Is there anything more thrilling than that of sporting clays? The calling for the clay... "Pull", the movement of the gun barrel as you track it trough the sky, finding that perfect spot when you just know you're going to break it, and when you do, watching the little pieces of bright orange fall to the ground. From the very first time I got behind a shotgun, I was completely hooked!
I was raised in the South where it seemed like everyone owned some type of firearm. Being taught from an early age about firearms has helped define who I am today. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be a competitive shooter, I would probably have answered something like, "It sounds cool, but I don't think I'm competition material". It takes breaking out of your comfort zone and taking risks. I didn't want to get out there and be so nervous that I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn! I didn't want to get out there and sustain the typical stereotype that we have all heard of too well. So, I started training and I started training hard. Not only have I been training on the range by putting down some lead, but I have also been doing "classroom" type training.
Imagine yourself with $1000 in your pocket and you want to buy a gun. Maybe this is your first. Maybe it’s your seventh. Either way, you are ready to drop some money and you need someone to show you some merchandise.
Enter the “difference maker”—the sales guy that can make this a great experience or someone that will take you back to the Stone Age. You’re shaking your head right now, right? You know where I am going. We’ve all been there. Let’s face it, we all have stories that range from mildly disparaging to completely ridiculous. This is so common we could keep adding to this list weekly with new content.
We are part of a movement. More and more women are not only buying guns, but we are doing it ourselves. We don’t need escorts to the gun store anymore. Because of our training, we are walking in the store knowing what we like and what we need. Stores can either get on board, or lose our business. Luckily, more and more shops are training employees consultative selling: Listen more. Talk less.
I asked a few Sure Shots about their previous experiences when buying a firearm: “What were some of the comments or scenarios that made you roll your eyes?” If you are a gun store owner, consider this training material, and never assume your staff won’t “go there”.
"Hey there little lady.” I kid you not. This was said.
“You don’t want to shoot that. That’s too much gun for you.”
“This is your first gun? You should get a revolver. It’s easier to manipulate.”
“This is your first gun? You should get a .380. It has less recoil.”
“Don’t Make Her Mad!” (usually accompanied by a “heh, heh”). We do not consider ourselves loose cannons whipping out our guns when some guy offends us. That’s not what we are about. The first few times we hear this, we laugh it off. About the 100th time we hear it, it gets old. Just assume the woman you are talking with has heard it already.
Ever wanted to find out more about competitive shooting?
Well, Julie Golob has the perfect guide to put you on the right path. Her book, SHOOT: Your Guide to Shooting & Competition, gives the detailed description of a wide variety of shooting sports available across the U.S., plus additional information on the firearms, equipment and fundamental skills needed for the sport.
This article originally appeared in Sure Shots Magazine #Issue12 - May 2015.
This month in our spotlight of Women in the Industry, we would like to introduce to you the owner of Flashbang HolstersLISA LOOPER. With a background in fashion, Lisa has created a successful company creating gear with women in mind.
Sure Shots Magazine: Please tell us a little about your company, Flashbang Holsters.
Lisa Looper: Flashbang Holsters is a small family business located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We proudly make all of our holsters and belts in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - the nation’s heartland!
SSM: How long has your company been in business?
LL: Our company as a whole was founded in 1938 by my husband’s grandfather. He’s a third generation business owner with Looper Leather Goods, our parent company. I started toying with the idea for the Flashbang around 2007 and then began to pursue it in earnest in 2009. We actually brought the Flashbang to the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting (first time we sold it publicly) and I remember that we sold exactly 42 that weekend.