- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

Why Too Much Choice in Sales Can Be Fatal

30th September, 2016

Why Too Much Choice in Sales Can Be Fatal

There’s an amazing sandwich shop in the City. An army of beautiful Italians stands primed and ready behind the counter, slicing melting cuts of smoked ham, grating Parmesano Reggiani and toasting ciabatta to the perfect consistency. It smells divine, looks mouth-watering and yet I’ve never bought a thing. Why?

Well, it’s not just sandwiches they serve. There are salads. Pastas. Panini. Pizzas. Pies. I could go on. The sandwiches have a choice of five different breads and upwards of 25 fillings with ten sauces. You can have your sandwich grilled, baked or, who knows, lovingly massaged by one of the beautiful Italians. It’s just too much. I walk in aiming to grab something quick, become paralysed by choice and end up leaving to have a limp salad from the infinitely inferior, yet much smaller, shop next door.

My behaviour always surprises me, because in theory choice is a good thing, right? We’re all told that more is more. The consumer is king. We can have what we want, when we want it. We can compare the market, have things ‘our way’ with the sauce on the side and extra pepperoni.

But in reality many of us are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by choice, by decisions and by time pressures. The last thing we need is more. And if we feel like this, you can bet your clients do too. This is especially true when it comes to B2B services, where services can be technical and/or complex and easily confusing.  So, if you want to convert your sales more quickly, these three tips can help:

1 Reduce the options – when we’re busy, too many of us rely on generic pitches, template emails and rehashing old materials when approaching clients. Do your homework up front, tailor your offering to the client in question and strip out any redundancies.

2 Keep it simple – your job is to make it quick and easy to for your client to understand the value you’re offering. Don’t bamboozle them with jargon or overload with information. Straightforward language and clear descriptions can transform your sales process.

3 Be the expert – you know your services best so you’re best placed to help your client understand them.  Act like the trusted advisor and provide guidance and advice to help your clients make a decision more quickly, rather than presenting a range of open options for them to battle through.

Follow these three steps and your clients will thank you for it (and you’ll convert more sales too).


University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

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