Product Pushing? (Issue 930)

Three days after Christmas…

“So, everybody (family members staying at our house and elsewhere) will be here in about 30 minutes. What are we going to do after dinner? Watch another movie?”

“Yes, I thought that was good last night. Nice time together. Sure, watch a movie sounds good.”

“OK…. So that’s fine and, so we’re not here until midnight because it takes us so long to choose a movie everyone can agree on, would you please pick three movies we can offer them as a choice.

And… I didn’t. We left for dinner… ate…agreed on another “movie night”… and returned to the house.

“What would anyone like to watch?”, someone asked. One person suggested something pretty dark. Another wanted something light, furry, and animated. Another suggested a couple of documentaries. A fourth suggested three classics. Another was very interested in two movies that are currently in theaters… but not available for streaming. No obvious winner.

Silence followed as three of the group lit up phones and started scanning streaming services. One minute turned into five minutes. One of the group turned on the TV and tuned in a football game.

After twenty minutes and a dozen “what about this?” suggestions that didn’t go anywhere, somebody suggested, “We all enjoyed the Ford vs. Ferrari movie a couple of weeks ago. Let’s watch the documentary about Colin Chapman, the real guy.”

More silence. More screen scanning. After a bit, someone suggested, “Let’s watch Chappaquiddick, about Ted Kennedy. Has anyone seen that?” No one had.

The group quickly boiled options down to Chapman and Chappaquiddick. The vote went 4 to 1 for Chappaquiddick, a movie none of us would have chosen if any one of us had been assigned to “pick three choices” to suggest to the group. And we had a GREAT discussion afterwards.

So, which would have been better? One of us pushing one or three choices at the family or all of us navigating an open, messy, time consuming idea-to-consensus process?

Well, while product pushing and choice restricting are, these days, not regarded as “better” practices,  it depends. The question is, “Better for whom?”

Nick Miller trains bankers to attract and expand relationships with businesses. More profitable relationships, faster. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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