Monday, March 26, 2012

What Can You Leave Out?

Psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper were among the first to show that too many choices are bad for sales.
"... when shoppers are given the option of choosing among smaller and larger assortments of jam, they show more interest in the larger assortment. But when it comes time to pick just one, they're 10 times more likely to make a purchase if they choose among six rather than among 24 flavors of jam."
The pair found the same "paradox of choices" applied when consumers were asked to choose a 401(k) retirement program.
"With 401(k)s, people are given enormous incentives to participate through tax shelters and employer matches," Iyengar comments. "So, essentially, if you choose not to participate, you're throwing away free money."

Instead of leading to more thoughtful choosing, however, more options led people to act like the jam buyers: When given two choices, 75 percent participated, but when given 59 choices, only 60 percent did. In addition, the greater the number of options, the more cautious people were with their investment strategies, the team found.
But wait. There's more ...

Blogger Derek Sivers writes:
Surgeon Atul Gawande found that 65% of people surveyed said if they were to get cancer, they'd want to choose their own treatment. Among people surveyed who really do have cancer, only 12% of patients want to choose their own treatment.

So, if you ask your customers if they want extensive choice, they will say they do -- but they really don't.

Bottom line: Simple is good. Because choosing is a chore.

Corollary: Do the thinking for your prospects. Make it simple for them to make the right choice. They will reward you by giving you money.

When it comes to "doing the thinking for your prospects," here's Exhibit A ...

... and here's Exhibit  B ...

What could Google and Apple have included on their websites? A lot.

What did they leave out? A LOT.

Know this: It took a lot of thinking for Google and Apple to determine the main things they want you to do ... so they could avoid distracting you with trivial choices.

Google wants you to search. Everything else is trivial.

Apple wants you to explore their new iPad. Everything else is trivial.

Now. What's the main thing you want prospects to do:
  • on your website? 
  • with your business card? 
  • when you engage them in a networking conversation?
Once you know what you want people to do, you can do something wonderful: Make things simple.

How do you do this?

By leaving out the trivial choices that don't matter.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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