Meet The Team: Sales & Service
Meet The Team: Sales & Service
Sales and Customer support is a critical part of any successful business. Let’s be honest, without each and every satisfied customer, we wouldn’t be the Silencer Shop you’ve grown to know and (hopefully) love. But what’s at the heart of our customer support and sales team? We’ve got a small dedicated team who answers your calls and takes the time to assist you in your needs. To date, there are over 1800 Powered By Silencer Shop dealers across the country, and as our network grows, our team works diligently to keep efforts running as smoothly as possible for you, dealers, and manufacturers. With over 200 silencer models in our inventory (and growing daily), the vast knowledge of the sales and customer support team is not only impressive, but also ever-expanding.
I took a moment to sit down and ask what greases the wheel at this company. This is a collection of a series of interviews to incorporate the most comprehensive ideas of what our sales team is all about (and who you talk to when you call us or walk in to our shop).
Q: When someone calls in and they have no idea what they want, or they just found out silencers were legal to own, how do you navigate that conversation?
A: This happens every day. I normally start the conversation with yes [silencers] are legal, and there’s a prescribed protocol on how to buy and own one. I talk them through that first because a lot of the first-time buyers, if they’ve never experienced or never even realized silencers were legal… have no basis or a start position. I always want to tell them what to expect upfront on the timeline process. And then I qualify what type of firearms that they’re looking to suppress and then we have a discussion on what their expectations of silencers are. You’d be surprised how many people have the perception of what silencers portray in movies where it’s dead quiet and somebody claps their hands and that’s all you hear. That is still a misconception that’s out in the public. Once they understand the process and the realistic expectations, it’s normally a very easy process to identify what silencer will help them or benefit them the most. I just encourage customers to ask questions because there is a wide range of suppressors out there in capabilities and pricing and it’s important for them to make the choice for themselves.
A lot of our customer base thinks you can only put [a silencer] on one firearm and they don't realize that you can put multiple calibers through them. In addition, asking what they have, or what they are looking at purchasing in the future to be able to run their rounds through. That'll help us for some of our suggestions for that.
Q: When someone comes into the shop or calls in and they say they want the shortest, lightest, quietest can, how do you manage those expectations?
A: I tell them to pick two [of those options]. You’re never going to find one that’s going to be the shortest, quietest, and lightest and meet their expectations; that’s the illusive ghost product. Manufacturers will manufacturer in titanium for lightness, but if they want something quiet, then length is an important factor of the silencer. It’s the amount of expelled gas that’s retained by the silencer. So, a shorter silencer is inherently less capable of suppression [as compared to longer silencers]. You have to gauge what their expectations are coupled with what type of firearm and what type of calibers that they’ll be shooting.
It becomes a game of 20 questions on what they are planning on doing with it. What're your expectations? Are we rapid fire? Is this pinging targets? Is this for hunting purposes? Are you a distance shooter? If you are a distance shooter, what kind of distance are we talking about? Are we 150 yards, 300, 500, or are we pushing out 1,000? You've got different options for them depending on what they're wanting to do. You've got to pick their brain and narrow it down from there.
Q: Do you tend to lean more toward a one size fits all or a more caliber specific can (we also wrote a blog post discussing this more in depth)?
A: I tend to lean more toward caliber specific silencers. When I look for myself, I want the best possible suppression for the caliber I want to put it on. There’re two schools of thought – I tend to lean more toward that, but there’s the other school of thought that you’re willing to give up a decibel or two of suppression capability, you can expand the versatility of the silencer. Valid point if you’re willing to give up the suppression capability. I personally value the quietness of the suppressor and I try to maximize that for myself.
Q: What’s the best part of being on the sales and customer service team?
A: I get to speak with people every day who love firearms just like I do. And talking to somebody different every day. Every day, it's a different conversation. It's someone new, it's someone else across the country. And you're trying to explain the why's, how to's, ask what their using it for, and helping them choose their silencer.
Q: What’s the most difficult part of being on the sales and customer service team?
A: Setting expectations for the customer. There are a large number of customers in the general populous who really don’t understand what silencers are or the process to purchase a silencer. We get customers who call in and say I want you to ship it to me today and then when you explain to them the NFA and ATF (and ATF wait times) process, they’re taken aback by the amount of regulation that’s required for them to own one. So, you have to gently step them through it, setting the appropriate expectations on the timeline, and then help them choose the right suppressor for themselves.
[Another] big part is just explaining to customers that once the paperwork is submitted, we don't have updates that we can't tell them statuses, or we can't explain why their friend got approved faster than they are getting approved.
Q: Are there certain manufacturers you tend to lean toward?
A: I draw from a vast experience. I’ve got many years in the firearm industry. But I don’t have a set manufacturer or group of manufacturers. I really try to tailor the conversation with the customer to what drives their needs. [For example,] if they’re looking for an ultra-short can to put on their M4, 10.5-inch AR platform, there’s only going to be limited amounts of those out there, so you have to work with them. I don’t find any one manufacturer superior to another based on the full product range. There are some manufacturers, if you want to narrow the products down, that may have an edge over another manufacturer, but that’s only on a product to product basis… I don’t go into a conversation with a customer that I want to talk them into something; that’s not a good way of doing business. We’re here to assist the customer and find a solution that’s matched to them.
Q: What is one of the funniest or most unique calls you’ve ever received?
A: One of the funniest calls I’ve ever received happens fairly often; the person calling to place an order for a silencer but doesn’t want his wife to find out. Those are the funny ones. ‘Can I stop in and pay cash?’ or ‘I’m going to go buy a visa debit card.’
For the record, you can pay cash or use a prepaid debit card.
Q: What is one of the most common questions that you’re asked? And how do you respond to a question like that?
A: Which silencer is best for the caliber weapon that they’re choosing. You have to qualify what weapon they want to suppress so I’ll ask what the weapon is, what is the type of ammo they use, what is the barrel length, what kind of distances they typically shoot. What is their expectation? You try to narrow down, based on feedback from the customer, and guide them toward a good solution for them.
Q: What do you find is the most important for most people?
A: For most people, it’s going to be about suppression. But I'll get someone on the phone and hearing suppression is one of the first things I'll talk with to them about, but another big thing is the recoil factor. You get all of these guys who still want to hunt, and if you go with a decent suppressor, you're taking away about 30-40% of your recoil off of that firearm.
After interviewing a few guys on the team, I sat down with the CEO, Dave, and COO, Gary, of Silencer Shop. Their insight on sales and customer support has stayed the same since the genesis of the company, and that is that they want customers to leave having had a good experience: “I want people to look at the brand and trust it… that’s really important.” Their main objectives are focused on the customer and customer’s experience: “not talk down to the customer, being patient, and helping them make the decision is what I think we do best.” And that importance was reverberated throughout my discussions with them.
Are there any follow up questions you’d like to ask our sales and customer support team? Comment below on what you’d like to know.