Why to offer more expensive first.

Two days ago I went to a restaurant to enjoy peaceful evening with a friend of mine. While ordering a bottle of wine, I have noticed something that stuck my mind, but it obviously didn't catch the owner's mind. The cheapest wines were in the beginning of the list, while the most expensive were at the end, havi ng a completely separate list.

How the owner has come to the conclusion that it's probably a good idea to put the most expensive wines at the end? I think that his reasoning was something like: "Well, if most of people will buy the average priced wines or the cheapest, I should put it right at the top of the list. Few people will buy the most expensive, so I will put it at the end." This reasoning is wrong for two reasons that come from persuasion techniques.

Firstly, lots of people think about how they would react as the customer using common sense. Common sense is good, no problem with that. But when it comes to persuasion common sense is not common influence. According to recent studies 90% of people think they understand what influences them therefore they don't study persuasion and psychology. What an opportunity, if you study persuasion you compete only with 10% of people. But we neither do know what influences us nor others. 

Secondly, we don't think in vacuum, but in context. Our brain is excellent at making connections and that's how our memory works too. So when we are evaluation option, e.g. price of wine in a restaurant, we take into consideration lot of other factors. This is something psychologist call the contrast principle. It's easy to try by yourself, when you put hands into icy water and then into mildly hot water, it will feel as warmer than if you would put it only into warm water only. Or if you pick up something very heavy and then something pretty light the light thing feels having even less weight.

So which wine would you present as the first one, cheap or expensive? If you present the expensive items first then the average prices items are perceived as even cheaper, more attractive choice. Start with the more expensive choices first even though you know the will be probably rejected.

When it comes to influence, seeing a more expensive item first makes the second, less expensive item even cheaper. When the customer starts to evade, you have to persuade.


Photo:Businessman in front of the office, www.sxc.hu, uploaded by CELALTEBER