The Problem With Too Many Choices

While the ability to have choices is great, what’s potentially difficult is the real possibility of being overwhelmed with too many of them. (And overwhelmed isn’t how you want to describe any customer.) Rather, you want to describe customers as engaged and informed, especially if they’re a newbie. And these days, there are plenty of them out there. They’re buying firearms like never before and they’ve got a lot to learn.

Here are five ways to engage, inform and hopefully persuade them to become long-term customers.

1. Make a first-time customer’s visit to your store as helpful as possible.
Clear and helpful signage. Friendly and patient staff. A well-lit and well-organized store. These may seem like good and obvious goals for any retail outfit, but you’d be surprised how easily these can degrade over time.

When’s the last time you looked at every piece of signage relating to your store — from the street to the restrooms — and thought about how new customers see it? How often do you join a salesperson and a customer just to listen to how the conversation goes? Ever drawn your store’s floor plan and noted how people flow through it, where the best-selling gear is located or whether there’s adequate lighting in every part of it?

Take all of this a step further: Is the signage consistent and clear, something that elevates your store’s brand? Do your salespeople know how long they should spend with an inquisitive or chatty customer? Could you provide any printed resources to provide the basics on firearms, gear and how to use them?

Customer experiences are multi-sensory, multi-faceted enterprises and potentially very intimidating for the newbie. Once you find out a customer is relatively new to firearms (and you should ask every single customer about their experience), thank them for visiting the store, ask them how their visit went and what one thing could have made it more helpful to them.