I recently shopped for home stereo speakers. The options seemed endless.
Each brand had provided plenty of features for me to compare. But none of them made it easier for me to make a decision. So, I put it off, hoping it would be easier to decide later. I was fooling myself. More time didn’t help me decide. It just reduced my passion for the product. Other priorities took over.
You’ve probably been in the same boat before. Faced with a tough decision, you have put it off and let yourself pretend that it might be easier to decide later, after you have had some time to process the options.
Often, you don’t come back to it. Your priorities have shifted. Your passion has waned. Whatever seemed so important a couple weeks ago, when you were “in shopping mode,” no longer feels so important.
Your customers may feel the same way. In fact, one of the greatest competitors your business faces may be the inaction of potential customers who put off the decision and never come back to it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make your customers’ decisions much easier to make so that they feel compelled to buy from you today.
Offer a middle tier product – When it comes to pricing, customers have an aversion to both extremes. If you offer multiple products, make the product that you want to sell the most of your middle-priced option. If you currently have a low- end product and a premium product, and you want to sell more of your premium product, here’s the solution: Introduce an ultra-premium product. This is most effective if the middle price is exactly the average of the higher and lower prices.
Promote your most popular product – If you offer multiple products, let your customers know which one is most popular. It does more than help them decide which of your products to buy. It helps them decide to buy at all, to buy faster, and to not put off the decision.
Be popular – Customers feel much safer buying something that is popular. Tell them how many customers you have. If that’s not an impressive number, find statistics that suggest products like yours are popular or gaining popularity. Numbers not in your favor? Segment and reevaluate. Is your product or industry gaining popularity among women in their 30s? Say so.
Create a “good value” feeling – Often customers don’t have a price in mind, or even a frame of reference for fair pricing. But they want to feel like they got a good relative value, and once they get that “good value” feeling, they have a much easier time making a decision. You can give them that good feeling without any significant change in your price by using anchoring, charm pricing, and scarcity.
Share a relatively high number – Before sharing the price of your product, find creative ways to work larger numbers into the conversation. A simple example is to share a suggested retail price and then share your lower price. In a spoken negotiation, you might say, “For what you need, I don’t think we even need to go as high as $10,000,” and then tell them your price is $5,999. It can also help if you mention a large, unrelated number. Seriously. Number relativity is so internal that we don’t notice ourselves making comparisons that have no contextual relevance.
End your price with 9s – Don’t charge $1200 if you can charge $1199. Charm pricing has a significant impact on customers’ sense that a product is priced at a value.
Limit the Quantity – Limit the quantity you are willing to sell to any one customer. When people see “limit of 10” next to a sale price, they assume the value is so good that people would stock up if they were allowed to.
Position your offer as a way to avoid loss – I could tell you that these tips may help increase your sales, and that’s true and somewhat persuasive. But if I, instead, tell you that you may be losing sales by not applying these tips, your brain goes into loss prevention mode and that makes the decision feel more urgent.
Play hard to get – Remember, you’re competing against inaction. Decisions are hard. If people think they can put this decision off, they will. So, make this seem like a fleeting opportunity. Offer a limited time discount. If there are a limited quantity of your products available, tell your customers that. If you’re selling a service, consider whether an enrollment deadline is appropriate.
Validate your customer – Customers are receptive to validation. If I tell you, “you seem like the kind of person that reads the whole article, takes notes, and uses what you learned,” it reminds you of your aspirational self, and you are more likely to act accordingly.
Present the stakes – Remind your customer that the stakes are high by presenting a story rather than a list of features. For help building a compelling story, check out our Engage with Story Templates PDF.
As you develop your messages and product strategies, refer back to this list. Not every tip will be applicable for your business. But, the more you are able to use these techniques, the easier your customer’s decision will be.
We’re just scraping the surface here. Our Guide with Decision Reflexes PDF will help you rig your message to achieve objectives and guide customer decisions. This free 23-page document explores social proof, confirmation bias, anchoring, primacy effect, and a host of other reflexes of our decision centers.
Decision reflexes are free tools you can use to help customers digest the same truths and form more favorable opinions. As you internalize these reflexes, you will find that your messages are not only more persuasive, they are easier to come up with. The techniques themselves will inspire creativity.