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September 25, 2014

Retailers Seminars an Invaluable Presence at Home, SHOT Show


We recently wrapped up the last two Retailer Education Seminars of 2014, and those last few sessions always give us pause before we sit down and put to paper the topics and discussion sessions we want to add for our 2015 seminars that start in the spring. For instance, we know we’re already planning on extending the hours of our seminars and are working to choose from the many topics our past attendees have indicated they’d like to learn more about. We see many retailers coming to these invaluable sessions more than once, and that tells us we’re not only offering tools that help them stay in compliance and make sound business decisions, they’re also learning something new with each conference they attend.

Dan Miller, owner of The Firearms Exchange, LLC, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, attended one of our last 2014 Retailer Education Seminars, held in September, in Denver.

“I’m retired law enforcement of 36 years, and my firearms business of 25 years is focused mostly towards LE/Military clients,” explained Miller. “I don’t advertise or have walk-in customers other than referrals—and I don’t do much blogging, Facebooking, etc. Nevertheless, the seminar as offered by NSSF is a great opportunity to get back to the basics and get polished once again with the importance of paying attention to the details of keeping one’s A&D books in order and making sure the 4473s are maintained as need be before any ATF audits.

Miller continued,  “The seminar was also very worthwhile, because it gave us an opportunity to interact directly with NSSF staff and ATF experts, ask specific and unique questions, and to visit with other FFLs. It’s a great benefit to being a member of NSSF.”

That’s exactly the kind of response we want from our retailers attending our seminars. And though one might expect to get that kind of enthusiasm from someone new to the business, a veteran retailer such as Miller praising this program truly demonstrates what a great resource this is for retailers and range operators of all experience levels.

Of course, our nationwide Retailer Education Seminars are just one way we work to provide the services our members need. The larger cousin to these highly popular regional seminars is SHOT Show University.

Always a sell-out, SHOT Show University is SHOT Show’s premier event for retailers and range operators. Held the day before the show opens, this year’s Jan. 19 event begins with an address by renowned speaker Dr. Linda Talley. Doctor Talley’s background as a executive coach and leadership developer lends itself well to this opening session, where her talk will focus on leadership lessons that can increase your store’s internal performance, increase sales and produce loyal customers.

Following the opening address, SSU registrants will have four educational tracks to choose from and attend. These include:

  • Track 1: ATF Compliance—Did you know that 80 percent of violations cited by the ATF are related to 4473 errors? This education track will teach you how to avoid the most common mistakes, plus ways to better maintain your A&D books, correct mistakes you do discover, methods of dealing with compliance while working on the road, and advice on passing an ATF exception without a single negative mark.
  • Track 2: Drive Your Sales—Geared for those looking for new ways to improve performance, increase customer traffic and realize new profits, attendees in this track will learn about virtual marketing practices, ways to stand apart from the competition, promotional tactics that get results and devices to up your cash flow.
  • Track 3: Retailing 101—While new retailers will derive the most from this track, there’s something here for anyone in the consumer end of the firearms industry. Topics here include loss prevention and site security, basics of digital marketing, how to improve inventory turn rates, merchandising practices that get noticed and budgeting for advertising.
  • Track 4: Veteran Retailer—This is where the old dogs learn new tricks, such as how to run the back office better, making the most out of the store layout you have, ramping up e-commerce plans, and hiring practices that bring the customers to your store and turn them into regulars.

Generously sponsored by Smith & Wesson and the NASGW (National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers), SHOT Show University 2015 is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets to this year’s events are $250, but, to show our appreciation to all our Premium Retail Members, those members are eligible to receive one complimentary ticket. For more information on SHOT Show University, go to shotshow.org/education/. To upgrade your membership to a Premium Retail level or to join the NSSF at whatever level best suits your business needs, go to nssf.org and click on the “Membership” heading.