It seems a bit insensitive to say that your choice of Mr/Mrs Right is just another shopping venture but bear with me:
I spent five years working in the retail industry, prior to and during my university studies. At school, I wanted to make some extra cash so I decided to get a job as a beauty consultant. I think everyone should have a retail job at some point in their lives because you’ll learn so much about yourself and others, especially how the customer is always right.
I made a point of building relationships with my customers so that they would buy from me again; I’d consult them on their skin and then spark up a conversation unrelated to the sale. Once I’d gotten to know my customers, they would confide in me and sometimes I in them – I’d met one of my best friends behind the counter at a retail store, and I always met my targets as well.
But it was during those years when I’d developed a knack for sizing people up, that I’d discovered my clients’ shopping habits matched the way they treated their partners.
No-one wants to be seen as a commodity but if you think about yourself as a brand and an investment, it makes a bit of sense that even you would choose a partner based on their ‘selling points’. What I’m trying to say is that your choice of partner will model your interests and you can basically see what type of person you’d be into from the way you shop. In the same way as your interests change, your shopping habits will too.
The next time you’re out shopping with your partner, really observe the way they select items and what they choose. It may help you to know discover what sparked their interest in you – so that you can work a little harder on maintenance.
I’ve set out a little criteria that highlights five shopping identities for you to spot. I’m sure that there should be more than 5 identities but these are the most prominent ones I’ve noticed:
The sample queen/king
You’ll find them sampling a range of products without actually wanting to buy and they’re usually satisfied with whatever is available and requires the least investment.
Samplers talk a good game. It’s important to always try a product before you buy it, but once you know what it’s worth, take it or leave it. Maya Angelou said, “if someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them”. A sampler would however coax you into a story for hours – promising a purchase or hinting at it, only to find them return for another sample.
If your partner is an avid sampler, it doesn’t mean they’re cheap or cheating, but they’re probably not sure about you being ‘the one’.
Here comes the browser – “I’m just looking”
Browsers know exactly what they want but they can never find it in store. They’re the kind who have already researched product information online and will rarely ask for your advice. They will judge your potential to assist them by your appearance, quickly deciding whether you can help them with what they need or not. Browsers are the straight-forward no-nonsense shoppers that many sales assists fear. They’re very informed and once they opt for your assistance, you better be prepared to answer every question correctly and confidently. They will often ask you things that they already know, just to test whether you’re fit to assist them. And if you’re able to persuade a browser into testing a product, it will be because of your persistence.
Hey there, big spender
Big spenders are the sugar daddies of sales. They’re usually regular shoppers, who you welcome into the store by their first name. They know all the staff and always seem to remember something personal about you. They don’t buy many products, maybe two or three high quality ones and they’ll treat you like you’re doing them a favour – by doing your job.
Howdy, smart shopper
They’ll call ahead so that you have their products prepared when they arrive. They don’t mind spending but they expect a little extra for their purchase – some appreciation, advice, or a sample or two. They’re will to pay the price if you’re willing to make it worth their while. Smart shoppers will build relationships with you and buy you Christmas gifts. But once they feel neglected, they will buy from someone else.
Negotiators expect discounts when discounts aren’t being offered. They feel that they are doing you a favour by buying from you, not realising the other clients standing behind them, willing to pay full price. They will send you into the awkward conversation with your manager, trying to decide if there is a way that you can lower your standards to suit their needs. In many cases the manager will decline, and you will have to return the bad news, facing the now trantrumed customer, wanting what they don’t deserve. In other cases, the manager will be so annoyed by the negotiator’s persistence that he/she feels forced into offering a cheaper deal, which then leaves you stuck negotiating for this person in future.
Negotiators never go to the managers themselves- they need you to plead their case and listen to the reasons why they should get what they want. They are bad for business.
Shopping identities vary to items so focus on observing important purchases like toiletries and clothing – not purchases that seem important to you, rather ones that are important to your partner.