Make it easier for people to buy

Simon looking at a large range of options thinking "which one do I choose?"

Do you offer your buyers too many options? You might agree that ‘variety is the spice of life’ but for potential clients it might be a case of ‘so many choices, so little time’!

In fact, most businesses are offering too much to their clients – and that can put them off before they’ve even started.

Think about it:

  • Some of the best restaurants have the smallest menus.
  • Many of the most successful products offer very limited options.

When it comes to selling, I believe less is more. But how can you offer less and sell more?

Trying to please everyone never works

When you are in the middle of running your business – strategising, marketing, delivering… – giving people options to choose from can seem a sound idea. It seems obvious that people want a choice in what they’re buying to maximise what they‘re getting for their money. However…

This is the wrong way to sell and I see it all the time! Doing it this way is running your business from your perspective not the buyer’s. People don’t go looking for what you might be selling – they go looking for what they want to buy.

With simple purchases, people often adjust what they’re looking for to fit what is on offer. But when it comes to a considered purchase, rightly or wrongly, people have more of a fixed preconception of what they want to buy. They don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time working out if one of the multiple options available is what they’re looking for. Often, in a crowded marketplace, they want someone trustworthy to tell them what the best option for them is.

Simplify your offer

Don’t worry; you don’t have to change what you’re selling to meet this expectation. You might have to change how you talk about it.

I recently worked with a client who has a venue they hire out for coaching retreats. The venue comes with a lot of different options and they were trying to decide how best to offer this space to coaches. We worked out the best way was to price it per person because this is how the coach would be selling the spaces. Offering a straightforward package, including all the most popular options, priced per person, makes it much easier for the coach to buy. As the buyer, they no longer have to consider lots of differently-priced details to arrive at the cost they have to factor in to their own offer.

The price per person either appeals or it doesn’t. Whichever, the simple all-included packaging and pricing approach saves the potential buyer a lot of time.

What my client is offering has not changed, but moving from a long list of individually priced options to a single cost has made their offer a lot more appealing to the coaches who are their target market.

Flip your perspective

Whatever you’re selling – 121 sessions, a course, group work… – consider it from the buyer’s perspective and ask yourself, if I was new to this and had never purchased this kind of product or service before, what would I be looking for?

Take a step back and look at your current offer from the buyer’s perspective. Is it clear? Is it simple? Is it in language the buyer uses and will understand?

There will be time later to explain your jargon to potential clients and go into the detail of how it all works and what it all means once the process starts – save all that for later. Right now you need an offer that is easily understood and is what your ideal clients are looking for.

But… I don’t know what people are looking for!

This comes up more often than you’d think. Whether you’re starting out or have been exploring a niche for a while, it can be hard to know just what people want. There is a simple way to find out. Ask them.

It might seem obvious, but if you’re not sure what your ideal client is looking for then you haven’t asked the right questions. To get started, next time you have a client conversation or a discovery call, ask them about where they are now, how they are feeling about it, and what they are doing and thinking about (in relation to your work). Then, ask them where they want to end up and how they want to change this.

The answers to these questions will help you understand the language they use and what they are looking for.

Too many options can make it difficult to buy

What you sell is less important than how you sell it. It’s a lot easier to offer things that people want and are looking for than it is to try to appeal to a wider range of people by attempting to offer everything.

In other words, make what people want instead of searching for people who want what you make.

I did a whole other blog on Client’s Needs and Wants recently if you want to dive deeper. Getting clear on who you want to work with and why they can trust you to deliver it are the fundamental principles of marketing. And that clarity leads to a simpler offer that will appeal to your ideal client. That’s worth spending some time on!

If you want to learn more about these fundamental principles, then you might like to consider my book Reframing Marketing: A 3-step plan for effective and ethical marketing. It has lots of exercises to help you get clearer on who you want to work with, what to offer them, and how to build trust with them so they say yes to your offer.

Order your copy directly from me at