This past weekend, I went to the Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show with a friend of mine. It’s a sports and recreation show with over a hundred booths for all things hunting, fishing, and outdoors related. I didn’t go for any specific item. I mainly wanted to look around and see what was there.
One of our last stops was at a booth for an app that tells you if the land you’re on is public or private. Several people have mentioned this app to me before and said it’s a great tool to use when hunting. I’ve seriously considered purchasing this app knowing that I’ll likely be hunting on public land this year. So I was happy that we found the company’s booth.
The man working at the booth overheard me saying I was interested in the app and walked over. Immediately, he focused his attention on my male friend. He gave him the whole sales pitch, not even glancing my direction. I was pretty taken aback.
Part of me wanted to stop him mid-sentence to say, “Hello!! Hi! Interested, potential customer over this way!” Instead, I just stood there waiting to see if he would include me in the conversation.
He never did.
According to Census Bureau Statistics, women currently make up 11% of all U.S. hunters. From 2006 to 2011, the number of female hunters rose by 25%. More and more women are becoming involved in hunting and guess what, we’re going to be buying a lot of products that men buy. The average hunter spends $1,638 every year (National Hunting and Fishing Day).
Maybe we don’t look like your typical customer, but our money looks just the same. That company lost a potential $100 sale because their employee failed to acknowledge the female hunter right in front of him. Worse, I now have a pretty poor view of the company and will look elsewhere when I do end up purchasing a GPS hunting app.
As we walked away, my friend commented, “It’s funny you were the one that said you were interested in it, but then he never even talked to you.” Sadly, I knew the reason. He was male, I was female. In that employee’s mind, the female standing before him had no use for the app.
I did actually consider making myself a part of the conversation, but stopped when I realized it’s his job to sell me the product, not my job to make him realize I’m a potential customer. The power of being a consumer is choosing where you spend your money and in that moment, I knew I’d rather give my money to another company.
If companies fail to see the value of female customers, they really are the ones losing out at the end of the day.
Have any of you female hunters dealt with something similar? It can be frustrating, to say the least! How did you deal with it? Comment below and share your experience!