Too many choices can spoil the broth

It’s a big birthday for me this year.  Don’t ask.

My family want to help me celebrate in style.  So over our Sunday lunch my wife held a competition for everyone to come up with two ideas to celebrate Daddy’s Big Year.

My volition was to judge the winner.

It was wonderful.  On the table were 8 gleaming ideas.

But could I decide the winner?  No way, there were just too many options to choose from. I developed a confused state, which is quite normal for me.

Now this lesson leaks to selling.  Yes, we spend time getting to know our customer’s needs, wants, desires and we come up with recommendations and choices for the customer to take.

If we give them too many choices, we’ll only confuse them and they might not take any.  Many want to think about it afterwards and this stops the sale dead.

Instead, give the customer a maximum of two choices, and let them decide from that.

I suppose if my wife had judged the best two ideas and gave these to me to choose from, I might have been more successfully in determining the winner.

Another little secret when giving the customer choices is to leave the one, you would like them to choose, to the end.  When faced with choices, most customers want to make a decision and feel an internal pressure to do so.  As a result most will choose the last one. That’s the law of primacy and recency.

Whilst on the subject of choices for the customer, it helps us to think about how other professionals act in these situations.

When a doctor diagnoses your medical problem and decides on a prescription, she makes that decision for you and writes it out on a piece of paper.  As her customer we just accept it without debate.

Now a doctor is different to say a mortgage adviser.  But it’s the same end result really.  The doctor’s customer comes to her to decide what is needed.  A mortgage adviser’s customer also comes to them to decide what’s needed.

We need the strength of mind to accept that the customer wants our professional advice not a host of choices that they could have sourced from the Internet.

Back to my Big Year, what was the winning idea?  That was from my daughter Bethan who went for a trip to the seaside so Florence, the puppy, could run along the sand for the first time.  Ahhhh…..