When a woman consumer approaches your gun counter, be welcoming! She may be an educated consumer or she may be new to firearms – either way, help her have a positive experience.
These methods combined together will give you the most success:
- Question Everything. You need to ask as many questions as possible to help her find the perfect firearm. Ask away! What is the purpose of this gun? Does it serve multiple purposes (Purse, carry, range, recreation, competition, defense)? Have you ever shot before? Do you want to go regularly to the range? Did someone tell you to buy one or is this something you want to do (recreation, stress relief, fear)?
- Keep It Simple. When checking your vision, your optometrist gives you two options at a time: 1 or 2? A or B? This is a great method at the gun counter, too. Present two guns, review the features, and let her make a selection. Replace the loser with another gun with preferred features, review them, let her make another selection, and replace the loser. Continue this pattern until she has a favorite. Women consumers are generally eager to learn, but newbies can be overwhelmed with a lot of mechanical specs and a dozen options on the counter.
- Be a Resource. The NSSF’s Women’s Study proved that women are more comfortable making firearms purchases when training opportunities are also made available. Give them female-friendly resources to help them make decisions. For example, AGirlandAGun.org has a lot of information, a list of female instructors, local events, and they can help her learn how to use her gun, store it, carry it, decorate it, and more!
- Be an Active Listener. Most importantly, don’t be condescending and don’t assume she’s uninformed. By being an active listener, you can point her to a gun that she will love!
|She says…||You say…||Don’t say…|
|“I want a Bodyguard (or LCP).”||“Let’s take a look. What do you like about it? Did you pick this one out or did someone else suggest it for you? What are you going to use it for? Is it just for carry or do you want to have range time? Have you shot it before? Dry fire and let them rack the slide. If they struggle, try a different brand. Where do you want to carry it? If purse, then let them know that any good purse will have an adjustable holster so you can carry small or large guns. There are more holster options for women than ever before so don’t be afraid to go bigger.”||“You don’t want that.”|
Tell the good points of the one that they are looking at, but also tell the good points of one that you think they will like better. If she struggles with racking the slide, teach her how to do it. (See “Racking the Slide” below.
|“My husband said I should get a gun.”||“Great! Did he recommend one? Why does he think you need it? What will you be using it for? Protection? Fun? Sports? Have you shot before? Did you like it? What did you shoot? Does he have a favorite brand? Is there any gun that you have wanted to try?”||“You need a revolver.” Revolvers are good for those with arthritis who can’t hold a slide and those who have no desire to shoot/practice, but many women enjoy a semiauto with additional round capacity.|
|“I like the pretty one.”||“Absolutely, try this one, and then we can try some others that may fit your hand a little better. You can easily duracoat or cerakote your gun later, so let’s focus on fit and function rather than looks for now.”||“You need the girl model.”|
Focus on goals and fit, not looks. Customize the color when you find the right gun for you.