“But aren’t people indecisive?”

During my last tour in Toronto leading my Marketing for Hippies 101 workshop, I was asked the same question, twice in different workshops.

“But don’t people have a hard time making decisions?”

And, both times, I had to stop to address it.

The notion that people struggle to make decisions is one of the classic premises used to justify pushy and manipulative sales techniques.

The logic goes like this.

  1. Your product or service is great and high value. It could really help people.
  2. People have a hard time deciding.
  3. So you have to help them decide. Helping them to decide is a service to them.

And that’s actually fine as it goes. It depends what we mean by ‘helping them decide’. What that usually translates into is ‘helping them say yes’ or, stated another way, ‘getting the sale.’

Let me ask you, the first time you fell in love, did you decide to or did it just happen?

Do you remember the first house or apartment you fell in love with? Did you decide to?

When people see something they like, they like it.

This notion that ‘people have a hard time making decisions’ is one of those core beliefs about humanity that feels similar to the notion that ‘kids won’t learn unless we bribe them with gold stars, grades and punishment’.

If I believe that you need what I have (which is the first thought worth questioning) and that you have a hard time deciding things (the second thought work questioning) then I will manipulate you. Those two thoughts are all I need to justify my use of pressure-filled, sneaky tactics to get you to say ‘yes’ to working with me. I’ve heard it said outright by well-known sales trainers that you need to sell yourself on your product so that you walk in absolutely certain that what you’re offering can help those people and then to do whatever it takes to sell them because you’re actually doing them a service by pushing them.

If I believe those two thoughts, I will also be blind to what’s really going on.

They’re not indecisive, they’re just not sure it’s a fit. They’re not sure it’s worth the investment. They’re not sure it’s the best use of their money. They’re not indecisive, they’re deciding.

And our job is to facilitate the decision-making process (whether that’s towards a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’).

If we let go of those thoughts and are willing to accept that we have no idea if others need what we’re offering and we let go of the idea that deciding is hard then what we’re left with is that some people decide to work with us and some don’t.

Without those two thoughts, we can see potential customers as capable human beings who are in the process of making difficult decisions. Some of them will be a good fit for us and some won’t. Some of the ones who are a good fit for us will decide to work with us and some won’t. That’s how it is.

Knowing this, we go embrace the notion of slow marketing and go back to the three roles of marketing, to crafting better packages, to gaining more skill in having conversations with potential clients, to clarifying our niche and our point of view.

Instead of applying more pressure to help them decide, we clarify what we do to make the decision-making process easier. We help them contrast and compare what we do with what others do.

Human beings are not inherently indecisive.

But, if you believe it, you might just become inherently pushy and hard to be around.

About Tad

  • Leslie Nipps

    Love this, Tad. Thanks so much for the work you do busting those toxic marketing myths!

  • <3

  • Dorothy Nesbit

    Is Leslie Nipps your twin brother? Looks a bit like it to me ;-). I enjoyed this article, Tad – like Leslie, I appreciate the myth busting!

  • ha. somehow it uses that image sometimes when people don’t have their own. or something.

  • Dorothy Nesbit

    Well, it’s always a pleasure to see you!

  • Great post, as always. Thanks so much for sharing your unique perspective, Tad. We gotta give our clients and customers some credit… they’re not stupid…

    I love this, “And our job is to facilitate the decision-making process (whether that’s towards a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’).”

    In my experience, another reason that people can’t make a decision is because of a “knowledge gap” – especially for products or services that deliver “deeper” benefits.

    You can talk about the problem – add salt and twist the knife all you want, yet if your audience/readers can’t connect the dots between that pain and your products or services, they won’t see the value of your stuff.

    Instead of making people feel like crap by digging the knife deeper, telling them how they got it all wrong, or that they would fail miserably if they don’t buy your stuff etc., I like to add a piece of “educational” content in the sales materials – providing value (which will win you friends) while bridging the gap between the pain and what’s being sold.

    I like to ask my clients – what do your readers need to know about themselves/their problems/you etc. before they can decide, one way or the other, whether your products and services can be of value to them? This can also give you good materials to transition from the “I hear you and I identify with you” piece to “here is my stuff – benefits and features” portion of the sales copy.

  • Ling! Would you be open to writing a guest blog post for me about this? I think it’s brilliant.

    “I like to ask my clients – what do your readers need to know about themselves/their problems/you etc. before they can decide, one way or the other, whether your products and services can be of value to them? This can also give you good materials to transition from the “I hear you and I identify with you” piece to “here is my stuff – benefits and features” portion of the sales copy.”

  • Absolutely, Tad! Do you have any guideline or timeline you need me to be aware of? Otherwise I’ll shoot you a draft in a few days :)

  • no guidelines. we’ll just bat it back and forth a few times til it’s ready :-)

  • sounds good!

  • hey Tad, I just emailed the draft to you – let me know if you don’t get it. thanks!

  • Vicky Jarvis

    How to get your Ex back”I suggest you read this.”?

    Do you want your ex back in your life and free from other ladies? I have been in your shoes before so I know your feelings. My husband also left me for another ladies just a month before our first anniversary, but here is a secret have got for you. I got my ex back and so can you! My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone else. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn’t even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and told him my problems and he told me what to do and i did it and he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. highly recommend Dr Unity, he is the Best online spell caster that is powerful and genuine. If you have any problem contact him and i guarantee you that he will help you. He will not disappoint you. Email him at: ( ) you can also call or Add him on Whatsapp: +2348071622464·

    Email him at:
    His website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com