Eat your competition for lunch

Minimize their choices to maximize your sales

In my experience, three is a good number of choices for a simple tool-buying decision. More complex equipment-buying decisions are sometimes best served by giving only two choices. Give your customer two choices, with a moderate price difference, and usually more than half will buy the less expensive choice. (Notice how by restricting choices to only two, you are pushing more of your customers down to the lower end of the spectrum.)

But that’s preferable to too many choices. And, if you show your customer just one tool, you’ll likely find yourself selling even less. That’s because you’ve now limited the customer’s choices too much. The natural choices now are to buy or not buy. In most cases more will choose not to buy than if given two choices.

Next time you’re “toting and promoting,” run a field experiment for me. In half the shops, bring one tool; in the other half, bring two: a good and better version of the same tool. You’ll likely find that you’ll sell more when you offer two choices. (Email and let me know what happens for you.)

Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc. (, a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment. If you ever plan to be near Franklin Park, Ill., drop him a line and he’ll let you buy lunch at Gene & Jude’s. For just $5 you can get a hot dog, fries, a drink and a lesson in limiting choices.

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