The art of “More Choices” with less…

31flavors

As sales people, we often provide our clients with way too many options.  Our product catalogs are full of so many awesome offerings, and we know the customer can benefit from every single one of them.  Our proposals get bigger and bigger, trying to add value to what we are offering.  We want to make a difference, and we want them to have everything they need.

Studies have shown, however, that this type of behavior can lead to “paralysis by analysis” during the decision making process.  Consider the following scenario:

A mother and daughter walk up to a corner.  There, they find 2 ice cream stores: one that serves only 3 flavors – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry; and the other that has 31 flavors to choose from.  Both mother and daughter choose to visit the store with more options – choosing from 31 flavors has to be better, right?

However, after entering the store, they are overwhelmed with so many choices, that they spend 10 times as long picking out “which flavor” they would like.  In essence, there are so many options, it is difficult for them to decide on what is the “right decision”, so they take longer to make the choice.

In the above scenario, had the mother and daughter been presented with 2 stores – one with 3 flavors, and another with 3 similar but different flavors, their brain actually would have made their ice cream “choice” well before they even went into the store – they would have had clear vision very early in the decision making process.

As such, in sales we should strive to offer our clients the choices they want, but not every choice they could use (at least, not now).  By writing smarter proposals, you can help your customers make faster decisions, and be more comfortable in the decision they’ve made.