“We showed the client 3 different options, all of the variables, and said we have the supporting evidence which we can share whenever they are interested. And then nothing happened. They’re still thinking it over I guess.” Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. The goal is to be there less. This quote hits pretty hard from Scott Galloway,
“Consumers don’t want choice. One of the biggest mistakes we make as marketers is saying that choice is a good thing. No, it’s not. Consumers don’t want more choice they want to be more confident in the choices they make.”
It’s a hard truth, but a truth we constantly have to face. People don’t want choice as much as they want to be confident in the choices they make. That’s why used car salesmen have the reputation they have, that’s why the man with a hammer sees every problem as a nail. There are lots of bad cases, but there are also good ones too. It’s why we go with the procedure the doctor recommends or let the accountant file our tax return. Confidence building is a superpower.
We answer the honest call for confidence by doing the work, understanding our clients’ needs, wants, and dreams, and then presenting the best option both we and they can be confident in. Note all of the qualifiers to not be the pushy insurance salesman: it has to objectively be good work, not just a sale. We have to be broadly knowledgeable, not narrowly focused. We have to be equally passionate about our chosen topic and looking out for our reputation as professionals, not solely focused on the payday at the end. These are the lines to walk.
If we do all that and present our work as “Here is exactly what to do, how to do it, and why,” we’ll get a lot done. And, we’ll create a lot of value. And, we won’t do it by offering every choice under the sun or arrogantly pumping one product, but by helping build people’s confidence in the options they are selecting.
Research the options. Narrow them down to the choices. Understand the wants, needs and dreams of the person across the table. Build confidence. Get good work done. It’s as simple (and hard, and crazy, and challenging) as that.