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Why Giving Clients More Choices Means They'll Never Buy

Copyright (c) 2008-2019
(See This Article in its Original Format.)

You're really wanting to be thoughtful and accommodating. You want to make your clients and customers comfortable, so they can have things the way they like it.

So you start making up offers, each with different options and flavors. Eventually you have a menu of ten options.

And no one's buying. Is it your marketing? Or your menu?

A child with no ice cream.

Hot summer day. Cool ice cream shop. An eager child. The sign says '37 flavors.'

What happens next? That's right- you sit there while this little cherub thinks, and wonders, and decides, and goes back and forth wondering which flavor of ice cream to get.

Either that, or he just ignores all the many flavors and gets the old-standby: chocolate, with sprinkles.

What are choices?

Choices are where we express power. By making a choice, you're expressing how you'd like things to be. This requires a certain confidence and clarity.

Add to this problem the fact that most of us in Western culture have had our imagination squashed out of us. In school, in jobs, we're taught to regurgitate what we're told, to maneuver through multiple-choice tests, and to pick our path from limited options.

This may seem like a bad thing, and it can certainly be painful if someone is limiting your options in an artificial manner. But the truth is that your clients like limits.

Huh? That's nutty- they don't want limits, they want to get past the limits of the problem they are facing.

Well, sure, that's true. They do want to solve their problem and keep moving. But, when faced with a problem, a problem they can't solve, do you think they are feeling much clarity or confidence in their heart?

Probably not. And yet, what are the two main qualities that are needed to make a choice? Clarity and confidence.

Hmmm... do you see the same problem I see?

Limiting choices creates more safety.

Don't give your clients a menu of ten different options, even if they are similar to one another. As Henry Ford said, "They can have the Model T in any color they want, as long as it's black."

Ol' Henry set that up to keep his costs down in the assembly line factories he had. However, this principle applies even more strongly to businesses in the limitless choice world of seventy million Google results.

By limiting choice for your clients, they only have to muster up enough confidence and clarity to do one thing- hire you, instead of having to wend their way through all 37 flavors of your offers.

It works. But isn't it kinda boring to just have one or two offers? What happens to the creativity in your business? And how do you handle different types of clients?

Hold on to your ice cream cone. I've got some ideas for you.

Keys to Dishing out the Options.

  • Limit the recommended intro offers.

  • If you have one or two specific offers where you recommend beginners start, that's the place to send'em. Foundational offerings that cover the basics, and begin to walk them into your world.

  • Create a gazillion offers, but understand the sequence.

  • If you have a hundred offers, that's great. But then organize them in some kind of a sequence, at least for the first few. Understand how one of your offers links to the next links to the next.

    Now, your clients' progress won't always be linear, and so you don't have to put all one hundred offers in sequence. There will come a point where, through the help they've received from you and elsewhere, that they regain some of their lost confidence and clarity, which will give them greater decision-making ability.

    Plus, after they've done the first two or three offers, they'll have more familiarity with what you do, and how you do it, so it will be easier to choose from many offers.

  • For custom consulting, still limit your offers.

  • When you are quoting out a custom consulting project to someone, you still don't want to overwhelm them with options. The same lack of clarity and confidence applies to these decision-makers, no matter how sharply they're dressed.

    By setting one or two options in front of them, you're showing your own expertise and confidence, and that is one more bit of trust they will have in you.

    Although it's tempting to want to create a groaning board table full of all kinds of delicious offers, it will lose you clients. Instead, limit their choices, and watch them happily walk out with your chocolate ice cream cone.

    The best to you and your business,
    Mark Silver


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without losing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com

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