Long Live the Shopper!

Nolan Burris, Visionistics How well I remember my first few years as a travel agent back in the late ‘70s. Deregulation was settling in and reservation systems were new. Ticket prices were high, operating costs were low and you always knew when a fare increase was coming. My, oh my, how things change.

By: Nolan Burris, Visionistics

How well I remember my first few years as a travel agent back in the late ‘70s. Deregulation was settling in and reservation systems were new. Ticket prices were high, operating costs were low and you always knew when a fare increase was coming.

My, oh my, how things change. Sometimes the things that change the least turn out to be the things that should change the most.

Quick what is your immediate reaction to the word “shopper?” Shoppers are those irritating folks who ask a lot of questions and consume your time. They ask for brochures, even probe you for professional advice. I learned early on that shoppers simply waste your time. The nerve!

Buyers, on the other hand, are those gracious and wonderful people who hand over money with a smile. They know what they want, ask few questions and breeze in and out hardly making a fuss.

Isn’t it curious that businesses that have attempted to discourage shoppers found an ever decreasing number of buyers? Why?

Here’s a little secret: Every single buying experience was immediately preceded by a shopping experience, but not always in the same place or at the same time. Who hasn’t browsed a few clothing stores, asked about a VCR or told a salesperson, “Thanks, I’m just looking?”

We are all guilty of the crime of shopping. We are also all guilty of eventually buying. But why did you buy? What converted you from hated shopper to beloved buyer? What magical spell twisted your wallet-holding arm? Was it price? Was it service? Was it something else?

Next time you make the shift from shopper to buyer, pay close attention. You might discover the same interesting pattern we found.

Next week, find out how to convert a shopper into a buyer.

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