Browsers are not failures

When I was young in Limerick, there was a man who owned a bookshop. I went to work for him, learned a few things.  Never felt he was teaching me.

He'd watch customers carefully.  Some of them he'd go up to and start chatting. Others he'd leave alone. This confused me at first.  So I watched him until I figured it out.

Some of the people in the shop wanted to buy a book, wanted someone to help them, didn't want to be ignored. Others had no intention of buying: they were only browsing. He left browsers alone - never interrupted them. 

Eventually the penny dropped. Browsers would buy another day.  Offering to help them before they were ready would irritate them. Irritated people don't come in so often.

That was a long time ago.

Today people who visit your website without contacting you (or buying) are browsers.

People who read your blog, without commenting, are browsers.

People who get your newsletter, but haven't ever got back in touch about it, are browsers.

People who follow you on Twitter - but never send you a tweet  - are browsers.

Lurkers browse.

The bookshop owner taught all the staff patience. Never to be disheartened when people don't buy what you offer.

Their day will come.

More meaningful selling - eh?