Frozen in The Cereal Aisle

cereals

I nearly had a nervous breakdown in Aisle 8 at the grocery store on Sunday.

There I stood, in the cereal aisle, reading the shopping list my wife created.

Item 15 on the list: “Healthy Cereal.” 

I marched up and down the aisle, scanning the shelves.  

Should I buy the Kashi or the Kellogg’s? Barbara’s Bakery or Bob’s Red Mill? What about General Mills?

Just guesstimating here, but I think there were 18 million options to weigh.

I texted my wife. No reply.

I called. No answer.

Panic was setting in. What to do? Which one should I buy?

I returned home with nothing from Aisle 8. “They were out of healthy cereal,” I muttered when she asked.

I know food manufacturers and grocery giants spend millions to master the science of product placement. There’s a reason grocery stores are organized as they are — to get us to buy more.

But those crowded shelves also can backfire. Too many choices can paralyze prospects.

That’s an important lesson for any business — not just grocery stores.

Numerous studies have proven that prospects act like I did when confronted with more buying options than they can comfortably process.

They freeze, and then they flee.

So keep it simple. Present good options, but not too many.

This principle applies not just when you’re selling products or services.

Remember that…

…the next time you present recommendations to your boss or co-workers.

…the next time you discuss what to do this weekend with your pals or spouse.

…the next time you’re stocking the shelves or writing a proposal or generally pitching your stuff.

You want to encourage people to consider the options, not freeze and flee.

p.s. Coaches, consultants and other business leaders turn to me to power-up their stories because most dish out the same old boring, "blah, blah, blah" content, turn off prospects and then feel frustrated and stuck. So I help them transform content from boring to brilliant, turn the marketing process from frustrating to fun, and convert results from pitiful to profitable. Bottom line, you can fire up prospects and inspire them to hire you with story-powered content that's simple to create. I'll show you how. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.

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