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Dealers value education and fun at the RSR Shoot.

The weather tried to shoot down RSR's Dealer Shoot in Reno, Nev., on April 29 and 30. With high winds threatening to blow the display tent down, the first day's attendance by dealers was about 200. However, the RSR staff worked diligently, keeping everything tied down so that day two was ready for the rush and excitement of 300 dealers.

Like all of RSR's shoots, over 100 manufacturers and reps had their merchandise on display for retailers to "touchie/feelie," with additional hardware on the firing line for live shooting sessions. The RSR Shoot is much more personal than the SHOT Show, because dealers can give orders while moving about the displays with their RSR salesman. At the SHOT Show, the RSR folks are less free to move around, and there is no provision for live firing.

As always, retailers commented on how much fun the RSR events are, especially for those dealers who don't get to fire the guns they sell. There also are some real business benefits to these events that are sponsored each year in all seven of the RSR Regions.

Greg Block, RSR West regional sales manager explained there are several business incentives for dealers, manufacturers and RSR.

For dealers there are the great bargains, including discounts of 40 percent and more on certain items. There is the opportunity for gun shop employees to receive valuable information from manufacturers. Finally, there's the opportunity for dealers to meet their RSR salesman.

For the manufacturer and reps, the shoot is a chance to meet a lot of smaller dealers in one location. It's also a chance for them to introduce products that weren't available at the SHOT Show. RSR also uses the events to provide information from the American Shooting Sports Council.

While the annual Western event doesn't draw all the dealers in the region, it's getting bigger every year. To help make the shoot available to more dealers, the location is rotated geographically throughout the region.

Bob Toces owns Blue Star Arms in Newhall, Calif. Why does he attend the RSR Shoot? "It's fun!" he said. In addition, he stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings with RSR salesmen.

Toces emphasized the importance of the dealer/distributor relationship. He buys over 80 percent of his products from distributors because it's simpler and faster. According to Toces, RSR knows how to manage money and get quantity discounts that they pass on to the retailer.

This, Toces points out, allows his employees to spend more time selling than buying. Most of Toces' purchases are verbal orders, which means that integrity is the key to doing business. Toces said the importance of the dealer and his RSR salesman knowing each other personally can't be overemphasized. Toces brought two full-time employees to last year's shoot in Los Angeles but went alone to Reno due to the increased travel costs.

Nick Flores, of Nick's Gunworks in Lodi, Calif., has been in business for 24 years and owns a one-man shop with occasional, part-time help. He likes the relaxed, almost picnic-like atmosphere of the RSR Shoot that offers time for in-depth discussions and personal dealings with RSR salesmen and management.

Flores also buys over 80 percent of his items from distributors and takes full advantage of the special deals offered by RSR at the Shoot. In addition to testing the products he sells, but doesn't always get to actually use, he talks to manufacturers and reps about product availability schedules. Nick considers the shoot a "necessary part of doing business" and tries to attend every year. Sometimes he brings his part-time employees as a show of appreciation.

The shoot, according to Flores, is an excellent opportunity to follow up on items that were missed at the SHOT Show.

Also at the shoot to discuss activities of the American Shooting Sports Council (ASSC) were Michael Saporito, RSR's senior V.P. and legal counsel, and Richard Feldman, executive director for ASSC.

Dealers who haven't attended an RSR Regional Shoot, have missed a lot. At the Reno event, besides the business opportunities, there was a great BBQ, a terrific performance on the firing line by Rob Leatham and Jack Barnes of Team Springfield; and an opportunity to shoot hard-to-get, impossible-to-keep-in-stock guns. As Nick Flores said, dealers who miss an RSR Shoot miss "... a necessary part of your business."


RSR Wholesale Guns West 4700 Air Center Circle Reno, NV 89502 (800) 634-4867, (702) 827-2111 Fax: (702) 827-2380


RSR Wholesale Guns 21 Trolly Circle Rochester, NY 14606 (800) 458-4867, (716) 426-4380 Fax: (716) 426-3814
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Title Annotation:RSR Wholesale Guns Inc.
Author:Williams, Dick
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Aug 1, 1995
Previous Article:How to use in-store promotions to boost sales.
Next Article:Are you armed and ready - in the gunshop?

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