Imagine this …
Your friend invites you to dinner at a new, fancy Italian restaurant that just opened down the street. You’ve heard amazing things and can’t wait to try the food.
When you get to the restaurant and are seated at your table, you start by glancing at the menu, which you notice is double-sided. The waiter also brings over a separate menu just for the daily features.
You feel instantly overwhelmed looking at all options. You can’t decide which of the 15 different appetizers to try. Choosing a main course is even harder. There are 10 different kinds of pasta, 20 varieties of pizza, and a build-your-own pizza option with over 100 toppings to choose from.
When the waiter stops by to ask if you’re ready to order, you apologize and say you need a few more minutes.
By this point, the restaurant has a line going out the door of customers waiting for a table and you feel stressed that you haven’t made a decision yet.
Your friend notices your distress and says, “If you’ don’t like this place, we can always go somewhere else. There’s a taco truck down around the corner that everyone raves about. They only have 3 types of tacos and each one is killer.”
What do you do?
Do you get up and leave or keep staring at the restaurant menu?
In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re taking a look at Analysis Paralysis – why sometimes less is actually more.
Let’s get into it.
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The Psychology of Analysis Paralysis 🧠
There are three areas of any decision making process that can trip up your buyer:
- Analysis Process: When presented with information but no instructions on how to make a decision, the decision-maker must figure it out on their own. This uses up valuable brain juice that could be spent on actually making a decision.
- Decision Precision: Depending on the importance of the decision, a lot of effort must be put into figuring out what kind of outcomes will result. If it is the first time making this decision, the decision-maker will be extra nervous because they’ve never seen the outcome before.
- Risk Uncertainty: We can never truly know all the risks associated with a decision. If a decision is really big and complex, there will likely be many unforeseen consequences that come from it. This weighs heavily on your buyer as they choose to or not to proceed.
Inside Your Buyer’s Mind🧐
When presented with options, your buyer needs to assess all aspects of the deal before making a decision to purchase. If the decision is complex or irreversible, there are even more inputs that must be considered.
It might seem like your helping your prospect by offering them a bunch of options. But in reality, it actually makes their decision-making process that much more complex, possibly leading to inaction.
How To Apply This 🤑
Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?
Reduce the number of options
Providing fewer options to your buyer will reduce the amount of complexity that they’ll need to process and get them to make a decision faster.
Make the decision reversible
If possible, offer a money-back guarantee to de-risk the decision. If a decision is permanent, then the stakes are going to be really high. If they can go back to the status quo if they don’t like it, they’ll be more willing to give it a go.
Create a fool-proof buying process
Hand-hold your buyer through the decision-making process and provide plenty of cues that they’re making progress (time remaining, questions to go, number of steps, etc.). This will remove the need for them to create their own process so they can focus on the decision at hand.
The Short of It 💥
When presented with the need to make a decision, the buyer’s brain will be in overdrive. Remove as many mental barriers as possible so that they can make the decision smoothly. Do this by removing options, creating a simple process, and holding their hand as they make progress.
Until next time, happy selling!
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