Issue #57 How you are making buying hard

Is your offer as confusing as a shoe store?  

Why is it that buying black shoes, requires considering dozens (hundreds) of identical (to me) shoes to pick one based on criteria I will never understand?

Whenever I go shoe shopping, I conjure an image of a Soviet shoe store with a sign that says Men’s black office shoes and an arrow pointing to the one shoe available. 


You may love shoe shopping, but research suggests that decision overload is a real thing, that you are probably doing it to your customers and it is likely costing you sales.

More in a second first, some updates:

🎁 What is a USP? Also known as a Unique Selling Proposition, it helps you differentiate yourself. It isn’t as valuable as an Irresistible Value Statement, but it’s good to know. Read more here.

📺 Here is a great Marie Forleo interview with Marc Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix, he has some great ideas for MSP owners.

Customers, especially business customers, are paralyzed by overload.

CEB (now Gartner) published research in the Harvard Business Review that strongly suggests the way we sell is wrong. 

Want to test yourself? Ask yourself if you agree with these statements:

  • Helping the customer consider all possible options and alternatives is important.
  • I remain very flexible to customer needs and opinions throughout a sale, even when I don’t necessarily agree with their direction.
  • More information generally helps customers make better decisions.

In the research, 86% of sales professionals agreed with statement 1, 79% with statement 2, and 68% with statement 3. 

The problem?

According to buyers providing all this information made the buying process 18% more difficult and increased buyer’s remorse by 50%.

How to make buying easier with less remorse

Most people involved with selling believe that they are helping their customers by providing more information.

They think that asking a litany of questions, delving into the sales pain, and providing the information is helpful. 

But they aren’t. 

How do you make life easier for your buyers?

Tell them what the solution is; prescribe the answer to their problems.

Rather than spending your resources deep diving with anybody who comes through the door, spend it finding your perfect client avatar and prescribing your solution to their problem.

We call this process “prescriptive sales.”

It leads to an 86% increase in buying ease and a 37% decrease in buyer’s remorse.

And it makes selling easier and more rewarding for the person selling.

Now, back to those shoes for the “example” close…

I just looked for black shoes on Zappos.

That search yielded 6397 results.

So since I only need one pair of shoes, there are 6396 other items confusing me.

If I were to spend 15 seconds reviewing each shoe, that would take me 26 hours. Just writing this sentence exhausts me. I’m not buying.

If the first shoe had been highlighted and said: “your perfect shoe,” and the details agreed upon – I might have bought it.

Prescriptive selling is powerful, easy to learn, and will change your sales life.

Want to learn how to make your marketing and sales irresistible? Click here.

It will be good for you and your customers.

But wait, I like shoe shopping.

I get it; some people like shoe shopping. I am married to one, and we are raising two such shoppers.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind: shopping is not buying.  

My family likes shopping for shoes, and they occasionally buy them, though not as often as their time shopping would suggest.

And they often have buyer’s remorse which leads to returning and more shopping. 

Fortunately, retail operations have this process largely automated, so they make money out of this tomfoolery 😉.    

The question for you is: do you want your prospects to have a better shopping or better buying experience?

For every small to medium business I have ever worked with, the buying experience is many times more important than the shopping experience.

It comes back to that reptilian brain thing, Joe recently stumbled upon this GREAT video that breaks down the reptilian brain versus neo-cortex challenge.

For me, this brings up two interesting questions:

  1. Management is often about change, so how do we engage “Drew” in management change issues?
  2. Complexity is engaging, but confusion is debilitating. So how do we evoke complexity without creating confusion?

Have something to say about this? Join the discussion here.

Resources – what we are reading, using, and trying out.

  • 📘 Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni – have you heard that you shouldn’t give away free consulting? Well, here is another approach. This ties in very well with value laddering: add value now so prospects value your contribution.
  • 📍 Mindomo is a great SAAS mind mapping software. We use this to detail Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), brainstorm, and outline complicated documents.
  • ⭐️ Our favorite project management software is Asana; we love the simplicity of the lists and the fact that it incorporates workflow. We also use Flowsana to add more workflow without paying for the highest tier of Asana. We’ve heard good things about (which seems almost identical to Asana) and Clickup, but we haven’t worked with them.

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