Seeing one amazing pair of shoes is one thing, but having a lot of different brands and pairs of shoes to choose from is more appealing. This is actually where the “shopping” concept began. What does it mean when people “shop”? It simply means, they go explore many options, “flirt” with possibilities, and choose among the best options until they find the right item and settle for it. People enjoy this process more than they enjoy the actual buying itself. That is an example of options thinking.
So how do you influence options thinking? The simple way is to tell them, “Here are the options”. For example, one of the most popular and effective phrases in sales is called the “alternate of choice”. This involves the salesperson asking the potential customer a question that gives him a choice between two positives: “Would you like this car in blue, or do you prefer the green one?” This sales closing technique is effective because it influences options thinking. Another way to do this is to simply state all the available options. For example, if you’re selling insurance you can say, “Here are the options available: We have the 5-year plan for short term coverage, but we also have plans that range from 10 years and above. Let’s evaluate these options.” That’s better than simply dictating to the other person what to do next until he rebels.