Tire Kickers And Be Backs

“No thanks, I’m just looking.”

It just occurred to me that I haven’t regaled rAVe readers with any tales from my retail days in quite some time.

Then it occurred to me that I’ve been out of the retail trenches for nearly twelve years.

Like awakening from a bad dream, the memories are slowly fading.

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

I have previously written about the expression “tire kickers” and how it’s made itself at home in consumer electronics despite most consumer electronics not having, you know, tires.

Thinking about tire kickers reminded me of another well-worn nickname for a certain kind of customer: the “be backs.”

While not quite as evocative as “tire kicker,” the words “be back” still pleasantly roll off the tongue.

The be backs are, as you might expect, customers who came back.

For whatever reason, they didn’t make their purchase on a previous day, and have come back to finish the transaction.

“Oh!” you might say to your sales floor buddy, as you nod to the front door “that couple are my be backs from yesterday.”

If you couldn’t close someone, for whatever reason, they would often tell you “I’ll be back.”

Sometimes they don’t really mean it, and sometimes they do.

It was important to keep track of the prospective customers you spoke with, and keep an eye out for their return.

Ideally, the be back would ask someone for you by name, but you couldn’t always count on that. Hence the importance of asserting a connection to them upon their return.