Making decisions is tough. Consumers today have more choice than ever, and in many markets, competition is fierce. For many individuals, pulling the trigger and making a big decision is all but impossible.

Needless to say, consumer inaction is a problem for businesses. If you can’t convince potential customers to make the decisions that lead to them becoming customers, you don’t have a viable business.

Here are five tips for turning consumer inaction in to action:

Reduce options

More isn’t always better when it comes to choice. It’s the paradox of choice: the more choices you give your potential customers, the greater the number of potential customers who may not be able to make a decision. So what should you do? Reevaluate the options you’re giving consumers and make the options more meaningful, not more plentiful.

Create urgency 

Many individuals, when given the opportunity, will take as long as they possibly can to make a decision. This invariably leads many to put off a decision so long that the decision is never made. But by creating urgency, the two most powerful emotions — greed and fear — can be used to drive action.

Case in point: Groupon, which offers time sensitive deals. A great deal leverages the emotion of greed, and a short timeframe in which to make a purchase leverages the emotion of fear. The result: lots and lots of sales that probably wouldn’t have happened under any other model.

Reduce risk

Let’s say your business sells big ticket items. Naturally, some potential customers may hesitate to pull the trigger because there’s perceived risk. After all, what happens if the product isn’t nearly as good as the customer thought it would be? The solution to this problem is to reduce risk. This is where money-back guarantees, exchange privileges and lease-to-buy offerings can be so helpful.

Focus your message

How you pitch your product or service can mean the difference between closing a sale and losing a sale. Oftentimes, pitches are overly complex, or try to cover too much ground. In reality, selling successfully often comes down to identifying one or two key selling points that will outweigh all other considerations — even in the most complex of purchasing decisions.

Know your customer 

No matter how hard you try, you obviously won’t be able to convert every potential customer into a customer. And there’s no point in trying, which is why it’s important to establish who your customers really are and go to work learning all of the tricks that seal the deal for them.