Most sales professionals are familiar with the KISS formula - “Keep it Simple, Stupid!” New sales professionals have a tendency to want to tell a prospect everything they know about the product or service they are selling without regard to the prospect’s knowledge, needs, or interest, and the sales manager or trainer must continually remind them to dial back on all the technical stuff.
Josh Cunningham’s recent post about his web philosophy on joshcanhelp.com reminded me that the KISS formula could add value to most business activities, not just sales. Here is my take on Josh’s version of the KISS formula:
1. Look for the path of least resistance.
How often do we struggle to solve a problem with a big, complex (“impressive”) solution when a much simpler option is readily available if only we will open our eyes and look around? Sometimes that means asking others for advice, sometimes just doing a bit more research.
I once had a neighbor who seemed to always have the answer for everything from appliances, to TVs, to lawnmowers. After the first two times, I just called Jim when I needed to buy something. He already knew what and where the best deals were.
2. Have a goal in mind
Remember the distress call from Apollo 13? “Houston, we have a problem.” Clearly, the goal for the Apollo 13 crew was to get home safely. Not every business challenge has such a straightforward desired outcome.
What do you do with the customer who constantly demands special privileges every time he calls? What about the brilliant scientist in R&D whom no one wants to work with?
Thinking carefully about your desired outcome will help you better weigh the available options.
3. Always consider performance
Everyone wants improved performance. But like goals, performance monitoring requires that metrics be defined and agreed upon before the task or process begins. Only then can performance be objectively assessed.
Cunningham was referring to web page performance – how quick does a page load? How long does it take to refresh? Customers and prospects are impatient: keep them waiting for very long and they will go somewhere else.
Investors think the same way. Managers work for investors, not the other way around. What do investors want? Usually, dividends and share appreciation. Figure out how to do it and give it to them.
4. Put your best foot forward
In the modern globally interconnected world, we, as individuals, as well as our companies, are always on display. There is virtually no room to hide on the Internet. Misbehave or treat a customer shabbily and sooner or later it will come out thanks to YouTube, twitter, and Facebook.
There’s enough foolishness and nonsense in the world. Just do it because it’s the right thing to do. The rest will take care of itself.