Sales techniques: why less is more

Steve Harlow

Posted on: July 19, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Category: B2B marketing

Sales techniques: why less is more

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The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

Unless you work for the aeronautical industry, sales should not be rocket science.

For the rest of us, regardless of what we sell or who we sell to, sales should be simple.

And the reason for this is in itself simple: customers do not like too much information.

Customers do not like too much information.

According to a survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners, a majority of people want more control over the details of their lives, but a majority of people also want to simplify their lives.
There you have it—the paradox of our times.
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

In his book, The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz invites us to consider an image of the lost, bemused, confused consumers standing in front of shelves and shelves and shelves of wine.

Rather than revelling in the choice, such abundance provokes anxiety and paralysis.

(Not a great state for making a buying decision).

The paradox of choice is that too much info – or too many options – causes stress and, ultimately, a feeling of trapped unhappiness.

And the paradox of choice does not apply only to consumer goods: it very much applies to B2B buyers too.

Today’s complex B2B sales process involve multiple solutions from multiple suppliers – and, what’s worse, there are multiple stakeholders with conflicting needs to be considered.

Sales cycles are increasingly long, complex and ultimately frustrating rather than fulfilling for the buyer.

But you can help.

Simply by keeping your end of things simple.

You do not need to drill down into every aspect, feature or benefit – you need to understand the precise need and tease out your solution for this.

It’s counter-productive to lay out everything and assume your prospect will zoom in on those of most interest. In fact, they may well miss the most important bits as their brain clogs with irrelevant details.

Clarity not completeness leads to purchasing ease

Unfortunately, the proliferation of choice in our lives robs us of the opportunity to decide for ourselves just how important any given decision is.
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less


Prospects who are presented with too much information and too many choices are more likely to experience confusion and walk away, rather than shake your hand and sign the deal.

If you can understand your customer’s purchase journey, identify the biggest challenges they face, and present a simple solution, you will be more likely to succeed. By angling simple solutions around the biggest issues your prospects face, and then walking them through a simple solution, you will find them more receptive to purchasing.

It’s not rocket science.

Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

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