The all-important first impression really does have a lasting impact, lends Jason Gentz, manager of Arnzen Arms in Eden Prairie, Minn.

“We’ve always treated our customers with patience and respect regardless of their experience level. Ultimately, the new shooter is going to come back (or not) because of their initial experience,” he said. “If we took the time to walk them through the process at their speed they’ll engage with our marketing assets. If we confirm their prejudices about our industry they will not.”

While it might be tempting to “cash in” on this season of record demand, it won’t benefit your business in the long run, advises John Paulk, president of Shot Spot in Carrollton, Ga.

“Dealers have to be careful not to price gouge the consumer in these times. The customer memory is stronger than the sale,” he said.