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Sales Made Easy 1

Last week's conversation on simplicity inspired so many comments and likes on that I think it's worth continuing.

Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “ is the ultimate sophistication.”

said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Chopin stated, “Simplicity is the final achievement.”

Those brilliant minds got it right. So why do we spend so much time, money, effort, and heartache making our businesses more complicated than they need to be?

Is it because we don't have confidence in our good ideas?

Could it be because we need to justify our labor?

Is it just that it's hard to make things easy?

I've been simplifying sales messages with my clients for the last 30 years or more. In my third book, Building Brand Value, I described the seven points for building a compelling . The third point was “Make It Simple.”

Because I try to live by that mantra, I worked to keep the analogies I used to help build my client's and businesses as short as possible. The result was that almost all the rules were just four words long.

In my ongoing effort to provide powerful suggestions to help build your brand and your business, I plan to use the following ten blogs to share these Four-word  with you

Sales Made Easy 1

So, let's start with a story:

I was helping a tech client present their new breakthrough product to a Fortune 500 company. It was such a pivotal meeting that the prospect had sent its best thinkers—its CIO and CMO, and its VPs of , product development, and consumer insight.

The Fortune 500 team loved the idea we presented. They found an immediate connection between the product and their customers and quickly saw how the new program would enhance loyalty and generate new revenue.

I was sure we were going to close the deal.

There was only one problem: My client wouldn't stop selling.

She was so wrapped up in her pitch that she didn't realize that as she explained every bit of the plan in excruciating detail, her interested customer was losing interest.

When we finally wrapped it up and got out to the sidewalk, the client high-fived everyone on the team. On the way to the airport, she treated us to a celebratory dinner and a few great bottles of wine.

But when the buyers called a few days later, they were no longer buyers. Instead, they said they were “putting the project on the back burner” and “going in another direction.”

That's corpspeak for: “Don't call us; we'll call you.”

Sales Made Easy 1

What happened? Simple. My client violated the cardinal rule of sales: “Always take ‘yes' for an answer.” Her prospect wanted to buy until she convinced them that maybe they didn't.

Who cares if you spent weeks on your PowerPoint? Who cares if you're only up to page four of a 28-page deck? Who cares if you flew halfway across the country to make your ? When your buyer says they are ready to sign up, stop selling.

Showing your whole dog-and- show isn't the goal — getting to “Yes” is why you're there.

Decisions are made without all the facts all the time. Once the purchase decision has been made, more facts might reinforce the deal. But they could also kill it. Once you've got a “Yes,” why risk snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Sales Made Easy 1

The simple solution in presentations—especially ones that go well—is to be quiet and let your buyer talk. To do that, remember Sales Made Easy 1: “Shut the @#$%!! up.”

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