Do You Make it Too Hard for People to Pay You?

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 12.09.46 PMby Christine Kane

I was standing in line waiting to buy kombucha at Green Life, my city’s beloved organic grocery store.

The guy in front of me had a few small items. His total came to $14.38.

As he pulled out his debit card, the cashier asked, “Would you like to round up to $15 and donate the rest of that money to this month’s charity?”  She shared the name of the local organization where the money would go.

He said yes.

This local charity idea has been going on for years. Each month the grocery store picks a cause and asks for donations at the check out line.

Until this particular day, however, the question posed at check out has always been:

“Would you like to donate anything to our local charity this month?”

The new strategy intrigued me.

So when it was my turn to check out, I asked the cashier how this new question was working for her. She leaned over to me and said, “Ohmigod, last month we raised $900 more than our usual amount!”

Now – regardless of how you feel about the politics of raising money in this way – the lesson here is important to you as a business.

People respond to definite calls to action. They respond to CLARITY.

Let’s look at what happens in the mind of an average person when you ask the first question…

1 – Would you like to donate something to this month’s charity?

This question requires first that you make the decision to do it or not to do it.   That’s a big decision right there.

But then, you also have to decide what amount you want to give. That’s a lot of deciding when you have a long line of people behind you.

I mean, hell, is a dollar is too little? Would that make you stingy?

Or should it be more like $5?  Or does that make you a total pushover who just gives money because you can be guilted into pretty much any cause that’s out there?

And wait just a minute!  Didn’t you say yes the last time you were here? (Hey, when was that anyway?)

Too much thinking and your mind will just give in and say, “Screw it. No.”

When given too many choices, people will default to not taking action. It’s just easier to do nothing than it is to make all those decisions.

Now, let’s look at the second question…

2 – Your total is $14.38.  Would you like to round up to $15 and give your change to our local charity this month?”

The cashier did the math for you.  She didn’t make you wonder whether or not you should feel guilty for only giving 62 cents. She gave you a clear choice. Yes or no.

And as it turns out, the results yield a much bigger take for the charity.

So, what does this have to do with your business?

Well, let’s look at what the typical solo business owner might tell her prospects.

“Hey, just give me a call. You know where to find me.”


“If you know anyone who needs my service, let them know about me, okay?”

This is called a “call to action.”

Many people think that the reason they aren’t getting clients is because they’re charging too much or because their industry is too tough.

But one reason people aren’t calling you is that your call to action stinks!  It doesn’t give clear direction. It doesn’t tell people exactly what to do, or when to do it.  It just sits out there assuming that if people want to work with you…they know what to do.

Well, they might know what to do.

But they’ve got a lot of other things on their mind. And it’s just way too easy not to do anything.

And if you know that your product or service is a high level for people and will change their lives, essentially what you’re doing is letting them give up on themselves.  That’s not only bad business – but it’s bad service.

Do NOT go on sale.

Instead, get clear. Communicate clearly.  And you’ll get results.

Not sure how to do this?  Join me in my 2013 Uplevel Your Business Program. (We start on April 1. And doors close this Friday at 4pm EST.)

Hey, and leave a comment and tell me how YOU can be more clear in your calls to action!


Christine KaneChristine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at

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