There’s plenty of sales tricks out there. One of the most commonly known ones is called the “double bind,” or sometimes the “false choice.” It’s pretty powerful, and has been used by plenty of people in plenty of situations without a lot of persuasive punch.
But before we get into that, let’s talk about choice.
We humans are a strange group. One thing that all of us crave is choice. Not only that, but we absolutely must have freedom. The fact that we have choice is an example of the underlying freedom. It is absolutely taboo to take away freedom from people. This is even built into our language.
Imagine you walk into a fancy restaurant. The server wants to know if you want a smoking table, or an on smoking table.
Now don’t they say, “Do you want a smoking table or a non smoking table.”
What they do say is, “Would you like a smoking table, or a non smoking table.”
This is very subtle difference, but it’s very important. The specific language of the second question is called the “second conditional.” It’s used to describe situations in the future that may or may not take place.
The first question is simply a question. It assumes the customer is going to choose. Whenever you assume the actions of anybody, you take away their choice as well as the implied freedom this represents.
The second question basically says, “Dear customer, I’m not saying that you’re going to choose one of our tables, but if you did, would you choose a smoking, or a non smoking one?”
This leaves all the choice up to the customer. The customer doesn’t feel imposed on. They still feel in complete control.
So it’s important, whenever talking to potential customers (because at this point, the person in the restaurant is a potential customer), you need to always give them a choice.
Of course, most markets are loathe to do this. You can choose to buy my product, or you can choose to leave.
But what if both choices led to a sale?
Now we’re talking.
You can do this when you give them two choices, but both choices essentially lead to the same thing. People that set appointments for in home salespeople do this all the time.
Consider this question:
“Which is better for you, Thursday evening, or Wednesday afternoon?”
It sounds like a choice, but it really isn’t. Because both of them satisfy the appointment setter’s goal of making an appointment.
There are plenty of ways to do this on a sales page. Just figure out a way to present your offer in two different ways, and simply ask your potential customer which one they’d like. The longer of a description you can provide for each, the better.
If both choices are too brief, it will seem like one choice in the customer’s mind.
For example, consider this:
Would you like to join membership plan A, or membership plan B?
But compare it to this:
Would you prefer to sign up for our starter plan, which lets you experience some of our more popular yet inexpensive features, letting you decide if this is something you’d like to do over the long term?
Or would you rather dive right in with our advanced plan, which is designed for savvy customers that want to get the most benefits in the shortest time possible?
The more time you give your customers to ponder the choices, and the more enticing you make both of them, the more likely they’ll choose one.
Which means more sales for you.
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