“You have to meet Nancy Friedman,” said a friend in the shooting industry. “She’s ‘The Telephone Doctor’ and she shoots a GLOCK.”
Sponsored by GLOCK
Since that day, I’ve enjoyed a few entertaining phone conversations with Nancy, and we’ve never had 5 minutes lapse without a laugh. Nancy is an expert on customer service, communications and how-to-do telephone skills for businesses, and is the president of Telephone Doctor, a company based in St. Louis, Missouri. She also is new to the shooting world, and we thought you’d enjoy her story in this series titled “She Shoots a GLOCK.”
The WON: When people ask you what you do, what do you say? (Elevator speech length, please.)
Nancy Friedman: We help companies communicate better with their customers and coworkers with online training, events and webinars.
The WON: You are known throughout the world as “The Telephone Doctor”; what does that mean?
Nancy Friedman: As the world’s only Telephone Doctor, we are proud to have presented in many countries around the world. Seems as though the United States does not have a monopoly on poor customer service. It is a universal situation.
The WON: How did you come to be The Telephone Doctor?
Nancy Friedman: Long story … but, the short version is … I called my insurance agent and let him know how badly I was being treated by his staff. He asked me to come over to his office and show them ‘what should be happening.’ I did … I spoke from the heart, and after the 20-minute session, the president of the agency said, “Thanks. We really learned some new things.” New things? “Well,” said my husband. “No one had ever shown them.”
I happened to mention this story to the publisher of the Quad City Times newspaper in Davenport, Iowa, and he asked me to come to his paper and help them. It was at the end of the first session, that the editor of the paper came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you have all the cures … I’m going to call you the Doctor … The Telephone Doctor.’ I ran home to my husband and told him what I had been called, and asked, ‘What should we do?’ He said, ‘Let’s get it registered – and some fun!” That was about 30 years ago, and fun we’ve been having … living the dream, helping companies communicate better with their customers.
The WON: We have a common friend, Patrick Shay, who introduced us and the way he tells it, you came to the shooting sports world later in life? How and why?
Nancy Friedman: Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, it was a different time then, and my dad always said, ‘There will never be a gun in our house.’ There never was. So, when I got married, I carried the tradition, ‘There will never be a gun in our house.’ Several years ago, Dick got interested in personal defense and told me, ‘I’m going to get a gun.’ It was a ‘No, you’re not!’/’Yes, I am!’ argument for weeks. Well, Dick won, and I said, ‘OK, if we’re getting a firearm, we will take lessons. Just like a car, boat, motorcycle, whatever … you just don’t buy a gun and be done with it.’
Patrick had hired me to speak at the SHOT Show Retailers Seminar – 2 years in a row. We bonded quickly on the phone before we ever met. And yes, he hired me without me having ever touched a firearm. I was an expert on people, sales, communications and customer service, not guns. We were brought in to help retailers at the show. That’s what the show needed. Patrick was / is an incredible supporter. At the first show, I met Kevin, who said, ‘If you ever change your mind, and want to learn how to shoot, I can help you.’ He was from St. Louis, so before we purchased the gun, Dick and I both took our CCW class from our new friend, got a concealed carry license on the day of the CCW class. After lunch, we went to a range. (It was my very first time.) At the end of the hour of target shooting … it was I who got hooked. And FAST.
My son-in-law, Les Steinberg, a prominent St. Louis attorney, and a certified range safety officer as well as an NRA pistol instructor at the Gateway Gun Club, wanted to come along for the ‘lesson.’ He highly approved of our decision and was excited to welcome Dick and me into this new world.
The WON: What training have you accomplished so far and what’s in your future on the range?
Nancy Friedman: Les has become our ‘trainer’ and from the beginning has been more than a tremendous help to Dick and me. After shooting for 3 years now, and still ‘in training’ …. it’s my personal feeling there is NOT enough training for beginners. I was lucky. I have a great mentor. But now when I go into the range, and I see women (and some men, too) shooting, I can spot the ‘first’ time ones. It’s not pretty. I cannot understand how anyone can walk into a range without some type of training. But that’s another story, I gather.
The WON: Guns. Which one(s) have you found that fit your hand best and anything else about a particular model that you’d care to share?
Nancy Friedman: Good question. The most important thing I learned is buying a firearm is it is like buying a bathing suit – you gotta try it on. And, you need to feel GREAT in it! What looks good on me won’t necessarily feel or look good you. It’s VERY personal. I enjoy the Glock 19. It was my first, and I was good with it from the beginning. I have some nostalgia with that piece. Then the Smith & Wesson VICTORY came onboard [Editor’s note: GLOCK does not make a .22 caliber gun, although you can purchase an aftermarket conversion kit.]. SWEET. We have gone from ‘There will never be a gun in my home,’ to now being comfortable with them in my home. We have a safe for all of them, and, like my ‘kids,’ I like them all. If possible, I would tell folks to rent the gun they’re interested in purchasing to get the ‘feel’ of it. It is NOT a one-size-fits-all.
The WON: Have you discovered any qualities, such as feeling more confident, empowered, etc., since this transformation into becoming a gun owner and a shooter?
Nancy Friedman: I have discovered many feelings I didn’t ever think I’d have. The rapport-building opportunity is the most amazing to me. Mentioning target practice at a party, or wherever, and having others join in quickly, and excitedly, really astonished me at first. Now, I look for those opportunities. It’s more than tennis, golf, bridge, Canasta, etc. It’s a feeling that makes me proud; not only that I’m a gun owner, and I can shoot fairly well, and on top of all that, I really enjoy it. Best of all, I can shoot with my husband and other family members. I find it rather addictive.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird