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
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?
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
Next time you make the shift from shopper to buyer, pay close
attention. You might discover the same interesting pattern we
Next week, find out how to convert a shopper into a buyer.