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March 29, 2019

VIDEO: How to Expand Sales to Women


By Shari LeGate, FMG Publications

Reaching a new customer base like women can expand sales but reaching them means understanding and meeting their needs, not about how they differ from men.

Women are a segment of the market that just keeps growing and growing and reaching this market is worth the effort. Expanding your customer base to include this flourishing segment of the outdoor community will only result in increased sales.

Women make up half of all U.S. outdoor consumers. They are responsible for 85 percent of household income spending in the U.S. Their estimated spending power is estimated to be more than 2 trillion dollars a year and 50 percent of products marketed to men are actually purchased by women. They control an incredible amount of buying power and understanding how women shop, what they want and need can expand your customer base, creating a new, loyal consumer.

A woman doesn’t need to be a firearm user to be your customer. Keep in mind, she’s buying not just for herself, but for her family and friends as well. They are a rising consumer power, they are primary decision-makers, and by communicating effectively with them, your store becomes a resource in the community.

Avoid generalizing an entire gender

Women are not a niche market or a minority. They’re not just “moms,” “daughters” or “single women.” Focusing on specific types of woman will risk alienating larger sections of the remaining market. Women are multi-faceted people with a variety of interests and lifestyles so selling to them because they’re women won’t necessarily add to sales. Think of a female customer as an individual, focus on her needs and what stage of life she’s in. How can this product make her life easier?

Instead of pushing products, offer education

Training classes can encompass much more than a “how-to” on learning to shoot. Offer classes on gun cleaning & disassembly, ballistic guidance & reloading. Add a ladies night, to introduce them to like-minded women.

Carry products they need

When it comes to available products, be sure your sales team knows what they’re talking about. It’s less about talking to women and more about building a relationship to answer their questions. Avoid the P’s: Patronizing and Pink.

Move past speaking to the female market as the women of yesterday. Women today shop around and research before they buy, but when it comes time to purchase, they’re willing to pay more for three things: durability, high quality and comfort. They are communicators and when you communicate value, the purchase will follow.

Recognizing an expanding customer base is the first step — reaching it is the second. Challenge the stereotypes. Talk to them as people, as members of the outdoor community, as firearms enthusiasts. Reaching this new customer base is about understanding and meeting their needs, not about how they differ from men.

To find more tips and more information about on how to improve your business, visit NSSF.org.