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What a filthy compost bin teaches about getting sales…

I live in a small townhouse, amongst a block of four.

We all share the same garbage bins which are stored away in a shed.

One of these bins is for food waste. It’s beaten to hell. Raccoons have smashed it to pieces. The top doesn’t close properly. The bottom is covered in a weird brown sludge, infested with maggots.

It’s incredibly disgusting.

Yet my neighbours always use this bin…even though there’s an immaculate, almost new compost bin further back.

This brings me to your customers: How can you get them to take action? 

One morning I dragged the bin outside for the garbage men to come and collect. The wheel had fallen off. The bottom had a hole, dropping rotten food and liquids all over the floor.

When I left the bin on the street, squirrels and raccoons tipped it over.

The top popped off, and a decaying breakfast melon rolled out like a severed head. At last, I’d finally had enough.

Did I tell my neighbours: “Please stop using this awful bin”?


(You can get most results you want without forcibly compelling people to do anything.)

Instead, I remembered those long copy pages I’d written – the ones with 3 payment options.

You see, people don’t like having choices.

That’s why, when you’re selling, it’s usually best to give them one offer. One option. Take it or leave it.

However, those times when you have a few payment options, it’s usually best to spell out which is the best deal. You’ve probably seen this yourself.

You’re presented with 3 or 4 possible deals. One of them is highlighted “Best Deal,” and made slightly bolder than the rest.

Thinking is hard work.

You don’t ever want your reader to think.

They should never pause to pontificate or decide what’s best for them.

It’s up to you to do all the thinking for them.

This makes everything seamless, so they breeze through your order page and click with almost no conscious thought.

The bin problem was in fact easy to solve. All I did was put the bad bin further back and bring the nice new one forwards, leaving the lid’s lock open, so it was enticing for people to use.

Their choice was easy, and I’ve never been covered in mouldy food since.

Do your customers keep choosing the deals that don’t work out best for you?

Think about how you can make it easy for them to choose the deal you want to make. How much friction can you remove from the sale? The more you do this, the more likely you are to get them accepting the deal you want.