Flowers for Mom and the Power of Offering Choices to Clients

December 17, 2019

My mom’s birthday is today.

Yesterday, I went on the website of the flower shop near where she lives, one I’ve ordered from before, to have an arrangement delivered to her today.

I chose an arrangement I thought she’d like, clicked through, and here’s a snippet of the next screen:

offering options or choices to clients

I suddenly had options I didn’t expect. I could go with what was “shown.” For $10 more, I could go with “better.” For $20 more, I could go with “Best.”

What do you think I ordered? For my mom, it’s the “Best.” I’ve already decided I’ll spend $72.95, and for just $20 more I’ll get the best? My mom is the best! Sure, I’ll take it.

Those were the thoughts going through my head. I must also say, the thought also hit me:  how much longer will I get to order flowers for my mom?

All those thoughts happened in a few seconds before I selected the “Best” option.

Others shopping for a delivered arrangement, confronted with this choice, will choose differently. That’s ok, because we all have different values and circumstances.

Some customers will think, “they won’t know the difference” or “I’ve already sent a gift, too” or “I’m just fulfilling the obligation I feel to buy flowers for my mom.” They’ll continue and order the lowest priced option.

Then there are folks who will think something along the lines of “better is only $10 more…..sure why not?” Subconsciously, they may think “I don’t want to be a cheapskate with my mom.” Even when they’re pretty sure Mom would never know, they would know. They might also wonder if something’s wrong with the low-priced option.

Here’s the interesting part of the “Better” and “Best” options for this arrangement:  there’s not even a picture which shows what “Better” or “Best” looks like relative to the lowest price option. For me, a “Best” option created enough psychological impetus that I sprung for it.

Offering options or choices to clientsThere's value in offering options to clients. If you allow them to do so, clients will self-select into choices which reveal how they value your service. Some will pick higher priced options and you don’t have to “upsell.” You simply offer choices.

The power of options applies across all products and services, and yes, to you professional services providers as well. If you’re an accountant, for example, all you’re doing is sending a proposal letter with one option, the decision is binary. It’s either yes or no. Psychologically, it’s a confrontational choice:  "take it or leave it."

And most importantly, you are leaving money on the table.

If, on the other hand, you offer options with different tiers of access, speed of service delivery, and other services, then you give clients an option to self-select into a higher price point. Those clients who hold greater value for you, your firm, and what you offer will upgrade; those who don’t will select the low-priced option.

Either way is ok, if you’ve constructed those options carefully. In a way, you don’t care. You’re giving options and allowing the client to make the choice.

And some will be like me buying flowers for my mom:  they may want more from you and be willing to pay for it.


Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me:  I’m enthusiastic about how changes in pricing strategy can significantly change profitability for a business and enhance life choices for business owners. I live this passion through Ray Business Advisors, my outside CFO and business advisory practice, in which my pricing is exclusively value-based, not hourly. I work with business owners on how they can change their pricing not just to increase their profits, but better serve the wants of their customers. Click here to learn more or call me at 404-287-2627.


  1. Tom Doiron on December 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Another gem from John! Thanks very much. I will build the good, better, best options into my new e-commerce site for 2020.

    • John Ray on December 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Thank you Tom! I appreciate you continuing to read and comment on my content. Happy New Year!

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