Turning Consumer Trends Into Sales Tips. Part 2 of 6: Too Many Choices

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on January 17, 2017

Turning Consumer Trends Into Sales Tips. Part 2 of 6: Too Many Choices Sales Tips to Turn “Tryers” Faced with Too Many Choices Into Buyers

In this series, I look at consumer trends for 2017 identified in a document recently released by Ford Motor Company, that I discussed in a recent post. Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futurist at Ford Motor Company, uses results from several surveys to look at how consumers think about purchases and their lives today. She turns those consumer insights into sales tips that help direct Ford’s new product and design thinking.

I believe this information is valuable to any business that relies upon sales and to anybody looking for sales tips to improve their results.  So today, I’d like to focus on what Connelly calls our “sampling” society and offer some sales tips that might help us deal with it.

Too Many Choices

A few decades ago, consumers had it relatively simple. Fewer brands at the supermarket. Fewer television programs (and networks) to sift through. In general, fewer places—and fewer ways—to make a purchase. Once, large department stores sold pretty much everything you needed, from clothes to furniture. Then, “big box” retailers became the “big dogs” in many industries. Even more recently, the internet added a “virtual” shopping center with hundreds of thousands of stores in it.

This explosion of options has led to a habit of “endless shopping” on the part of consumers. The report from Ford presents these survey findings:

  • 49% of adults 18-29 said they had “walked away from a purchase decision” in the last month because they had so many options they couldn’t choose.
  • 57% of adults in the U.S. agreed that “the internet creates more choices than I need or want.” (The percentage was even higher in the U.K., Spain, Germany, and Canada; China topped the list with 99% agreement.)

The range of available choices even makes life difficult after a decision. Even after making a purchase, more than half of adults 18-34 worry that they should have continued shopping for a better product or deal.

A “Trying” Situation

So that’s the mindset of many consumers; too many choices, and never feeling satisfied with the ones you do make. This has resulted in buyers who are in a perpetual “trial” mode, never settling on one product or brand for long. New services even make it possible to delay or never actually make that purchase decision. Who needs a car when I can just use Uber? Why choose my own clothing/pet products/razors/dinner menu when I can have someone else pick out products for me and deliver them to my door?

This “sampling” attitude even extends to the more important aspects of their lives. Among adults, globally

  • 43% do not plan to stay in their current home longer than five years
  • 49% do not plan to stay in their current job longer than five years

Sales Tips to Motivate Uncommitted Customers

What, exactly, can your company do when customers and prospects demonstrate little loyalty, and show little interest in a long-term relationship? Here are a couple of sales tips that may help.

The first, perhaps, is a little obvious. To get a prospect to “pull the trigger” in the first place, you have to make the value of your solution impossible to miss. Know your prospect’s situation as thoroughly as possible in advance, and demonstrate how your solution will make a measurable business difference quickly. It has always been important, but it’s more critical now than ever. Help your prospect realize they are making the right decision in choosing your solution.

The second of my sales tips demands a bit more discipline. It is only relevant once you have earned a customer’s business, or engaged a prospect to the point you are confident a sale will happen.  And the tip only takes four wfree-sales-enablement-consultationords:  take nothing for granted. Today’s retail and business consumers have learned to keep options open. Every sale or project could be the last one. You may have gotten great feedback. But your customer is still shopping; still perhaps wondering if he made the right choice. So you have to put the same energy and thorough strategy into every customer and prospect meeting as you did the very first one.

Sales Tips You Can Use Today

At Superior Business Solutions, we have always tried to deliver solutions to our customers print and promotional problems that help them make the right choices.  And though I don’t like to brag, I am  proud we have won awards for customer loyalty and satisfaction. For sales tips that will help your sales team succeed, contact us today and ask for a free 15 minute sales enablement review.

In case you missed the first two articles pertaining to this series on sales tips for 2017, catch up below:

Need Sales Tips for 2017? Don’t Miss This BIG One From Ford Motor Company

Turning Consumer Trends Into Sales Tips. Part 1 of 6: Time 

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