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Increased sales with reloading clinics.

Increase Sales With Reloading Clinics

It's springtime and we sure don't have to remind you the shooting sports take a backseat to the fishing season at this time of the year. Aside from some varmint hunting and perhaps skeet, trap, sporting clays and some rifle or handgun plinking, the great majority of your sportsmen clientele are now focusing their attention to the spring fishing season.

Yet there is a better way to bolster sales of firearms and associated paraphernalia during this historically dull period of inactivity by hosting specially-oriented "in-house" firearms-related clinics and more specifically, reloading clinics.

Reloading clinics are a natural. Why, we don't know of a single retailer who was ever disappointed following such an in-house session. Indeed, past experience has proved that no other in-house promotion is quite as successful when it comes to attracting customers and renewing interest in the shooting sports during the often termed slack period, than a reloading clinic.

Remember, reloading clinics not only attract the neophyte and prospective reloader but the veteran as well. Most experienced reloaders are always seeking added technical information to enhance their expertise, while the neophyte continues to search for the basics.

Also keep in mind statistics reveal that just one shooter in every six handloads his own ammunition. This means the market potential for reloading equipment and associated components can be substantial at all retail outlets which support firearm/hunting departments.

The immediate benefit is the in-house reloading clinic will generate impulse or "on-the-spot" sales of reloading equipment and components, while the long-term benefits are similarly advantageous since reloading is not a "one-shot" operation. The avid handloader is not only required to make an initial purchase of reloading tools such as a press, dies, powder, bullets, shot, wads, etc.

But foremost, the most beneficial aspect derived from an in-house handloading clinic is that it does attract potential customers into your store, especially during the off-season and the end result is more dollars in the till.

Another point. Such dealer-hosted in-house reloading clinics strongly suggest to the consumer that you indeed have a special expertise in all aspects of the shooting sports and therefore the shooting-oriented consumer will invariably turn to your sporting goods emporium for all his firearms related purchases.

Nevertheless, hosting such a clinic takes some planning and you must also consider the precise depth of such a program. Should you aim the clinic at the neophyte or the experienced reloader? If you decide to concentrate your efforts on a beginner's clinic you should offer only the basics and general procedures of handloading with particular emphasis on safety.

On the other hand, if you wish to host such a clinic for the experienced handloader it should provide concise information regarding ballistics, case pressures, specific loads, etc. And if you don't have the necessary expertise for such a session or cannot find a person with such expertise to conduct a more technical session, then we suggest you offer a clinic aimed at the beginner.

To further determine what type of clinic would be most successful in your immediate area you should ask yourself: Should such a program be centered about the reloading of metallic as well as shotshells or merely one phase of the reloading theme? If you are established primarily as a rifle/handgun dealership there is no question such as clinic should be geared to the reloading of metallic cartridges. Judge the situation for your needs.

Also keep in mind that attempting to conduct such a dual clinic en-compassing both regimens can get bogged down in too much small detail and become much too time-consuming and equally confusing to your customers. Separate clinics may be the answer.

In past years we attended many such in-house clinics hosted by several large sporting goods dealers and several attracted so many prospective handloaders that the retailers in question were forced to host their clinics not at their shop but at larger halls. This can be a major mistake.

Under no circumstances should you feature such a clinic at locations other than your store, unless it is at a local gun club. When conducting such a clinic you want the customer to come into your store. You want him to peruse your merchandise. He cannot do this at other locations.

Unquestionably, the most opportune time to conduct such a clinic is during periods of anticipated high traffic such as Friday evening or Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

To be sure reloading clinics are often sponsored by sporting goods dealers immediately preceding or immediately following the fall hunting season and without question it makes sense to feature such promotions at these times. Yet equal interest is generated by such clinics during the off-seasons, during the winter months and again during the spring season when fishing activity generally takes precedence over the shooting sports.

When preparing for a reloading clinic the retailer does not necessarily have to obtain a wide assortment of reloading tools nor does he have to invest any large sums of money. Through the years any number of highly successful clinics have been conducted with just two or three types of reloading presses mounted on a sturdy bench or table so the reloading process can be easily observed by the consumer. Also, all related reloading tools and components must be readily displayed and above all, the dealer should be absolutely certain he has all such items in stock.

We're sure we don't have to tell you that nothing is more aggravating to a customer than to have his appetite whetted for a "new hobby" and find you don't have the tools or components for reloading in his inventory.

So now that the fishing seasons are moving into high gear, don't be content to let your inventory of shooting and especially reloading equipment gather dust. With a bit of ingenuity and a little effort you can host a reloading clinic that will positively attract interested customers -- and ultimately, add dollars to your coffers.
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Title Annotation:reloading of ammunition
Author:Brant, Howard
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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