, technical info, etc. because I am almost always assured I know more about what I am looking for than they do. When they spout off ignorance, I just smile and ignore them.

I have bought some great guns from some dumb clerks, and have also had some great interactions with counter folks who other people could not stand.

rayra
02-16-2009, 1:32 PM
Most of the crappy salesmanship comes from their having and relying on their monopoly, and on very limited competition.

510dat
02-16-2009, 2:31 PM
In my opinion, gun shops are the second biggest threat to our gun culture here in Ca, right after the State.

Two years ago, when I decided I'd better get "a gun" before the state told me I couldn't, I didn't have the slightest idea what I wanted. I only knew that gangsters and hoodrats like Glocks, and revolvers only hold six shots.

So I took my friend who knows guns (but is pretty bored with them) to Reed's Sport Shop so I could go fondle guns.

The shop was filled with bored looking fat old men, I had to take a number, and I was fortunate to get (probably) the only helpful staff member there.

He spent 45 minutes with me even after I told him I was not going to buy a gun that day. Which was easy, because their prices were several times my budget, but he did teach me a lot about handguns. So far, this was my single best gun-related customer service experience.

I have since been to maybe eight gun shops in the south and east bay, and they almost universally are grungy and run-down, and the help is either rude, insulting, condescending and/or arrogant. When I finally bought my first gun, the guy who sold it to me was obviously the exception in his shop.

At one shop I was laughed at by a bunch of 20-year old kids when I told them I wanted a .22 bolt-action mag-fed rifle.

One shop I've been in reeked of cigarette smoke and the proprietor was an old, loud and extremely profane man.

Targetmasters was populated by kids who could barely mumble a coherent sentence, but they did have a good selection of (almost) reasonably priced handguns.



My point:


Gunshops are the first (and often last) place where most people see the gun culture.

If the gun shop is smelly, run down, and run by unhelpful, rude, insulting, arrogant people , why are we surprised that very few new people get into guns?

Who in their right mind wants to be associated with stupid, dirty and fat old men?

The gun industry in Ca is thought of in the same light as "adult bookstores" by most people. As in, "ew, why would you go in there?"

We need to change this perception, and the sooner the better. We need to attract young people who have money to spend on guns.

If you want to keep shooting, you need to bring in young women with money, and they won't walk into a dive. We need to remove the stigma that guns have, and the first place to do that is in the shops.

Guys like gadgets, but guns attract the guys who wore camo in high school, constantly talk about knives and marial arts and creep out everybody else. All the other guys buy computers, or cars, or some other kind of gadget that doesn't have the "creepy mall-ninja" factor.

The Ca gun industry desperately needs to attract intelligent, young women first and foremost. Lets face it, guys follow the women around. If you can convince women that they want a $400 handgun instead of a $400 purse, the industry can survive.

In order to attract young women (and men) who can afford to spend money on guns, we need to clean up all these dive-bar type shops, and make them presentable for the rest of the world.


Please, don't think I'm trying to insult anybody, but this is the perception that people have in Ca.

gwl
02-16-2009, 2:52 PM
In my opinion, gun shops are the second biggest threat to our gun culture here in Ca, right after the State.

Two years ago, when I decided I'd better get "a gun" before the state told me I couldn't, I didn't have the slightest idea what I wanted. I only knew that gangsters and hoodrats like Glocks, and revolvers only hold six shots.

So I took my friend who knows guns (but is pretty bored with them) to Reed's Sport Shop so I could go fondle guns.

The shop was filled with bored looking fat old men, I had to take a number, and I was fortunate to get (probably) the only helpful staff member there.

He spent 45 minutes with me even after I told him I was not going to buy a gun that day. Which was easy, because their prices were several times my budget, but he did teach me a lot about handguns. So far, this was my single best gun-related customer service experience.

I have since been to maybe eight gun shops in the south and east bay, and they almost universally are grungy and run-down, and the help is either rude, insulting, condescending and/or arrogant. When I finally bought my first gun, the guy who sold it to me was obviously the exception in his shop.

At one shop I was laughed at by a bunch of 20-year old kids when I told them I wanted a .22 bolt-action mag-fed rifle.

One shop I've been in reeked of cigarette smoke and the proprietor was an old, loud and extremely profane man.

Targetmasters was populated by kids who could barely mumble a coherent sentence, but they did have a good selection of (almost) reasonably priced handguns.



My point:


Gunshops are the first (and often last) place where most people see the gun culture.

If the gun shop is smelly, run down, and run by unhelpful, rude, insulting, arrogant people , why are we surprised that very few new people get into guns?

Who in their right mind wants to be associated with stupid, dirty and fat old men?

The gun industry in Ca is thought of in the same light as "adult bookstores" by most people. As in, "ew, why would you go in there?"

We need to change this perception, and the sooner the better. We need to attract young people who have money to spend on guns.

If you want to keep shooting, you need to bring in young women with money, and they won't walk into a dive. We need to remove the stigma that guns have, and the first place to do that is in the shops.

Guys like gadgets, but guns attract the guys who wore camo in high school, constantly talk about knives and marial arts and creep out everybody else. All the other guys buy computers, or cars, or some other kind of gadget that doesn't have the "creepy mall-ninja" factor.

The Ca gun industry desperately needs to attract intelligent, young women first and foremost. Lets face it, guys follow the women around. If you can convince women that they want a $400 handgun instead of a $400 purse, the industry can survive.

In order to attract young women (and men) who can afford to spend money on guns, we need to clean up all these dive-bar type shops, and make them presentable for the rest of the world.


Please, don't think I'm trying to insult anybody, but this is the perception that people have in Ca.

Very interesting point. About a year ago I converted a young female friend on mine, who prior to me taking her shooting, had never handled or even seen a real handgun before. Her stance on civillians owning firearms was very negative. Now she DROS a new handgun every 30 days.

Yeah and I know people who would rather be caught in a strip club or and adult video store by their mother than a gun store. Go figure. :confused:

trashman
02-16-2009, 3:13 PM
Most of the crappy salesmanship comes from their having and relying on their monopoly, and on very limited competition.

I tend to agree with this -- there is (thanks to the BATF's clampdown on FFL's in the last decade) a high barrier to entry to starting up a retail gunstore further limiting competition. Wes@TPF had a great post on how much work is involved a couple years ago.

However, my sense of things though is that, even more so that cars or motorcycles, walking into a gun store brings out the macho/stupid/know-it-all side of lots of guys who otherwise know better. You *never* see that kind of attitude with women who are in a gun store .. just guys.

So, being behind the sales counter and dealing with that kind of know-it-all attitude as part of one's livelihood could...yes...just make people a .. bit ... crusty.

God knows I love guns. But I sure couldn't sell 'em to the general public for a living.

--Neill

ljdouglas
02-16-2009, 3:37 PM
As a local Firearms Salesmen, (this is Steve at Ade's Gun Shop in Orange, hello to all of my customers) I think I can shed a little light on the subject.

3.) I have this conversation on the phone almost every day:

"Ade's Gun Shop, this is Steve."
"Hi, do you guys sell guns there?"
"Ade's GUN SHOP, this is Steve, how can I help you?"
"Do you guys sell guns there?"
"... Yes."
"Great do you have a Smith and Wesson?"
"Yes sir, I have several, which are you looking for?"
"The revolver."
"Which one, sir?"
"The .357?"
"Sir, Smith and Wesson makes hundreds of revolvers, and probably over fifty types of .357 Magnums, you're going to need to figure out the model before I can tell you whether or not I have it in stock."
*they hang up angrily*

Good to hear from somebody on the figurative firing line who has a good reputation. I haven't been to Ade's yet, but I will.

The only thing I see wrong with your post is the above hypothetical conversation. Clearly this caller doesn't know firearms. When you say HE has to figure out what he wants to that level of specificity, you've lost him. He won't want to admit he's casting around looking for guidance, so he's going to respond negatively. Hard to sell a firearm to somebody who hung up. Wouldn't it have been better to reply, "Sir, Smith and Wesson makes hundreds of different revolver models. Right now we have six (or five or twentythree) in stock. Why don't you drop by and see if one of these will fit the bill, and if not, we would be happy to order whatever it is that will fit your needs?"

No matter what you are selling, you have to give the customer the chance to stop looking and start buying. Since you can't sell what you don't have, you need to point out the similarities of your stock to the thing that they are looking for. Especially true when they don't really know what they are looking for. If they don't know, you have to (gently) tell them. This is not being 'pushy', you don't have to beat them to death with it, just present your case.

caldude
02-16-2009, 4:28 PM
My point:

Gunshops are the first (and often last) place where most people see the gun culture.

If the gun shop is smelly, run down, and run by unhelpful, rude, insulting, arrogant people , why are we surprised that very few new people get into guns?

Who in their right mind wants to be associated with stupid, dirty and fat old men?

We need to change this perception, and the sooner the better. We need to attract young people who have money to spend on guns.


Too true. A clean, well-organized shop with helpful staff will yield a much better experience than a dirty, cluttered shop staffed by nitwits. Generally, I judge a shop by it's stock, organization and cleanliness, and staff. If you're lacking in any area, chances are I won't be back. New customers probably judge shops the same way.

ChibiPaw
02-16-2009, 7:12 PM
Interesting point about the whole dive bar issue. There are places are do try to maintain a decent appearance such as CityArms. However a good majority of them do share the same light as adult book stores. I would imagine that would be a turn off for a good many people. But I have purchased a good number of guns from places that aren't nearly as esthetically pleasing, but the staff are nice, patience to deal with me and price point is fair.

With that said, there are a few points that I feel plays important roles in making sales as well as making a customer happy. Keep in mind, this is also me speaking from the japanese fashion industry perspective, so customer service aspect might be over the top for urban/model american standards.

* Price points - lets face it, it doesn't matter how nice you are, if the guy next door is selling the same thing significantly cheaper. Rarely anyone will allow themselves to be ripped off. Most people do compare price shopping.

* Customer service - you can go a long way having a ghetto looking place, if you treat your customers with great respect, they will come back for more. I have had places laughed at me for the way I dress, telling me inaccurate information, as well as just being being general jerks. This bleed into the next point but I'll start here. In my boutique, there are standard protocols such as greeting the customers as they enter. Go over very component and test every component in front of the customer before packing the product, walking the customer to the exit, then hand them the packed merchandise. Finally all staff involved must bow deeply and thank the customer for shopping.

* Details and experience. While it's not as important, and sometimes you just can't help it due to budget reason an lack of a woman's touch. Dive bar shop sucks and it is inexcusable. Yes, it's your shop, you can smoke there, but your cigarette still stinks, and customers will expect if they buy a gun from you it'll smell like that. No thanks. Yes, new shelves are expensive, but paint and wallpaper isn't. Again, these are something that I do at my own boutique. The floor must be clean enough that you're comfortable to sit on the floor without worries, room has a set and cohesive theme, it must attribute to the shopping experience, down to the scent. I buy plugin airwick for that.

Everyone knows business is good right now for the gun industry but is it THAT good that one can confidently ignore these details?

Gryff
02-16-2009, 8:15 PM
Mostly because:

1) the owners do not invest time with the sales staff teaching sales.
2) the owners themselves are not sales oriented
3) staff is there just to collect a paycheck and get store discounts
4) staff is not on commission
5) staff (some not all) are not socially refined (I'll probably get flamed for this)

And then they ***** and whine about how they are losing money only being allowed to charge $10 extra for a PPT.

Rukus
02-16-2009, 9:21 PM
They are bound by law to allow the public into their shops, including obvious gangbangers and any creep on the street.

One of the most ridiculous experiences I had recently at a gun store came a few months back when I was taking a friend out to look for his first pistol. He was talking to a salesclerk (after nearly 15 minutes of not being acknowledged) about various Glock sizes. The salesclerk proceeded to pick up a Glock 30 and say something along the lines of "You want compact, check this out.." and proceeded to drop it in his back pocket, tuck his shirt over it and say "Look you cant even tell I'm packing" He then took it out from his back pocket and tucked it down the front waistband of his jeans, again adjusting his shirt. "See, you can walk down the street like this and nobody would know" I was appalled at the lack of tact coming from the "salesman".

I don't know if he took us to be "gangbangers" or what. Seriously, would anyone in a respectable shop think that the actions demonstrated would close a sale? If I was a gang banger wanting to get a gun do you really think I would be in a gunshop buying one?

sb_pete
02-16-2009, 10:29 PM
In my opinion, gun shops are the second biggest threat to our gun culture here in Ca, right after the State.
...
The gun industry in Ca is thought of in the same light as "adult bookstores" by most people. As in, "ew, why would you go in there?"


LOL, I've never given it much thought, but you are soooo right. For example, the four gun shops nearest to me:

#1 is a dingy run down building with a fading paint sign, overgrown hedges, and no window displays. It is across the parking lot from a Dennys at the far end of a retail strip mall part of town.

#2 is next door to a tattoo shop, a head store, a gas station, and a palm reader. There is no parking. There are very prominent bars on the window.

#3 is next to a low end liquor store and only sells ammo and airguns now.

#4 is also next to a tattoo shop and a convenience store. There is very little outside to indicate it exists.

#4 is Uncle Paul's guns. Paul is a great guy and the shop is great. He is also a Calgunner. But it is a sad fact that many gun store owners feel it necessary to not advertise their existence.

Even Cold War Shooters, which advertises very prominently in radio and print and posts here, have a shop which is almost impossible to find without verbal directions. The only things indicating a gun shop exists behind the unmarked door are a couple of small gun industry related stickers on the bottom of an opaque window out front.

Sometimes it almost feels like your going to a 1930's speakeasy. :(

Physical Graffiti
02-16-2009, 11:55 PM
LOL. Are you trying to start a flame war? You got a tip from an ATF inspector about state law? I got a tip about colon clensing from my car mechanic too.

You don't give people advice then, you tell them what the law is and you warn them that any DA or law enforcement officer might disagree and confiscate your weapons, so proceed at your own risk. You also tell them about the Calguns Foundation and state if you ever run into one of these astronomically rare situations, to contact you and you will put them in touch with people to fight for their rights.

Or you can keep spreading FUD from an unreliable source. I do not trust you on this one as you are wrong and you should know better.

Now if you said, "I personally do not feel like taking the risk and this is why..." I would respect that. But you are pretending to be an authority on the subject and stating opinions that fly in the face of the very specific law. And your reasoning is "just because something is in writing as being OK doesn't mean the cops or feds on site wont confiscate your gun". THE LAW IS WRITTEN DOWN SO YOU CAN FOLLOW IT! And why do the feds give a damn about California law?

How disappointing.

Fifteen times a day, sir.

No, I'm not trying to start a flame war, I have a life.

Some people don't realize that there's a real world out there, and when it comes to guns in CA, you better play it as safe as possible.

The law is written down so we can follow it, not so the police can. You can be as well read on the law as possible, if you get caught with an AR by an anti-gun police officer who doesn't know the law at all, you can be in trouble.

I'm sorry for disappointing you by telling people to play it as safe as possible. I hope I haven't caused any mental or physical distress to people I've told "Be careful about where you are dropping your mags"; as it seems I've caused you mental stress on their behalf...

Flame me all you want. In this case, I'm one of those salespeople that doesn't give a ****

chickenfried
02-17-2009, 12:03 AM
Sigh and I thought Ades was one of the good shops :rolleyes:

Physical Graffiti
02-17-2009, 12:12 AM
Right, I'm the bad guy for telling customers to play it safe.

What's with all the division? It's a law we BOTH DISAGREE WITH and one that neither of us wish we had to deal with.

If anyone's been to Ade's you know I usually have several customers to wait on at any given time, I simply cannot take 10 minutes to go into the Do's and Dont's of bullet-buttons, what to say if hassled, what to do if confiscated, etc.

Now if you said, "I personally do not feel like taking the risk and this is why..." I would respect that

That pretty much is what I say.

"It's a lot safer to top load. A cop not familiar with the Bullet Buttons can see you with your magazine out, assume it's therefore detachable, and you'll have a world of hassle on your hands."

That is what I tell customers.

If you still think I'm a bad guy, like I said, I don't really care; but please don't talk bad about Ade's. Ade is one of the most honorable men I've ever met, and I wouldn't want to lose business for him because some people get offended that I tell people to top-load. God forbid... :rolleyes:

Flame me, don't flame Ade's.

TheBundo
02-17-2009, 12:22 AM
Who in their right mind wants to be associated with stupid, dirty and fat old men?

Fortunately for me, my wife does :p

chickenfried
02-17-2009, 12:22 AM
I'm not offended that you that you tell people to top load. I'm offended that you get offended when people correct you. Which is ironic in a thread about bad service in a gun store. It's the sterotypical arrogant gun store worker that won't admit they're wrong.

If you really want your customers to play it safe why sell them an OLL? Blackwater Ops didn't have any bullet buttons.

Physical Graffiti
02-17-2009, 12:28 AM
I'm not offended that people correct me, I get corrected by people all-day. I'm 21 years old and have only been a shooter for 7 years, I'm learning by experience and that means getting corrected left and right. I'm offended that someone is giving someone else advice that could get their guns confiscated. But when I'm trying to make sure someone is confident in their purchase, sure, I'll get offended when someone tells me I'm steering them in the wrong direction.

If any of my real customers heard you call me arrogant, I'm sure they'd have a good chuckle.

You have to keep things realistic. With the volume of customers I deal with on a daily basis, I cannot give a powerpoint presentation on the California Assault Weapons Ban. I have to get straight to the bottom line, and that's exactly what I do. "Top-Loading or a Monster Man Grip is the easiest way to keep out of trouble."

If you still think I'm trying to mislead people; please come in.

Come to Ade's as a random customer. I'm the youngest guy there. Find out how I treat my customers first hand. Test my knowledge. Even ask me how to make an AR legal and see what I say. If I really tell you, "Bullet buttons aren't legal at all, don't ever use it." feel free to make a thread about how I'm an ignorant little **** who is intentionally misleading customers.

tenpercentfirearms
02-17-2009, 4:59 AM
Fifteen times a day, sir.

No, I'm not trying to start a flame war, I have a life.

Some people don't realize that there's a real world out there, and when it comes to guns in CA, you better play it as safe as possible.How do you tell if a guy is one that doesn't realize there is a real world out there? What do you do for customer's who do know about the real world?

The law is written down so we can follow it, not so the police can. You can be as well read on the law as possible, if you get caught with an AR by an anti-gun police officer who doesn't know the law at all, you can be in trouble.Actually the law was written to limit the power of the government and by the people for the people. Do you seriously think that the police are above the law and you are a better person for cowering at their feet?

I'm sorry for disappointing you by telling people to play it as safe as possible. I hope I haven't caused any mental or physical distress to people I've told "Be careful about where you are dropping your mags"; as it seems I've caused you mental stress on their behalf...

Flame me all you want. In this case, I'm one of those salespeople that doesn't give a ****And that is what this thread is about. Bad sales people who don't give a ****. You said so yourself in post #20.The majority of gun salesmen in the area simply, pardon my language, do not give a ****. In the words of Chris Rock, if they had a pocket full of ****s, and you asked for one, they'd say, "Oh, well, y'know, I don't give a ****."
Right, I'm the bad guy for telling customers to play it safe.

What's with all the division? It's a law we BOTH DISAGREE WITH and one that neither of us wish we had to deal with.

If anyone's been to Ade's you know I usually have several customers to wait on at any given time, I simply cannot take 10 minutes to go into the Do's and Dont's of bullet-buttons, what to say if hassled, what to do if confiscated, etc.My shop is just like Ade's. If I have 5 people in line, they are either cramped or out the door. However, I like to wait on each individual customer like I have two hours to do so. I will explain the OLL situation complete with the risks and possibilities to each and every one of them. I can take as much time as the customer needs because that is the level of service we offer. I do have time for you if you come into my shop.

Usually what happens is the other four guys in line are listening to my speech and I don't have to make it to each one, but if I do, that is what I am there to do. And that is why a lot of people like my shop. When they are there, we treat them right. We usually won't answer the phone and once we acknowledge who came in the door with a "How are you doing today?" we ignore them until it is their turn so we can focus on the customer right there.

That pretty much is what I say.

"It's a lot safer to top load. A cop not familiar with the Bullet Buttons can see you with your magazine out, assume it's therefore detachable, and you'll have a world of hassle on your hands."

That is what I tell customers. That is toned down a bit.

If you still think I'm a bad guy, like I said, I don't really care; but please don't talk bad about Ade's. Ade is one of the most honorable men I've ever met, and I wouldn't want to lose business for him because some people get offended that I tell people to top-load. God forbid... :rolleyes:

Flame me, don't flame Ade's.Sorry, you came on here representing Ade's. If you put your foot in your mouth, you put your foot in Ade's mouth. However, some people hate me around here and I can never disassociate my online handle with my business. I can't be a participant in a discussion without being a gun dealer and having an ulterior motive. It is what it is.

I'm not offended that people correct me, I get corrected by people all-day. I'm 21 years old and have only been a shooter for 7 years, I'm learning by experience and that means getting corrected left and right. I'm offended that someone is giving someone else advice that could get their guns confiscated. But when I'm trying to make sure someone is confident in their purchase, sure, I'll get offended when someone tells me I'm steering them in the wrong direction.

If any of my real customers heard you call me arrogant, I'm sure they'd have a good chuckle.Maybe that is just it. Maybe the Internet makes us seem more arrogant than we really are. Because a 21 year old telling members of the premier gun forum that have been doing this before you were probably old enough to buy a gun that they are looking for trouble or we are setting customers up is pretty arrogant. When you say you are a salesman that says you don't give a **** and you don't have ten minutes to work with a customer, that sounds arrogant.

It is simple for me. I explain the Bullet Button and I explain the Prince50. I tell them the pros and cons of each, I explain the law, I explain what might happen if a cop wants to take their gun, I explain that it might cost a lot of money, and then I put it in writing and have them sign a piece of paper that they know the laws. Then they make the choice on how they want to live their lives. My opinion doesn't mean much unless they ask for it. Then after I give it to them and they say they would rather go with their option, I say no problem and do as they say as it is their money.


You have to keep things realistic. With the volume of customers I deal with on a daily basis, I cannot give a powerpoint presentation on the California Assault Weapons Ban. I have to get straight to the bottom line, and that's exactly what I do. "Top-Loading or a Monster Man Grip is the easiest way to keep out of trouble."

If you still think I'm trying to mislead people; please come in.

Come to Ade's as a random customer. I'm the youngest guy there. Find out how I treat my customers first hand. Test my knowledge. Even ask me how to make an AR legal and see what I say. If I really tell you, "Bullet buttons aren't legal at all, don't ever use it." feel free to make a thread about how I'm an ignorant little **** who is intentionally misleading customers.Work on your AR15 talk a little more then. I can get mine down in about 5 minutes or 10 minutes if I have to go over it again slower. You should have all of the relevant codes, court cases, and definitions memorized by now and it really isn't that hard. You have definitely toned down your hate for the Bullet Button in your new posts, but a reminder of how you started this thread. 1.) I have to explain how to make an AR-15 California legal a MINIMUM of FIFTEEN TIMES A DAY. Both over the phone and in person. When someone interjects and says "Oh you can use your bullet button and drop mags at the range, no problem." it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated, if not get them serious jail time. We are the ones who get inspected by the ATF and we're the ones that get the rundown on what is OK to have and what is not. TRUST ME.You are being contradicted because you are wrong. You can legally drop magazines at the range as long as a tool is required to remove the magazine. You incorrectly believe that the ATF gives a damn about this situation and you incorrectly believe that the ATF would be an expert in California law.

Sorry, but how am I supposed to trust someone who is dealing out FUD? Because you say so? Because you have been selling AR15s since December 2005? Because the CA DOJ has actually busted you or at least someone you know for using a Bullet Button?

In all seriousness Physical Graffiti, we want to educate you, not divide you. The Bullet Button is perfectly legal and should be a part of your sales pitch. A "we don't sell them because we do not feel comfortable removing our magazines even with the use of a tool at the range in front of possibly ignorant law enforcement" would work. And when a customer behind the customer says, "Well you can do it though right?" Your reply won't be your "it angers me that not only am I being contradicted, but someone is misleading someone into something that could get their guns confiscated" it will be, "If you feel like taking that risk, it might be legal, but it might cost you a lot of money to prove it" would fine too.

What some people might see on this thread is you are making their decisions for them. Let people make their own decisions. There are people on here with the stones to take on the DOJ and do the right thing. Don't get upset just because they are willing to risk more than you.

Good luck.

GrayWolf09
02-17-2009, 5:56 AM
Great discussion guys. You have really hit the nail on the head about gun sales these days. I believe one of the problems is the gun industry seems locked into the old way of doing business -- brick and mortar, ignorant buyer, knowledgeable seller, one on one transactions. I believe the gun industry needs to be far more creative and I do believe that we need to bring in more young people and especially young women.

Physical graffiti, if you are waiting on 5 people at the same time, you need more help. You might suggest to the boss that with more help his sales would increase, not that you are overworked. If you are getting 15 calls a day on OLLs and AR builds, consider holding a class and deal with everyone at once.

My own pet peeves:

I do not want to pay $50 over retail to patronize your local shop. Yes, I have done my homework and I know what the retail price is supposed to be and if you are charging me more, I do not trust you unless you explain your price ot me.

I do not want to hear your political views. You and I agree on the 2A and we can talk about that, but I do not want to hear how the liberals/commies in Sacramento or Washington DC or under your bed are ruining this country. If you had the same fervor for getting people involved in shooting as you do for politics, we would not be having this discussion.

I do want to be made to feel welcome. All too often when I go into a gun shop it feels like I am walking into a private mens club where I am not a member. I went to a tennis store one time and the second time I was there the owner remembered my name. That is exceptional but I was willing to pay more in there than in Big 5 down the street because they were so friendly.

FWIW :rant:

movie zombie
02-17-2009, 9:30 AM
I do not want to hear your political views. You and I agree on the 2A and we can talk about that, but I do not want to hear how the liberals/commies in Sacramento or Washington DC or under your bed are ruining this country. If you had the same fervor for getting people involved in shooting as you do for politics, we would not be having this discussion.

I do want to be made to feel welcome. All too often when I go into a gun shop it feels like I am walking into a private mens club where I am not a member. I went to a tennis store one time and the second time I was there the owner remembered my name. That is exceptional but I was willing to pay more in there than in Big 5 down the street because they were so friendly.

FWIW :rant:

+1. i didn't go into a gun shop or go to a gun show for that matter to hear your political views. i won't spout mine if you don't spout yours.

a lot of talk happens at calguns about getting more women involved in shooting: if a woman walks into a gunshop by herself, make sure she is helped because she is serious about wanting to buy a gun.....no woman walks into a gunshop just to window shop.

mz

rtlltj
02-17-2009, 3:03 PM
Hunter's Supply just started carrying pistols as well which is a good thing. I went in there last week just to eye some pistols and noticed they had a few of the new "rough textured frame" glocks that just came out and before I knew it the guy behind the counter already put it in my hands to hold. I didn't even ask if I could see it. Everytime I go in there as soon as you walk by the counter they ask if you would like to look at anything thats behind the counter/glass. I'm going back there this saturday to get my hunter's safety certificate. It's about time Salinas had a decent gun shop.