I was first introduced to the KISS approach
in grade school. Obviously nothing to do with Business but the Kiss Approach principal still works for Business too. My third grade teacher, Mrs. G lovingly pinched me one day as she commonly did to most her students.
I cringed… Ouch, what was that for?,
“Sherri, have you heard of KISS?”, she asked
Well yeah…but that was a pinch
“Do you know what it means”
In sarcasm, I stated of course I do who doesn’t! Remember I was a third grader with love, hugs and kisses each morning.
In a very caring, loving voice she told me “Sherri, the acronym KISS means Keep It Simple Stupid, Now re-write this paper”
Personally I like Keep it Seriously Simple as words in the KISS approach acronym . It is politer. Seriously even stresses VERY simple. Now you think it may seem simple to keep things simple. However, when you are speaking “your language” to your clients, colleagues, co-workers, even your family you think they understand you, when chances are they don’t!
I am so guilty of this, are you?
To ASS-U-ME, (Mrs. G told me about this one too), based on the “keywords” they use when asking you a question or inquiring about services that they too are experts on the topic inquired about. So I just let my analytical, left brain directed mouth goes into action. Do you do this?
Then, based on the look of their face; Why don’t they understand this, are they stupid? Well, my left-brain is thinking of all the wonderful ways I can explain in even more detail, using statics, analysis and research to paint them a rather vivid picture. Do you think sometimes you didn’t give enough info the first time so you start to think you must be stupid one?
I’m sure you have, I have and most everyone I work wish has. You may be the one delivering the information, or you may be the receiver wondering what on earth just came out of that person’s mouth. We are all guilty of this at one time or another in our lives and careers.
Over my 25yr+ career span, I have had some fantastic clients, coaches and mentors. Some I have had the pleasure of working with daily, others have been less frequent but they have all told me ~ Sherri use the KISS Approach! In one of my last sessions with Shawn Tomas, founder of Ask-A-Millionaire, I asked him for his opinion on continuing to peruse a new client. I was stuck on the follow up after the initial proposal. Their need was vague in description but I knew basically what they wanted AND needed after several communications. In explaining this to Shawn, he said “Sherri, I know the words you are spitting out but you LOST me so I know you lost them! Keep it Simple”
The Business KISS approach for this new client.
Yes no longer a prospective client but a paying one. I have tweaked it over the last few weeks which has enabled even more closed deals.It will take some time but here a great guideline to use so you too can use the KISS Approach:
- Elevator Pitch – State how you can help them in 30 seconds. Very very briefly explain what you do, how, your why and how it helps them. If it doesn’t help them, they will look no further.
- Intro – Explain in one or two sentences what you can do for them and how it will help them? Again, it has to help them or they will not be interested. You have to be immediately to the point too…no rambling.
- Understand – Communicate your understanding of their needs. Before you can do anything else you have to understand their actual need. You also have to effectively communicate to them that you understand their need. For me, that’s the hard part even harder that keeping my intro short. Although I usually understand after listening to them, communicating to them I understand (simply) to this day is still a struggle.
- Follow-up – Start with the end in mind. What do they want done? Start with that and work backwards on how you are going to do this for them. You again will communicate how you understand their needs and how you can help them with those needs. You have to fully understand what they need and address those needs.
- Closing the Deal – By this point if you have done the above steps properly, they will be ready. It does takes many exposures for someone to commit, especially if a high dollar ticket. I personally offer a win-win solution based on their needs. You have to understand their needs, communicate those, how you can help them and “sell” (ohhh that terrible word!) them in why you are the one for the job.
More Tips to the Business Kiss Approach:
Upon researching some data for this article, I came across another KISS in Business approach. It was about products being offered by a pizzeria. They too keep things seriously simple! The menu consisted of three choices and payment method only one. It was so simple. Yet again, when starting a new business, or even expanding one: we think we have to offer the moon when in reality we don’t!
To this day, I still am unsure if I was the “Stupid” one, or if Mrs G meant the people that would be reading my paper were the “Stupid” ones. For decades if not longer, the well-known acronym KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid is repeated and emphasized over and over and over again… but are you Keeping it Simple?
I welcome your feedback and comments! Did I KISS it? How do you KISS it in Business?