Secrets of selling fine optics: how do you boost your optics sales volume to millions of dollars per year? Ask ron kesselring.

Author:Oeltjen, Ray

This is a story about a customer who may have been in your shop, or at least someone like him.

Eric was excited about his upcoming hunting trip. He'd been hunting only a short time, mostly for birds and deer, both with a shotgun. Now he was set for his first rifle antelope hunt out West. While he didn't have much experience, he felt confident he'd get good advice from his local gun dealer.

His main goal was to find the right rifle. His hunting buddies all agreed a .270 bolt rifle would be a good choice. The young man behind the counter sold him a good used .270, and correctly informed Eric that he needed a riflescope.

So far, so good. But then things began to fall apart.

Eric questioned the dealer about the merits of different riflescopes. Not being familiar with riflescope features and anxious to make the sale, the young clerk suggested a "bargain" 3-9x4Omm scope on sale for $39. He assured Eric it would fit the bill perfectly. It even had a lifetime warranty. He also convinced Eric he needed binoculars and suggested a $29.99 model. The sales clerk made an easy sale, and Eric felt good about saving money.

Not surprisingly, Eric's hunt didn't turn out quite the way he had planned. His binoculars were of little use on the vast plains of Wyoming. They simply made objects larger, but provided little if any detail to indicate an animal's quality.

To make matters worse, a rainstorm fogged his riflescope, rendering it useless for most of the hunt. The result: Eric's trip wasn't successful and he lost much of his enthusiasm for big-game hunting. He also knew where not to shop for his outdoor gear, and he told his buddies.

More Than Afterthought

While this is a fictional story, the basic scenario plays out thousands of times a year in sporting goods stores and gun shops all across America. Many consumers and dealers spend a lot of time in selecting the right rifle for a hunt, yet give only minor thought to optics. They're usually treated as an afterthought.

Some of that has to do with the vast number of optics available on the market. Then there's all those sizes, shapes, features and price ranges -- yes, it can be confusing.

Despite the challenges of selling fine optics, there are dealers who excel in this market. What are their secrets?

Offer The Best Optics For Top Sales

Ron Kesselring of Kesselring Gun Shop in Burlington, Wash., owns and runs one of the most successful gun shops in America. Although his store is in northern Washington, away...

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