Why You Should Never Try And Second Guess Your Customers…

Before we start today, a quick ‘paw’ update … the thing that was neither ‘Gout’ or ‘A Splinter’ turned out to be, after a brief minor operation, some sort of fibrous lump causing the discomfort. This, however, wasn’t the important part … the important part as far as this edition of the Lowedown is concerned, was why they got my lunch wrong…
I had ordered both the baguette and the goujons, but the orderly type chap thought he knew best, and without checking with me, assumed it was an either/or and only brought me just the goujons. Obviously I was disappointed, and expressed my displeasure to the greatest extent that having only one working hand would allow…
As I sat recuperating at home the next day (not using the hand wasn’t that difficult, but the stuff they gave me for the pain did nothing for my co-ordination). I was wondering how often, just like that orderly, we think we know what our customers want, better than they do … and the possible pitfalls that await us as a result.
When you’re putting together a particular product or a system, I know that often there is a minimum requirement regarding time, financial investment or prior knowledge involved . This will of course limit how flexible you can be and will inevitably exclude some people.
You’ll agree, then, that whenever possible, you should try and offer a variation of options to cover as many different levels of time, investment and knowledge as you can … in short – giving the buyer what they want.
This can arrive in a number of forms, either as an initial product with an ‘upsell’ offering more support and help or even a ‘downsell’ where a cheaper version is offered , in exchange for the buyer doing a bit more of the ‘work’ or for a greater payment a bit further along the line.
This model has been somewhat abused in our industry to the point where often the buyer isn’t sure what they’re actually getting , or to get something that actually works they have to get all of the upsells, which was not really what they wanted when they clicked on ’Buy’ for the first time. For this reason, I suggest anybody should use this method rarely, and be absolutely transparent when they do.
The preferred option is to offer all of your options at the same juncture in the sales process so the buyer can effectively compare the merits of each and make the best informed decision. These would often come in the shape of, for instance, ‘gold’, ‘platinum’ and ‘diamond’ packages… (you notice Silver and Bronze have been discarded as they imply second and third best … and nobody really wants that.)
As a final note, while you’re offering as much choice as you can, be wary of erring on the side of making things too complicated so try and stick to only three or four options offering a range of prices and levels of support so you can attract as many buyers as you possibly can.
Until Next Time,

Tim Sig

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Tim Lowe