where have all of the good salespeople gone?
I'm brand new to this forum. I've been searching around for info now that I've decided I want my first handgun. Well, here is my first experience in finding the right gun.
so, i'm looking to get my first handgun. i don't know very much about semi-auto pistols. the other day i was at Bass Pro south of Houston. i tried to ask this older gentleman about a few pistols i was admiring. he however was more interested in talking bullsheet with no one in particular. i'm okay with that. i didn't expect to get good help at Bass Pro.
tonight on the other hand, i went to Top Gun of Texas. so, i ask the dude behind the counter to tell me a little about different guns. i tell him i'm brand new to handguns and try to ask some questions about different features.
here's how the conversation went at that point
SG (salesguy), "get a Glock".
SG, "they're the best"
me, "what makes them the best"
SG, "most reliable, you can trick it out"
me, "uh huh"
SG, "used all over the world. you can come out of the water shooting it"
at this point as you can see he's explained absolutely nothing about features on any gun.
me, "can you tell me about what features come a gun? i have read about single action and double action. what does that mean?
SG, "double action is harder to pull"
me, "why is that? how does it work?"
SG, "hey (insert other SG name) can you explain the difference between double action and single aciton?
OSG actually gives me a good explanation.
SG, "you should just rent some guns and shoot"
that was basically the end of our conversation.
i'm no longer in a sales position, but i grew up working in retail. i know how to listen to the customer and at least try and give an answer.
i hate nothing more than asking a question and getting "buy this".
sorry for the rant, but i'm sick of poor customer service these days. wake up people. most of the time, i can buy the same item online for quite a bit less. i don't mind paying more if i can get good help.
Welcome aboard, the salesman was right about renting and trying different guns to find what you like and shoot best. The rest of his time was a waste. Every one has thier favorite and you will learn which will become yours. Godd luck and enjoy the life long learning adventure.
Don't let them win! I agree it is frustrating, however here is some advice. It may apply to you, it may not. I found a place called Bob's Little Sport Shop, and it is about a 40 minute ride from my house. Throughout the process of picking out my first handgun, I constantly dropped in. Everyone in the store was more than happy to pull any gun out of the case I wanted to see, and in addition, go over every single detail and feature of the gun.
1. Find a local (or maybe not so local if you do not mind a drive for service) gun shop, whose salespeople truly care about one customer at a time.
2. Establish a relationship with them even after the purchase. You may pay a little bit more for ammo, or accessories, but can you put a price on service?
I know that I may pay a few more dollars for whatever it is I buy there, however, I know that for years to come I will have an extremely knowledgable, friendly, family owned and operated gun shop!
A lot of the larger sporting goods stores, like many retailers, rotate their staff around the store or quite simply give people their station for the day as they come in. The result is that sometimes you get people behind the gun counter whose only technical knowledge about guns is what they can read off the tag, and their only experience is anecdotal from their customers and more knowledgeable staff. That's never a good scenario for the firearms department, but the alternative is hiring dedicated gun-counter guys and paying them more for their knowledge (and the corporate offices of said retail chains are numbers-minded and not likely to approve).
How do you change it? Vote with your wallet. If the store cannot answer your questions, they don't deserve your business, and that applies to mom & pop gun shops as well. It's worth paying $20 more for a firearm when the guy selling it can give you "inside info" about the gun that you wouldn't get from the manual or a big-box "attendant".
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