We’ve all been there. You start shopping for something online, and 30 minutes later you’re so far down the rabbit hole of options that you just give up. Ask yourself…are you giving your potential customers too many choices? How many decisions do they have to make before signing the contract or completing the sale?

Experiments have shown that an abundance of choice can have a paralyzing effect. One study compared the effect of presenting 24 or six jams in a supermarket display. The data showed shoppers were more likely to taste a jam in the 24-jar selection – but not buy. Purchases were significantly higher when only six were offered.

Decision Anxiety
So what’s the problem with choice? Shouldn’t we give our customers the freedom to choose exactly what they want? Though it may seem liberating, choice is also closely linked to the feeling of loss. If your customers choose something, it can feel like they are sacrificing something else. This often causes decision anxiety, which decreases the likelihood of making a sale at all.

You’re the Expert
Additionally, too many choices can distract from your expertise. A doctor doesn’t ask what you’d like to do about your bad knee. He or she gives you their professional recommendation. If you’re a professional, your client is expecting your expertise to make the process easy.

Decision-Making Timeline
You can help your customers (and your sales) by following a simple decision-making timeline. In the ideal timeline, you streamline the initial sale, saving the majority of the customer’s decisions for after the contract is signed. That doesn’t mean that you trick the customer with change orders or extra charges – rather that you make the process as efficient as possible.

  • First, the customer must decide whether or not to buy.
  • Second, they decide to choose you or your competition.
  • Third, is everything else.

Make it Easy
The fewer decisions you put between the initial meeting and the contract signing, the more likely you are to close the sale and start the process.