SELLING MORE: Why And How To Limit The Choices You Offer To Your Customers

Have you ever left a shop because you were not able to choose between a big range
of options?

Your customers may leave too, when they see your multiple offers.

Offering too much choice is like putting a curb on your sales.

Americans make 70 different choices a day on average, and start facing the ‘choice
overload symptom’.

They feel stressed by having too many options and this often leads them to stall,
avoid choosing, and avoid buying.

This is much easier to take a decision when we consider only five or
six possibilities rather than twenty.

The Interesting ‘Jam Experience’.

Stanford and Columbia Universities lead an interesting experience in a supermarket.

They set up two stands proposing different varieties of jams for customers to stop
by and sample before choosing to buy.

The first stand had 6 jams and the second had 24.

When 24 different jams were proposed, 3% of people bought a jam jar.

When 6 different jams were proposed, this number soared to 30%, which is 10 times more.

The same way, we have all experienced situations where choosing was too difficult
because we couldn’t do the math.

Above all, we prefer to “choose not to choose even when it goes against our best
self-interests,” like says Columbia Business School Professor Sheena Iyengar.

Open Questions Are Crippling

It’s better to ask “Cinema or restaurant?” than “What do we do tonight?”

Indeed, the first proposition has more chances to result in an outing.

You have surely noticed that proposing a choice of meeting dates to your customers
help them decide quicker and easier than if you ask them an open question.

Some students carried out a study mentioned in The science of influence from Kevin
Hogan, asking money to people in the street:

– When they did not specify any amount, they received money in 44% of cases.

– When they asked for a coin, they received money in 64% of cases.

– When they asked for a fixed sum, they received money in 75% of cases.

In short, the more specific the request is, the more likely it can
lead to a result.

Leave Choice, But Limit Possibilities

Eliminating choice would be as harmful as proposing too many. People appreciate
having the choice, but not too many.

The idea is simply to find the right balance. To ensure that your prospect feels
free to decide, but that he is also guided in a given direction.

The best example is certainly the TV channel packages. Having the
choice between several hundreds of channels stops us in our tracks.

Having the choice between five or six packs focused on a specific
topic it efficient.

Small Action To Do:

If you propose an offer with multiple choices, do this test:

Find a way to limit the possibilities, and compare the results.

Group several choices into a single one, as TV providers do. Or simply suppress
the options that work the least. Then, compare the results.

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