helicopter view.

23 Mar, 2018

KISS: K-keep I-it S-simple and S-stupid​

KISS: K-keep I-it S-simple and S-stupid​

This saying has been around since the 1960s, but seems to become more and more relevant to our lives every single day. Originally coined by the Navy, the inspiration for the phrase came from the realization that systems work best when they’re simple rather than complicated. So going forward, everything the Navy designed was made that with that directive: Keep it simple, stupid. It worked like a charm: Systems were more effective and efficient than ever before.

Nowadays, companies across all industries are embracing this idea and building products and processes with the KISS principle in mind. They’re hiring folks who keep it simple, and teaching current employees how to adopt the methodology.

Ever wonder why Apple products look and operate the way they do? Here’s how Steve Jobs described the design idea of the company’s products: «It all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple.»

Customers want quick, easy, and painless. They want simple. In fact, according to this Harvard Business Review article, the biggest driver behind a consumer’s decision to purchase is simplicity. With this in mind, sales reps are tasked with the challenge of taking a product or a service that took a long time to build, and making it simple.

It’s time to bring the KISS principle to close deals. Here are three tips for how to make decisions as simple as possible.

1) Watch your words. Often you get so caught up in explaining all the features and small details of the business or product that they forget to focus on why the potential investor is talking to them in the first place: They want to solve a problem. That’s it.

For example, in a study, Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman analyzed two types of sales approaches. The first segment focused on the specifics of a product, and provided detailed information on how it was built, while the second concentrated solely on benefits and highlighted customer reviews. The research revealed that the companies that focused on the benefits were more likely to convert a customer than their peers.

Bottom line: Customers want to know if the business fixes an issue, and what other investors think of it. Don’t go overboard when delivering information.

2) Embrace content. Today’s investor knows as much as the seller. And while it’s great to be able to hop on the phone and walk someone through your business, odds are they’re already familiar with the features of your offering well before you even reach out. They’ve done the research, put in the time, and are now just looking for guidance.

That’s where content comes in. In this Forbes article, Roger Dooley argues that prospects view trustworthy materials. Whether it’s blog posts, third-party reports, or testimonials from customers, buyers want to see trustworthy information before they make a decision.

You would be wise to gather and source content that tells a clear and simple story: the business works, and people like it. Technical user manuals or complex guidelines will only serve to muddy the message.

3) Tell a clear story. According to Marketing Experiments' Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, «Clarity trumps persuasion.» The best salespeople bear this axiom in mind when writing emails, delivering demos, and negotiating.

Human beings are wired to crave logically flowing narratives. Dr. Michael Gazzaniga discovered that our left brain and right brain hemispheres fill in the blanks for one another to find a narrative. What does this mean? Telling a clear, easy-to-follow success story explaining your busines’s benefits will help to sale. If you tend to be long-winded or opaque, try to boil down your value proposition into one concise sentence, or craft a Twitter pitch.

In today’s complex world, keeping it simple is critical in sales. Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get what they want; instead, they want easy to follow language, trustworthy information, and a clear story. By using what made the Navy so successful, you can now KISS and make deals.

Read also: Retail Future, Top 10 Lessons for Retailers, 25 Fastest-growing Apparel Retailers in Europe, Retail and Consumer Products Trends, How do consumers shop (Part 1, Part 2), Retail and Consumer Products Trends, Urban World: The Global Consumers to Watch

Out project: European fashion apparel brand

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