If there’s one thing I love doing to relax, it’s going to the cinema.
(Or the “theater”, if you’re American.)
See, when you’re a freelance copywriter, it’s tough to switch off.You’re always thinking about your current project. And, heck, you’re always thinking about your next project, too.
So the cinema’s great to just get away.
Plus, you’ve gotta turn your phone off, so prospects, clients and everyone else are forgotten for a couple of hours.
Anyway, I went last week.
And before the film started, I went to the restaurant next door. I was tempted to get a dessert, but the menu wasn’t great. So I thought “You know what, I’ll get a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream from the cinema.”
After all, they’re lush.
So up to the ice-cream counter I went…
And that’s when I had a problem.
See, I’ve recently been hitting the gym hard. I used to be in great shape, but I’d let myself go a bit recently. And I wanted my body back.
One thing you should know about me is I’m very “all or nothing”. I either do something at 100mph, or don’t do it at all.
I wouldn’t recommend this mindset. It just leads to burnout. Which is why I’m trying to change it.
So instead of being obsessed with the gym and my diet like I used to be (where I’d count all my macros to the gram), I now try and stick to the 80/20 rule.
80% of the time I’ll eat “healthy”.
20% of the time I’ll eat crap.
And no counting calories, macros, or anything. Much happier for it, and getting good results.
But the thing is, I only wanted one scoop of ice-cream. Anymore than that and, considering I’d just eaten a big-ass burger, would have been too much and eating for eating’s sake.
Yet I had about 20 different flavours to choose from. They all looked heavenly. How the hell was I gonna choose just one?
So I thought about it…
And thought about it…
And thought about it…
And do you know what I decided?
To not have any ice-cream at all.
Yeah, I know it sounds weird. Especially since I was desperate for an ice-cream just 2 minutes before.
But here’s the thing:
When people have too many options to choose from, they often don’t choose any of them.
And that’s what happened to me. The longer I stood there thinking, the more time my brain had to tell me “Tom, you don’t really need this ice-cream. You’re not exactly hungry. And if you get one flavour, you’ll probably be annoyed with yourself for not choosing a different one.”
Think about it…
Have you ever done the same; decided not to choose anything when you’ve had too many options?
I imagine so.
It’s kinda weird, right? But that’s the human brain for ya. We don’t like making decisions. And sometimes, the easiest decision to make is to make no decision at all.
And that’s where a lot of copywriters, entrepreneurs, and online marketers go wrong in their sales copy.
Instead of offering one single product at a time, they give their prospects a choice.
They think the more choices they offer someone, the more likely they are to buy.
And yeah, on the face of it, it’s sensible thinking.
But believe me, all you’re gonna do is overwhelm people, just like I was at the Ben & Jerry’s counter. And this means they won’t buy a thing.
Sure, offer people upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells after they’ve bought your first product.
But in your initial offer, give people an easy “yes or no” choice to make.
Heck, if the only option at the ice-cream counter was “chocolate”, I would have bought it. And if after I bought it they said, “oh, by the way, would you like an extra scoop of banana with that?” I probably would have said yes.
So if you’re not already doing so, offer people one thing at a time.
If you do, your sales should go up.
PS- Of course, nothing’s set in stone
You have to split-test all of this.
But, most of the time, offering people a single choice is better than giving them lots of options.