Sporting Dog Profits

Experts Share Six Tips For Selling Training Products

Hunters who hunt with dogs spend a lot of money on their sporting canines.

“Even though we’re in a recession, the dog industry has been very good, and we’ve continued to sell equipment,” said Pete Fischer of Dogtra, makers of e-collars and other dog-training products. “If you have a dog, you still have to feed it and train it. People aren’t going to get rid of their dog just because times are tough. A lot of gun dealers who don’t sell dog products don’t realize how big the industry is.”

Those potential sales don’t always come from sporting-dog owners, Fischer points out.

“Dealers may get some crossover from the pet trade, depending on what their market is,” Fischer said. “Scheel’s Sports stores sell a lot of what I call ‘yuppie sports equipment,’ such as snowboards, skis and sporting equipment, as well as electronic collars and gun-dog equipment. In a store like that, you’ll get a lot of customers who are ‘pet people,’ although you might not have those customers in a store that’s strictly ‘hook and bullet.’”

Tip #1: Identify Your Customers

“Of 100 customers who come into your store, 10 to 15 will be interested in dog-training equipment,” said Gary Williams, Tri-Tronics manager of marketing and sales.

Based on what a customer buys, you can ask questions about what kind of dog he may have.

“If he’s buying something for waterfowl or bird hunting, ask him if he’s training a retrieving dog,” Williams said. “Quickly qualify your customers as to what they may want.”

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