At a recent dinner, where the marketing director for a major IT corporation was the speaker, many diners were heard to say “I didn’t understand what she was going on about but it certainly sounded very impressive”.
How many of us have had to endure someone enthusiastically explaining complex products and services in ways that appear complex, remain a mystery and seem of little interest; although we do have a niggling suspicion that there’s something of real value buried in there?
How often do sales people have to use an overly complicated “tool” that’s there “to help them” but in reality is of little benefit and takes them away from doing the real stuff of selling, and winning deals.
It doesn’t have to be this way, people do succeed in summarising complexities,. In the film Crazy People, remember Dudley Moore’s fictional campaign for Volvo, “they’re boxy but they’re safe”. Simple is powerful and often refreshing.
When PDA’s for police were made topical by Gordon Brown many years ago most suppliers chose to explain the connectivity, the technology, the flexibility to do all sorts of tasks in thousands of words. Anite took a different line, they hit the nail on the head with “It saves an hour of admin for every officer on every shift” which certainly got the attention of the Assistant Chief Constables, the ones with the budget.
It can be the same with process, it’s not often that 18 separate steps really need to be mapped out with “gates” at every stage. We’ve found that in selling the simple…
- Be interesting
- Be curious
- Be persuasive
- Be sure to agree an action.
… approach works remarkably well much of the time.
So why is it that so many companies make heavy weather of what could be much simpler? In many cases I’m sure there’s an element of ‘job creation’ or justification but in fairness there is no denying that making complex stuff stunningly simple takes time, and skills, that may not be available.
We’d like to challenge the complexity status quo, the ‘handle turning’ prioritising that rules simplification out of play. The benefits of good clear communication between sellers and buyers in a busy, noisy world should be obvious and a priority but it’s often tough to say to your bosses and colleagues, “I don’t get it”.
Simple, pragmatic tools and processes that sales people will use have real value.
Simple is more likely to be successful than complex.
Make simple, make time, if you can, do it;
but, if you can’t, get help!
“I’m sorry this is a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one.”