Are you offering your
customers TOO MANY choices?
December 1st 2005
Are you offering too many choices to your subscribers? How reducing
customer choices sells more. It has been taken for granted that more
choice is good for customers. But is this true?
New research says it's *not* true that more choice equates with more
sales. The new research suggests that you are much better off as a
marketer if you can identify a customer's needs and circumstances, and
then present that customer with a *small number of choices* based upon
what you have found out.
One reason why a good salesperson can increase sales is that a
well-trained and experienced salesperson functions as a very selective
filter. Rather than presenting lots of choices to the customer, the good
salesperson *focuses in* on that special one or two choices most likely
to excite the customer and get him or her to buy.
The good salesperson does this by sizing up the customer's situation.
How? By asking questions. Then, using what we call "matching", the good
salesperson says something like "based upon what you have told me, I
recommend you consider the Green Widget #17, Size B from my company and
The customer, instead of being bewildered by a seemingly endless array
of choices, or feeling taxed by having to make a complex decision with
lots of variables, feels relieved. And most likely, the customer will be
in a much better frame of mind to accept what else the salesperson has
to say, and to buy more.
This matching process is critical to selling more. Yet, many of our
clients offer their customers all sorts of choices and as an article of
faith they assume that more choices will lead to higher sales.
But customers need *guidance*. Without guidance, the pages of options,
plans, colors and terms are lethal to making the sale.
How few customer choices mean more customer sales
This has all been proven in what is called The Jam Experiment, discussed
in Dr. Barry Schwartz' provocative new book, *The Paradox of Choice*.
In the Jam Experiment, test subjects were given a taste test of various
jams. Each subject was given a discount certificate good towards the
purchase of any jam.
After the taste test, the subjects were split into two groups. Members
of the first group were exposed to six jams and told they could purchase
any of the six using their discount certificate. Members of the second
group, also armed with their discount certificates, were shown *30*
different jams and offered any of the 30.
The results? In the first group, with 6 choices, 30% of the members
purchased at least one jam. But in the second group, with 30 choices,
*only 3%* made a purchase! The moral is clear: to sell more to our
customers, we *must* narrow down the product line that we present to our
customers. We must perform the narrowing in such a way that the few
choices that we present to a customer are those most likely to be
desirable to *that particular customer*.
And how do we do this? By first *asking questions* to find out the
customer's needs, wants, circumstance and situation. And then, utilizing
the answers, we need to do what a good salesperson does -- create a
customized recommendation for each customer.
A customer confronted with a thoughtful set of a few recommendations is
*far* more likely to stay loyal -- and spend more money than an unguided
customer confronted with a competitor's entire catalog.
Copyright(c) 2005 Sponsera, LLC.
http://www.sponsera.com Sponsera provides high quality Internet
leads to local businesses like yours. Sponsera helps therapists find
www.CapitalCounselors.com Therapists can go to
www.Clients4Therapists.com for information or contact Richard Geller
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.407.1089. This paper may be reprinted on
a website provided you do so in its entirety including this section.
Richard founded his first successful company at age 18.
He is co-founder of a number of franchises and venture-backed companies
including Amazing Media, an advertising technology company. He has
written four business books and has given talks at the Washington Press
Club, the Wharton Club of DC, and George Washington University, among
others. He has been widely quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, Investors
Business Daily and other publications. He is currently co-CEO of a
company that provides leads to professionals such as dentists,
therapists and even dog trainers.
Keywords and misspellings: marketing