Do you invite your customers at your parties to shop out of your entire catalog with no guidance regarding which products might be best for them? Do you overwhelm them (and create a ton of extra work for yourself) by bringing boxes and boxes of inventory to show during your live presentation? Well, consider this. Choice is really a big illusion. You might think it’s giving your customers the unlimited possibility and the freedom to choose from every option available to them but in reality, too many choices can cause them to feel overwhelmed and to shut down and NOT make a choice at all. Restricting your customer’s choices is actually a better option.
Think about it for a second.
Have you ever walked into a coffee shop, browsing all the fancy drinks before emerging with a simple hot chocolate or coffee? Have you ever scrolled through your YouTube subscription box for ten or fifteen minutes before deciding to not watch anything? The fact that you had so much to choose from did not in fact help you make a decision. It made it impossible to do so.
If you give the customer an overwhelming amount of options, you’re effectively giving them none.
The paradox of choice states that by reducing the options your customers have, you reduce their stress, making it easier for them to choose. People like being told what to buy, what to wear and what to watch. It’s the reason why Apple dominates the smartphone market, and why HBO dominates the TV scene. They have quality products behind them, but they aren’t too grand in scope. They stick with a familiar, small set of devices and shows, making it easier for people to pick one. Quality, not quantity.
Your sales tactics should take a similar approach. Rather than attempting to expand to the stars and beyond, stick with what you know and keep things simple. One of the best ways to do that is to offer your customers packages of products you’ve put together to help them make a quick choice (kind of like choosing a “value meal” at the drive through at McDonalds). If you’re a direct sales leaders and have a team, pass on this mentality to them through your training as well.
Famed psychologist Barry Schwartz once spoke of the effects of choice overload, stating:
“As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates.”
It’s a fundamental principle of all the most successful business practices. You don’t want to overload or confuse the customer. You want to present them with the information (as jargon-free as possible) they need to make an informed decision. If you have too many products to describe, your job becomes harder, and this presentation of information becomes less clear.
On top of this, you risk alienating the customer and losing a potential sale. When a person has to browse through product after product, items that do largely the same thing, it gets tiring. Anyone who’s ever been shopping for appliances for a new home will be familiar with this feeling. It leaves you exhausted and saps any excitement you may have had about the process when you walked in the door.
The choices you give the consumer will dictate your success rate, especially at your parties. Focus on a smaller range of products in your demonstration and offer your customers pre-selected packages and watch your sales average boom, rather than doing a long presentation with dozens of products and settling for average sales.
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Julie Anne Jones is a sought after speaker, certified life and business coach, and online trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in business. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.