I wanted to add this to the titile “and the negative nature of complexity” but that would make it too long, but it’s is an important aspect of simplicity… complexity.
I recently started working with a new partner, which is a lot of fun because I get to learn new things and validate things that are working. One of the things this new partner validated is… well in his words, “you are able to take things and synthesize them into their simplest form.” I really appreciated that because I intentionally make things simple… call it a strategy, but as I coach and work with more sales reps I am beginning to realize it is a skill.
Did you know that you were cursed? Not in a gypsy way, it a much more sinister way. All salespeople have what is known as the curse of knowledge. I guess all people have this, but when you are in an industry that is very innovative and new like financial technology (or fintech) you will typically know more than the person you are selling to. The problem is if you don’t recognize this then you are doomed to disconnect your prospective customers. Now, your customers won’t say, “look – I have no idea what you are talking about, so therefore we can’t go ahead with the opportunity”. Nope – they will say, “we don’t have time… budget… there are other projects that need our attention… we will revisit this next year…”
Intelligent salespeople love to show others how intelligent they are, so they will accidentally make things more complex. The outcome of complexity are long drown out expensive sales processes that may or may not (that the worst) end with a customer doing business with you. Complexity works well with other complex people, but what I have found is simplicity works well with complex people too, (Hang on) However, complexity doesn’t work with simple people. Be careful, because when I label someone as simple there is a tendency to say they aren’t smart. With a high-tech situation they may be simple and very intelligent but just slow in technology.
Given the curse of knowledge and complex is risky, you are naturally left with simple. Here are a few thing to make sure that you stat simple:
- Ground Up – Best case is you ask for permission to be simple and if you are too simple your client will let you know.
- No Assuming – Especially if you have engaged a client and the conversation cooled off (as little as a week) don’t assume they remember everything you talked about.
- Learning – 65% of people learn visually, so when making things simple a picture can go a long ways.
- Telling – telling is not selling as well as preaching isn’t teaching so make sure the customer talks more than you.
- Ears – your ears are an asset, but 93% of communication is non-verbal, so make sure you are reading the customer for signs of overload.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Want to know more? Buy My Books!
To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy
How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy
About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people who started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information