One of the best things about the technology age that we live in is all the different options when it comes to services and products. Look up any product or service and you will find hundreds of different choices, that can be from just one company! In theory this has allowed us as a consumers to be able to find exactly what we are looking for. But in reality this can actually backfire. As consumers we tend to fall into the product overload. We have too many choices to choose from that we don’t know which to buy. Each product or service has benefits but might not be perfect in our mind because we know that are other options out there. In the end we either give up or buy a product or service but on some level regret it.

This product or service overload can also happen within your business. Let’s say you run a catering business. You are an excellent chef that knows thousands of recipes. You have compiled a book of everything you offer. It looks something like this:

  • 100 non alcoholic beverage choices
  • 75 alcoholic beverage choices
  • 75 appetizers & hors d’oeuvres
  • 35 main courses
  • 145 side dishes
  • 150 desserts

Then you offer 20 different ways for serving the food. Now pile this onto an event that is already stressful such as a wedding or work event. The client will more than likely shut down and just pick a few random choices that “sound good”.

The desire to offer choices, the choices that will appease everyone, end up causing product/service overload. This can be disastrous for a business. Instead of allow the client to make decision, which lead to giving you money, they are stuck just looking through the choices. But on the flip side, not enough choices makes the client question whether they are getting the best option. So what can you do? Refine your products/services.

The catering company for example from above. Instead of 175 different beverages, pick the top one or two from each type.

  • Pick 4 types of wine A good white wine that is crisp and clean, not dry but not sweet. A good sweet white wine. A good red white that is crisp and clean, not dry but not sweet. A good sweet red wine.
  • Pick 4 -6 types of beers.
  • 5 different pop choices, a coke, a diet coke, a clear pop, like sprite, root beer, a yellow pop like mountain dew.
  • 2 types of coffee, one regular, one dark.
  • etc, etc.

Keep doing this for each type for each category. You will probably end up with a menu like this:

  • 15 non alcoholic beverage choices
  • 15 alcoholic beverage choices
  • 10 appetizers & hors d’oeuvres
  • 10 main courses
  • 12 side dishes
  • 12 desserts

This menu is much more manageable for you and your clients. By having a list like the above gives enough choices to make the majority of people happy but not too many choices to overload the client. On top of that the list allows you to perfect those products/services your offer. So my question to you this week is, are you giving your clients product/service overload?