Corporations understand that consumers are more likely to purchase their products when presented with fewer choices. Social psychologists Sheena Iyengar, PhD, and Mark Lepper, PhD, were the first to empirically demonstrate the downside of excessive choice. In a 2000 paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , they showed that when shoppers are given the option of choosing among smaller and larger assortments of jam, they show more interest in the larger assortment. But when it comes time to pick just one, they’re 10 times more likely to make a purchase if they choose among six rather than among 24 flavors of jam.
If fewer choices consistently results in more sales, then why do so many small business professionals insist on offering far too many services in their company’s description? The answer is two fold. First, because we invest so much time and energy into our practices, we’d like to believe that we’re capable of providing the absolute best service, even if the client’s needs are slightly out of our scope of expertise. Secondly, we inherently believe that if we offer more services, more clients will seek us out.
Every industry has its self proclaimed “renaissance person” however, and we are not trying to pick on them, computer professionals tend to have the “I do it all” bug the worst. This approach may work if you are looking to do odd jobs for friends and family but it presents a barrier for customers trying to find a specific solution. For example, if you are browsing the Referral Key Business Directory looking for an experienced web programmer, which profile are you more likely to follow up with?
Kevin Smith: Web Programming - 12 years
Richard Wilson: Computer Networking, Computer System Designs, Computer Repair, Computer Consulting, Graphic Designer, Web Programming, Search Engine Optimization - 12 years
The first professional is much more appealing because if anything, he appears to be dedicated to his craft. It’s the same reasoning that dictates why we probably wouldn’t want to purchase life insurance at a Walmart. Because of our own experiences and limitations, we have developed an unspoken dialog in our mind. We believe that specialization equals quality.