Are You Giving Them Too Many Choices?


This is an article the ladies will relate to and the guys might learn a little about a subject they didn’t necessarily think they needed to know about. Stick with it though. There is a business and marketing lesson in all this.

Make-up isn’t something I consider myself an expert in and never really expected to have to know too much about it. But, things change in our lives and we have to adapt, right?

Since I’m doing more and more speaking from the stage, it’s important to me that I look as good as I can while I’m doing it. So, when I needed help, I did the logical thing, I asked a friend. After all, it didn’t seem like there was really a reason to go to a professional and sit in one of those chairs to get my make-up over done and all that. That just seemed like too much trouble to go through.

I’m not that into all this make-up stuff. I’m not going to wear it everyday – I work from home for crying out loud. And, I don’t need to be made up like a baby doll or anything, I just need some smoothing, some things to stand out a little more, and to look a little more polished (no, not the nail kind – that would be pushing it a little more than I’m ready to go at this point).

So, I get my list of items from my friend and off I trudge to get my items. How hard can this be, right? Just some powder, brown eye liner, matching brown eye shadow, and a couple brushes. No big deal.

Well, what do I know? I had no idea there were so many shades of brown or powder. So many choices, so little time! Ugh!

I mean there was brown, light brown, dark brown, very dark brown, cinnamon, espresso, honey, champagne, chocolate, bronze, buff, cocoa, ginger, tan, khaki, and I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Trust me when I tell you that’s just the beginning of the brown color choices.

I pick something and move on to the powders … this have to be easier, right? After all, my friend said to get medium. I figure how hard can that be? I should have known better after the ordeal with the color brown.

Thank goodness I know I’m looking for loose powder so at least I don’t have to struggle with what kind to get (there are like 6 variations of kinds of powder). I found lots of compacts but not a lot of loose powder, but once I did I was blown away. There was transparent, light transparent, medium transparent, light, light to medium, medium, translucent, and all variations of those combinations you can’t imagine. I flabbergasted, but I pick one and move on.

Now to the brushes. My friend said to get a big, fluffy powder brush and a brush for the eye liner. Oh, my goodness. Not only are there a bunch of brushes for each thing, but there are long brushes and short brushes, fat brushes and skinny brushes, brushes with straight heads and some with angled heads, brushes with angled brushes and those with straight brushes, cheap ones, expensive ones and ones in between.

You have got to be kidding me! Why do I try to do these things by myself without one of my girlie friends who know about these things? I should have known better than to try to do this alone.

By this time, with all the shades of everything I have given up on attempting to match the brown eye liner with brown eye shadow – I’ll just make due with what I already have, because I’m sure any more time in the store will certainly push me over the edge (the edge of something).

As comical as this experience really was and still is (I laugh every time I go back to buy something in the cosmetics section), it does make the point that sometimes we offer our clients and prospects too many choices, we overwhelm them, and they make the only choice they know to make – they chose not to buy from us. As a general rule, a confused mind doesn’t buy.

Sometimes we’re so concerned with making sure we give people a lot of “stuff” that we actually do our clients a disservice by overwhelming them.

Sometimes less really is more. Try boiling things down to the A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s, making things less complicated and watch your clients thank you for it. (I would have paid somebody to boil all that make up stuff down for me, to have gone and gotten what I needed and just brought it to me, or to have just given me a specific list of the things I needed).

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About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with financial and advisory services clients to create an anticipatory strategy and mindset. By leveraging people and technology he breaks down barriers to combine planning and innovation in a way that increases profits and accelerates sales results.
He’s a growth strategist and internationally recognized Sage Global Business Expert and IBM Futurist who turns strategy into implementable business development activities for increasing market share, revenue, and profits. He has proven success seeing the big picture and creating new market opportunities.
Tripp can be contacted at tbraden@marketleadership.net or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s other blog at Empowering Serving Advisors.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Market Leadership Journal.


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