As sales professionals we come across these types of people all the time. Knowing how to tell the difference between a “Tire Kicker” and a “Window Shopper” is critical and will help you eliminate wasted effort while building more sales pipeline.
A Tire Kicker is typically someone who thinks they want to buy something when in reality they most likely will not, usually because they can’t afford to make the purchase. They spend their time finding things wrong with the product or service and will poke holes wherever they can. I’m sure the phrase had come to fruition through frustrated car salesmen who knew all about these types –the self proclaimed “buyer” who’s bored and has some free time on his hands and wants to look at every Corvette, Porsche and Mercedes on the lot. But in reality his funds are tied up in these other areas; his kid’s college, his wife’s new stainless steel kitchen, his own retirement portfolio. Remember, Interest is the counterfeit of need. That guy will never make a move, and I don’t blame him. When reason takes its course he’ll understand there’s no real NEED or URGENCY to drop that kind of money.
On the other side of the coin, we have our share of Window Shoppers and to be honest I like them. Why? I respect how mindful they are at being “thorough”. They are realistically thinking about buying what you’re selling. Maybe not right this second, but with some strategically landed nudges they’ll be ready. They are the ones that like their process to be smart and well thought out; they gather all the information they need before making any sort of promises or commitments. They will not just evaluate your company, but several. This way they know they’re making the right choice when it comes time to buy and won’t risk the chance of getting fired by their superiors for implementing a product that doesn’t fulfill their needs. So don’t drop the ball on these types of people, keep the lines of communication active, after all they are a fan of what you offer and, with time they will become active buyers.
Wasting Your Time or Keeping Your Pipeline Warm?
If you’re unsure if you’re wasting time or nurturing your prospects until the time is ready, ask yourself this?
What is compelling them to buy what I offer?
If you can’t answer this then the chances are you haven’t truly identified their needs. Try getting that prospect back on the phone and then reengage in a conversation that will dig a little deeper so you can accurately determine if they’re the tire kicker or the window shopper. And always verify their role – the last thing you need is a prospect pulling rank on the low end of the totem pole, pretending to have influence just because they get their ‘kicks’ from keeping up with all the new technology. Just like the husband looking at cars who has to answer to his wife when he gets home.
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