More Options Create Indecision

by Jade Handy on October 15, 2011

The notion that more options create indecision seems contrary to conventional wisdom.  But, sales research has proven this again and again.

Any salesperson who has inadvertently made this mistake only makes it once.  It’s not hard to notice that given multiple options, the customer will take longer to decide, if they decide, at all.

Avoid decision by indecision.

The optimal number for direct sales is 3.  For those of you who think dropping your price so it slides in under the competition is a good idea, think again.  Conventional wisdom contradicts what you’re hearing if you ask why they didn’t buy.  They usually will tell you it was because someone else had a lower price.  Why?

Conventional wisdom is that you never by the cheapest, for fear it’s the least quality.  And, you never buy the most expensive, because most of the time, it’s not paying all that extra.

So therefore, often it’s best to just ask for a simple “yes” or “no,” OR employ the alternative close.


Read more about why Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this feeling “the paradox of choiceon this other blog

Photo credit: The Choices Orin Robert John By Orin Zebest Orin Zebest

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