Simple Choices Drive More Sales

I did something unusual (for me) last week – I went to a fast-food restaurant. It was not very busy inside, just me and one person before me. Since it wasn’t busy, there was only one register in operation.

Have you ever stood impatiently behind someone at a fast food order counter while they tried to decide, among the thousands of combinations, what they wanted to order? It wasn’t that I was in a hurry, but I became impatient because the person in front just couldn’t make up their mind. Not only were they inundated with options, but they changed their order four times before they finished.

Are you overwhelming your customers with choices?

As a consumer, I want choices. But I also sometimes want or need education and direction. According to Fox Business News, for a construction project (I would include an HVAC project here) a person should get three bids. Two is not enough and four or five are unmanageable. If you offer your customer too many choices, you may have one of several unwanted results.

  1. They may take way too long to decide.
  2. They may become confused and postpone the project.
  3. They may not want to admit they are confused and call someone else.
  4. They may waste time asking questions about options that they don’t even want.

What to offer?

How do you know what to offer your customer? The key is to ask questions to determine the customer’s needs, and then offer solutions to fit those needs. Fortune.com published an excerpt from the book “Money: Master the Game”, by best-selling author and motivational guru Tony Robbins. Robbins says “If you ask better questions, you will get better answers.”

If you don’t listen to the answers, you may be making suggestions that the customer cares nothing about. The key is to tie what your customer tells you they want with your offer. In “4 Tips to better Listening Skills”, Dr. Alan Zimmerman explains the ins and outs of good and bad listening, and how good listening is critical to any relationship.

According to Joe Crisara, a former heating, cooling and plumbing contractor who’s now the CEO of ContractorSelling.com and a world-renowned business coach for heating & cooling, plumbing, and electrical contractors, you should offer your customers three choices; an economy option to fit their budget, an upgrade for better comfort or quieter operation, and a premium choice to address all of their concerns. By offering three choices that fit the customer’s needs, you are giving them choices while not making the decision too confusing.

Offering a manageable number of choices improves the customer experience. And great customer experiences always improves customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, repeat business, and referral business.

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