The Option of Multiple Yeses

Always give the prospect multiple options. Not giving options usually means you just increased your chances of not getting their business. Know any stores that sell one thing and one thing only? Giving people options allows them to feel in control, which always increases the odds that they will buy.

As you put your proposal together, give some thought to how you could create at least three different options. Most people like to choose the middle option of three. So make one lower-cost, one medium-cost, and one high-priced option for anything you offer. You can do that by starting with the highest-priced offering and working backwards, and then taking value off as you lower the price.

The option of multiple yeses
As you create these three levels, however, be sure to adjust value equally. Always add or subtract value along with price. By doing this you have given three “yeses” the prospect can choose from as opposed to just one. That’s a 200 percent increase in your odds of getting the business.

If you’re offering coaching, the variables you might play with to create multiple options could be:

  • Number of calls
  • Length of calls
  • Length of engagement
  • Number of people being coached (e.g., group coaching versus one on-one) If you’re offering training, the variables could be:
    • Length
    • Number of people
    • Individual attention
    • Tools

Get it? Almost anything you offer could be adapted to multiple options, but doing this is extremely helpful in getting more business. Just make sure that, as you create these levels, you don’t create one that doesn’t deliver real value to the client or pay you enough. You don’t want to deliver ineffective loss-leader programs all month long.

The nice side effect of doing this is that you reduce the chances that you will get in a difficult negotiation with a client who wants a deal. With one option, they are free to ask for the same value but at a lower price. When you have another option below, it creates a blocking effect. This allows you to counter the request for lower cost with, “Well for that kind of price let’s take a look at Option C.” It’s much harder for a client to rationally argue, “I like Option B best, but we want it at Option C price.” How often do you think someone walks into a car dealership and asks if they can have the deluxe four-door model, but at the economy two-door price? There is a great deal of psychology behind
having three options, and all of it has to do with protecting your profits.

Lastly, many times we’re in a rush in a negotiation. It’s on the fly, dynamic, and sometimes a little contentious. The last thing you want to do is be rushing to think in your head irrationally about what the best deal is, then find yourself standing in the parking lot going, “Damn, why did I agree to that”?When you create formal options, you do so in the calm of your office, alone, slowly and rationally. You ensure that each deal is optimal for you. Then, when you’re in live negotiations, you can move to any one of these options knowing it is already well thought out and that it will be a good deal. This is why I say multiple options make the buyer feel they are in control. In reality, they are only choosing from options you’re in control of already.

About Jay Niblick

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