Offering 18 Choices is NOT Consulting

You’ve most likely heard about the jam experiment, circa 2000. Take a look here for the original research.  The upshot: 30% of shoppers presented with “limited” choice–6 jams–bought some. Only 3% of those offered “extensive” choice–24 jams–made purchases.

Makes sense right? Too many choices make us freeze, unable to decide, so we do nothing.

It’s exactly the same with getting your client to act on the work you do for them.

Case in point.

I just received 18 logo choices that a designer sent my client.

Yes, 18.

Now imagine you’re that client. You’ve been traveling non-stop, filled to the brim with client work, but hey—you’re still excited to see your project come to life.

And then you open the file and discover there are 18 choices. Seriously? After a quick spin through, you’re confused—they all seem to blend into each other. You close the file and set it aside. Even if there’s the design equivalent of a Van Gogh in there, you can’t see it.

So what do you do? Nothing.

Which means not only do you not get what you want, but the designer will wonder why their emails and phone calls go unreturned.

And here’s the thing.

That designer was intellectually lazy.

Wait you say—18 choices, surely that isn’t lazy? Doesn’t it take longer to create 18 designs than say three?

Not really.

Your client wants to see your vision, your point of view, your expertise.

There is no vision in 18 choices.

It’s lazy.

Contrast that with another project—this one for web design—where the designer gave us three options. Each one was carefully constructed and we could literally “see” the advantages and trade-offs of each.

One pre-review with me, one review with the client—decision made and off to execute. Quick for the client and no more work for the designer than creating 18 one-off possibilities.

Of course he did have to commit to a vision and take the risk the client would reject it.

Just to make the comparison even more interesting, guess the difference in fees for Designer 1 and Designer 2?

Designer 2 charges—wait for it—90% more than Designer 1.

Yep, 90% more.

The right clients are willing—no, THRILLED—to pay for not only great work, but a great process.

One that feels smooth, smart and 100% focused on their goals.

So which would you rather do: work a little harder to embed your vision in every single aspect of your work or make 90% less than those who do?



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