Let the customer choose (x-post)

Allow me to relate two incidents that illustrate the importance of managing options. That is, in a retail sales environment, how you present options to the client is often the difference between a sale and a non-sale.

I attend a property auction last week. The auctioneer consistently and overtly manipulated the buyers as follows:

$510 thousand I am bid. What will it be sir? I will take another ten or another five. What will it be? Ten or five?

I attended a dinner with some friends, one going through a property renovation and the other building an extension. In both cases the females are the ‘drivers’ of the projects. They shared their single biggest frustration. The tradies and builders (all male) who quote and make suggestions always come up with the solution. They want options. The men like to come up with the answer and the women want choices.

Their response? They get a second and a third quote.

Can you see how cleverly the auctioneer puts two simple options to the buyer –and NOT bidding is not presented as an option, even though it is. Human nature is such that the options presented to us are evaluated – and other options are not.

In the second scenario, the builders are also presenting two options: their ‘solution’ and NOT doing it. Human nature dictates that we will evaluate those two options.

When the consumer is painted into a corner like this, they are very likely to opt for the NON-SALE.

In scenario 1, the bidder had 3 options, so the NO BID option represents 33% likelihood. In the second scenario, the NO SALE option has a 50% chance.

In our Sell$mart training program we focus on this aspect of the sale. It is not only polite and good service and shows the customer that you are trying to satisfy heir need, it is also psychologically a smart thing to do. That’s win-win-win, right?

PS: Our fortnightly newsletter will have a link to excellent government resources and guidelines for ecommerce. If you are interested register at retailsmartresults.com to be a member and get the newsletter.