Selling Low-Light Handgun Sights

Educate gun buyers and help them find the right aftermarket sights for their needs.

Selling Low-Light Handgun Sights

Customers who want to upgrade from their standard handgun sights for better nighttime visibility have plenty of options. Helping them find the right solution, and even installing it, provides you with plenty of opportunity. Here are a few tips on what to know about aftermarket night sights and how to sell them.

Be a trusted resource.

Some customers are well-versed in what sighting solutions are available for their handgun and how it all works. But more often than not, your typical customer will be new to shooting or might have recently completed a concealed pistol license course. As such, he or she may be shopping around for “night sights” because a trusted somebody in their life said that would be a good thing to get for their handgun. 

As you interact with this type of customer, take the time to winsomely educate them on the important details of alternative sighting solutions for their handgun. As you get to know the customer and their situation, you may discover several key facts: Maybe they’re actually unsure if their current handgun was the right choice for them, maybe they don’t need low-light sights but some other piece of gear, or maybe they’re price shopping your store but plan to buy online in an effort to get a better deal. In any case, interact with them in a way that makes you a trusted resource. Give them an education, not a hard sell. 

Be prepared to talk about sighting technology (fiber optics, Tritium, light-absorption, etc.), the pros and cons of each, how each functions in daily civilian concealed carry, and the relation of sight picture to target acquisition and how that all works with the gun safety rules about knowing your target, sights on a target, and so forth. Have resources available describing and comparing sight pictures — three-dot, lollipop, and so on. Be clear as to what aftermarket sights are actually available and in-stock for the customer’s gun, but also show them other sights with different sight pictures that might only be available for other guns.

It’s OK to raise more questions than answers when dealing with customers. After all, this is a very important tool that only gets used in the most extreme of circumstances. But that’s why being a trusted resource for the customer will more than likely pay off in the long run as they return to your store again and again to learn and buy.

Provide a low-light demo.

You've probably seen the memes about how people learn — decently through being told, better through being shown, and even better when they’re hands on. It’s true in a sales environment, too. So, for pitching low-light sights to customers, provide a way for them to hold a pistol (or a practice pistol such as a “blue gun”) that has low-light sights installed and have them experience this in a low-light environment. That may require a special room or other place in your store where you can easily control lighting and conjure up scenarios to help your customers think through them. Be mindful that some customers may find this a bit uncomfortable; you may be able to alleviate awkwardness by having both male and female sales staff available to help customers.

Help your customers fight being too focused on just the sights or trying too much to think drawing their gun is the only solution. Really this may give you the chance to talk about situational awareness, planning means of escape, and avoiding low-light areas as much as possible. But if they have to draw, that likely raises the opportunity to talk about the need for training and practice — which is just plain smart in addition to providing a cross-sell opportunity.

Another reason for the dedicated space for demonstrating low-light sights is to show what they actually look like compared to one another and how they perform as lighting changes. Some may be compelled not only by how the sights perform in hand, but also how they perform as the proverbial nightstand gun. Glowing, always-on low-light sights can bring an extra measure of confidence.

Another twist on this — if you have a range and rental guns — is to have various low-light sights installed on some of your rental guns and a way to darken the range to help demonstrate what it’s like to shoot with them.

Offer a full solution.

Even if changing sights on a handgun is a relatively simple mechanical process and even if your customer claims to be skilled at it, offer an installation solution at a reasonable price with a “fix it for free” guarantee if the sights should come loose or have some kind of defect not already covered by the manufacturer. This may provide some additional peace of mind to your customer and, at the very least, keeps them in your store or returning to your store. If possible, do the sight swap right at the time of purchase.

Other options include selling a sight installation tool kit — including sight pushers for the more exuberant buyers who have an arsenal to tend to.

Use low light to sell flashlights.

Not every low-light situation requires the drawing and use of a handgun. And you and your customers should know that once that gun comes out, the whole scenario changes — for good or bad. In many instances, a tactical flashlight may be a better first draw than a gun. A tactical flashlight has several advantages: It can be used to light up the area, momentarily blind or distract a threatening person, used as a strike weapon and more. And when it comes out, it’s still just a flashlight. But if the situation still demands the use of a gun, then the flashlight still adds a tactical advantage: Potential targets may be better seen and threats may be temporarily blinded.

Finally, having a tactical light paired with a low-light sight option for a handgun may be helpful to customers who are keen on mounting a staged defense of verbal commands, blinding light or other types of interventions leading up to, if necessary, drawing a handgun. 


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