Ways to distinguish yourself #162 – Provide options; but not too many

Ways to distinguish yourself #162 – Provide options; but not too many

By Rajesh Setty on Tue 05 Sep 2006, 3:13 AM – 1 Comment

Typically people don’t want anyone to anyone else to make choices for them. They want to CHOOSE.

Typically, people don’t want someone else to sell to them. They want to BUY.

Imagine a simple scenario where you are meeting with a professional service provider for some advice. The professional listens to you keenly and understands your situation. He then responds. Let us consider two cases:

Case 1: Bulls Eye

The professional thinks that he has hit the bulls eye. He says that he has found the perfect solution for your problem and offers to go through the same in detail. In the end, he also warns that choosing any other option would be stupid.

Case 2: Carpet bombing with options

The professional is very creative and thinks that your problem can be solved in at least ten different ways. He offers to go over them in detail. He says that once he explains all the various approaches it would be a breeze for you to make a decision.

Unfortunately, you are not happy with both the options above. In the first case, the professional did not give you any choice (he was CHOOSING for you) and in the second case, the laundry list of solutions only confused you more.

The ideal case would have been one where the professional provided two personalized options (at the most three) or solutions and explained to you the ramifications (pros and cons) of choosing either one of them.

Now, remember the number of times you were on the opposite side of the table. When you were that professional to whom other people came to ask for help or advice. How did you respond? Did you provide them THE solution or carpet bombed them with a dozen options to choose from?

The winning formula, typically, is to provide options but not too many of them.

Good luck!


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One comment already – Add Yours

Anonymous  on September 6th, 2006

I read somewhere the power of threes. I even wrote about “Three Words” uttered by my fifth grade teacher so many years ago, forever changing my life. You can see the story here:


Anyway, people tend to remember at most three key principles, three options, three ideas.

If I can find that article about the power of threes, I’ll post another comment for everyone to see. It’s quite powerful.

Stephen Hopson



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