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How to Convert the 'Thoughtful Shopper'

Dear Friend,

Today, I thought I'd share with you a technique that I've used  to successfully convert the person I call the 'Thoughtful Shopper.'

The 'thoughtful shopper' is the customer that seems to be sincerely interested in what you're selling. But... isn't quite ready to commit at that moment to making a purchase .

No matter how much effort you put into your sales presentation, sometimes the customer in front of you is just not ready to buy in that moment.

They may be sincerely interested in what you're selling... but just not ready to buy... yet.

Sometimes you have to accept that. And let them go, so that you can put your attention on the next customer. 

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When I sold heat packs on my holiday carts... rather than just letting those 'thoughtful shoppers' walk away in 'hope' they'd return...

... my staff and I used a simple technique that I found greatly improved our chances of getting these thoughtful shoppers to return... and buy. 

Whenever we got to the point where a customer had decided not to buy now, and wanted to think about it...  before they'd leave, I'd politely ask them to hold out their finger - and I'd show them what I meant. 

Now, this may sound like an unusual request.

But on my cart, everything DID something, the heat packs, the massagers, even the ear muffs...

So my customers would usually comply, and hold out their finger. If only out of curiosity. Just to see what was going to happen next.

At that point, I'd pull out a short piece of yarn from my pocket, 6 to 8 inches long.

And I'd tie that piece of yarn on the customer's finger while saying...

"This is a reminder to stop back..."

It would evoke the old adage of tying a string on your finger to remember...

Invariably... the customer would smile!

Which is the reaction we were shooting for.

In general, in the moment that a customer decides not to buy, there's often a little tension created.

Consciously, or unconsciously, their mind defaults to the worst possible situation when they decided not to buy something and the salesperson kept pushing...

Perhaps a situation where a sales rep metaphorically twisted their arm behind their back, and wouldn't let them leave without buying.

If you've been on the receiving end of that, you know it's not so comfortable.

The tension comes from the customer not knowing how the sales rep is going to react when told the customer isn't going to buy.

The yarn is a simple way of diffusing that tension, and leaving the customer feeling ok as they walk away. And that leaves them more likely to return.

Now there's a bit more to this technique... so read on... 

Before the customer would leave, I'd say also...

"Now, there's a practical benefit to the yarn too..."

"When you bring the yarn back, and buy this large one here..."

(Pointing to whatever large heat pack the customer was looking at...)

"I can throw one of these first generation handwarmers in as a free bonus..."

(Holding up a first generation handwarmer, which cost me about a buck.)

"... one for one, two for two, four for four. So be sure to bring that yarn back."

And then I'd let them leave.

We'd make the customer smile.  With the yarn.

Then we'd offer a bonus if they brought the yarn back, and bought what they were looking at. To appeal to their greed.

That brought customers back. Regularly.

Customers would walk away with a smile on their face, thinking about the deal we'd just offered....

Some of these 'thoughtful shoppers' would return after taking only a short walk around the mall. Others wouldn't return for a month. 

But sure enough, whenever they stopped back, they'd be holding up that little piece of yarn, to claim 'their' deal. And a lot did come back.

Sometimes even with colors of yarn we'd never seen!

When they came back, we'd make the sale.

This is a simple yet powerful technique for drawing customers back to your cart.

And for turning those customers into actual buyers.

If you can find a way of implementing it on your cart or kiosk this holiday season, you'll bring more buyers back.

That's it for today!


Brady Flower

P.S. The holiday season is coming up quick.  If you've got any questions, feel free to shoot me a quick email.


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