Why buyers ignore when you serve too much jam…
I have the patience of a gnat.
On a good day.
On a bad day (and fortunately, there aren’t too many of them), I’m as patient as a starving grizzly bear.
So being decisive comes very naturally to me, simply because the pain of waiting around is far greater than the pain of trying to “figure out” what to do.
Do I make mistakes?
Sure, but not often. And for the most part, nothing I’m deciding on is life-threatening, ANYWAY, so it really doesn’t matter whether I make a mistake or not.
For someone like me, having more choices doesn’t necessarily make me happy, because it delays the outcome. And whether you believe it or not, most people feel the same way, although probably not for the same reason.
Here’s the deal: A while ago, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, Blink. One of the many really cool things Gladwell discussed, is an experiment conducted by Sheena Iyengar, a Professor of Management at Columbia University.
Iyengar wanted to see whether the number of choices consumers have, makes any difference in their purchasing patterns.
And boy did it!
She set up tasting booths at an elite grocery store in Menlo Park, California, called Draeger’s. Sometimes these tasting booths contained six different jars of jams, and other times it contained 24 different jars of jams.
Conventional wisdom will tell you that the more choices people have — even if they aren’t as impatient as I am — the more they’ll enjoy their buying experience. But like I always say, “Never bet the farm on conventional wisdom.” (I really do say that a lot — it’s in many of my sales letters, actually.)
And here’s what actually happened: 30% of the people who stopped at the booth with six choices, wound up buying some jam, but… only THREE percent of the folks who stopped at the booth with 24 choices, wound up making a purchase.
That’s a TEN TIMES differential!
This isn’t surprising at all. The truth is, when you (and your prospects) are confronted with having to make too many decisions, there’s always a disconnect.
And as you can see in Iyengar’s experiments, disconnects in the lab… equate to disconnects in real life.
So while it’s important to have variety, it’s equally important to not have too much variety.
This is also the reason why, when most people go to restaurants with incredibly diverse selections, they always wind up getting the same thing they order at a restaurant with few selections. Their “old standby,” if you will.
Just like too many cooks spoil the broth… too many choices spoil the entire dinner.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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