DRUM SALES Done Right A Top-to-Bottom Primer on Acoustic Drum Retail T By Chris Brown oday’s retail environment is less about the “hard sell” and more about meeting the needs of the informed shopper. With the unlimited amount of information available on- line, many retail customers now enter our stores believ- ing they have as much knowledge as the sales people working there. While this may be true in some cases, in most, you will find that just because someone has a lot of information, it does not mean they are able to filter it sufficiently through real experience like our skilled sales people. The average drummer has had maybe two or three drum sets in their lives. They may have played on different kits while gigging, but have spent no time actually working with those kits. Their hands-on experience with different brands and different lines within those brands will be extremely limited. Our veteran sales people, however, are unboxing, assembling, tuning, playing, and selling kits from different brands and series ev- ery day. They have the experience to be able to explain to a client how 20 • CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE DW’s True Pitch tension rods differ from those commonly found on other kits and, more importantly, why this distinction should matter to the drummer. (DW tension rods have a 5 mm thread as com- pared to others who use 12 or 24 mm. This means DW has more threads per inch and that allows the user to tension the head more precisely.) Choosing a drum set should be based less on the brand your customer’s favourite drummer plays and more about what your customer intends to do with the kit. Jeffrey Long, VP of sales and marketing at Long & McQuade, instructs his staff to “ask open-ended questions” like: What style of music do they play? are they playing at home or are they gigging? what is their current kit? what type of sound are they after?