A Thought For Today’s Entrepreneur

Specificity. There are times you need to be both specific as well as controlling as to the amount of choices you provide to a potential client.

There are a myriad of reasons for why a potential sale can fall thru. Yet, one of the most prevailing reasons that is overlooked is the overburdening amount of choices given to a prospective client.

The overwhelming need as to show, “See, we have everything, in every color, at every price known to exist.” usually leaves a general impression not of “impressed” but more along the lines of “oppressive.” i.e. Choice fatigue.

Nine times out of ten the response you’ll receive will be exactly what you didn’t want to hear. But it will be a response precisely in accordance with all of your own doing. e.g., The client states, “That’s great! Let me think about it.” As they ponder in the back of their mind “Holy smokes what if I pick the wrong one? I’ll just have wasted my time and money!”

You can relate during your presentations that you do in fact have a myriad of choices to fit the clients need. However, you should not – repeat – not ever – present your potential client with all the possibilities then ask them – to pick.

That’s for you to do. Your presentation, research, fact-finding, et al while asking pointed questions looking for real solutions should be rendered down by you to approximately three choices for the client to then pick from.

Remember, you know your product (or at least should) better than the client. If they tell you during an honest needs, analysis based discussion that they need an X to fix a Y, and you have an Xa, Xa.1, Xab.2, etc. that would do the job. It’s up to you to distinguish which would be best and present it. Not, “Well, we have these 7 to pick from so just choose the one that suits your needs.” That is a surefire way to close a door quicker and harder than a swift kick in the pants.

There should be in theory a choice of 3 when submitting a proposal whether in written or verbal form. i.e., Three choices ranging from lowest price, median priced, to a “soup to nuts.”

An example of this might be: “To fix this issue you may go with option A which is the XYZ self-administered program feature for $3000.00. Or you could go with option B which combines the XYZ package but also includes the ABC private client network for $6500.00. Then there’s always option C which includes all of both option A and B yet also includes LMNOP which eliminates all of the worries previous with constant support for $14000.00.

Then you allow the client to choose which option fits their budget and helps alleviate the issue. You may have 75 differing products or procedures at different price points. Regardless, the client is only concerned on fixing the issue. Not on how it was arrived at. For that’s what your job should be: Making the complex simple as to help them improve their condition.

Whether it’s a product or a service the formula above is the same. When a client says “I like option A but I also like some of C can you do that?” You just say “That’s why we have option B.” They like B but want to pay less? That’s why you have option A. Never reducing or commingling the options or the price.

I’m far from the first to say it, and I won’t be the last. A buyer hates to pay extra, but they hate to give up value even more. So if your options are truly value priced, sticking to those options is much easier. It helps both you as well as the client from price negotiating to death the process and focus on at what price point, as well as what level, both parties want to engage as to remediate a fix, or accelerate potential growth opportunities.

Here’s an example based on the multitude of choices for just the simple choice of ice-cream as to push the point home into your gut…
How long does one think it takes the average patron as to decide which ice cream flavor they’ll have when confronted with 300 choices? You would be surprised, the one’s that will take the longest will more than likely in the end pick just plain ole vanilla or chocolate. It’s referred to as “choice overload.”

If you wanted to induce an answer with near immediacy one might ask something along the lines of, “What is your favorite Ice cream?” When they say, “Oh I love strawberry!” You might say, “That’s great! Would you like to try a cone of our newest flavor strawberry/peach? Or, how about a float made with strawberry/banana? Or maybe you’d like to try a sundae made with our ‘strawberry too die for’ imported from the Antarctic? It’s more expensive than the rest, but well worth the price for a strawberry adventure.”

If it can be done for ice cream rest assured, it can be applied to whatever you’re selling also.

Even if it’s an M&A restructuring proposal worth billions in sales, and millions in potential profits.

© 2015 Mark St.Cyr