How To Write a Decider

Step 1: Identify the products you wish to sell.

Look at your inventory.

  • Are there any products you’d like to direct your customers’ attention to quickly?
  • Do you have too many of something and wish to reduce the inventory?
  • Are there new and exciting things that you want to highlight?
  • Choose products for your Product List that are within the same category (i.e. TVs) but that may differ in terms of features not necessarily narrowed down by a filter.  You will want to choose approximately 5 – 15 products to add to your Product List, including featured products and alternate suggestions.


Step 2: Create your Product List.

Once you have chosen the products you wish to sell, follow these instructions for adding them to your Digital Decider’s Product List:

  1. Click on the “Manage Products” button.
  2. Click on the “Add Product” button to fill in product information. Fields with red asterisks are required.
  3. Enter a product name. One suggestion is to use the name that is shown on the web page on which that the product appears.
  4. Copy and paste the URL of the web page on which the product appears. This will ensure that the Decider you create will take your customer to this specific web page correctly.
  5. Right-click on the picture of the product that appears on its web page and choose “Copy image address” then paste this into the field called “Image URL.”
  6. For the “Explanation” field, a suggestion is to copy and paste the description that is already written and displayed for the product on its web page. Edit as needed, or, write your own explanation instead.
  7. Write anything else you may wish to remember about the product in the “Notes” field.
  8. Click on the “Add New Product” button to close the dialog box.  Now, when you click on “Manage Products” you will see a small photo of the product you added, along with the Product Name. If you click “Edit,” you will be able to review the information you entered when you added this product. You can also delete this product from the list if you wish.
  9. Keep adding products in the same manner until you are finished.

Below is a screenshot of a product that has been added to a Product List:


Step 3: Determine the distinguishing features among those products.

A good salesperson knows the important differences between the items being sold in a category of products. For example, some TVs are LCD, others are plasma and an expert can explain the technical differences. Some headphones are best for use in an office, some are better to use at the gym because of the conditions found in those locations. The average consumer would have to research online for a while to figure out which product is best for them based on features other than those in filters (i.e. price, brand). Who at your company knows the distinguishing details, technical or otherwise, best among the products you have chosen? This person is most likely the one who would be best suited for this task.

Here are some guidelines for determining the distinguishing features among the products you have chosen:

  • Read the web page descriptions of the products you have chosen. The descriptions often contain adjectives that pinpoint the special uses or advantages of the particular product.
  • Read the product details and check for any specifications that could be important to compare.
  • Finally, it is quite helpful to make a table of product names and features. Here’s a simplified example for headphones:
Wireless Noise Isolation Waterproof
“Swimbuds” no no yes
“Momentum” yes yes no
“Quiet Comfort 25” no yes no

A table like this will help you with the next step—writing Decider Questions and Answers.


Step 4: Write the Decider Questions and Answers.

Now that you have chosen the products in a certain category and have compared and tabulated their important features, you can write smart questions that lead your customer to a great product for them. Ideally, you would choose a seasoned salesperson who works on an a real sales floor to write a Decider based on the questions he or she would actually ask a customer in order to discover the best product based on the customer’s needs, constraints and wants. But almost anyone can write good questions and answers if they follow a few guidelines:

  • Think in terms of Why? Where? and/or When? versus “What?” Using headphones as an example again, asking the question, “Where will you use your headphones most often?” is a better way of determining if the headphones must be waterproof (for a pool), isolate noise well (on a train), or be wireless (for an office) rather than asking “What feature do you want in a set of headphones?” The customer may not always know much about a feature without researching it first.
  • Ask questions about the conditions the product will be used in as well. For instance, outdoors vs. indoors, large room vs. small room, wet area vs. dry area, level driveway or sloped driveway, etc.
  • Although not as good as the above, it’s ok to ask a question like, “Which is more important to you?” and give two options, because the purpose of a Decider is to narrow down the options in a way that is helpful to the consumer.
  • Avoid asking closed-ended, yes/no questions. Digital Deciders are great because every time someone answers a question, their answer shows up at the top of the window so, basically, they see a summary of the things they want. Here’s an example using a Family Activities Decider (the questions asked were, “What’s the season?” “Target age?” and “Maximum driving time?”):

Notice that this Decider helps someone choose a fun activity to do with their kids, not a product to purchase. Digital Deciders can be used for all kinds of decision trees!

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