Customer Experience News & Trends

Warning: Too many choices may spoil the sale

When faced with too many choices, prospects can become paralyzed and do nothing at all.

Here’s a great example:

Researchers went to a grocery store and set up tasting booths. On one table they had 24 jams that shoppers could taste. On another there were just six.

Surprising results

Some of the results may surprise you:

  • 60% of the shoppers stopped at the table with 24 jams
  • 40% of the shoppers stopped at the table with six jams
  • 30% of the people who stopped at the table with six jams purchased one, and
  • 3% of people who stopped at the table with 24 jams purchased one.

Ramifications are enormous

Whether the subject is jam or products or services, sometimes too many choices turn prospects off. Prospects like to have choices because it gives them freedom. But if you give them too many choices, they may freeze and do nothing.

Here are three tips to help you avoid the “too many choices” problem:

  1. Give them control. Prospects want to believe they’re in control. They fell better when they believe they completely control the outcome.
  2. Narrow the options. Help people resolve choice problems by narrowing the options and alternatives quickly and decisively.
  3. Point them in the right direction. Too may choices cause prospects to freeze and not know what to do. Always be prepared to direct people to the best choice for them.

Adapted from “The Science of Influence,” by Kevin Hogan, a public speaker and corporate trainer.

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