Frozen in The Cereal Aisle
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.
…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.
Don't go away yet..
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