Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Simplicity and Speed

Don't let this happen to you: "retail space for lease."

Another failed business. I can guess two things they may have done wrong, that business that used to be here. They may have had a problem keeping things simple and doing things with tremendous velocity.

Simplicity and speed. Keep things simple and easy for your customers or clients, start and finish projects quickly, without sacrificing quality, do these two things, and you'll stand out from your competitors.

You will seem extraordinary. Smarter. More sophisticated. More adept at what you do. Doing it fast is perceived as doing it with better understanding. You know exactly what to do, you do it, you're done.

Simplicity and speed.

When selling your services, stress simplicity and speed, assuming your company and product are first rate.

You should be selling only what you honestly feel to be the very best in the field. If you're selling yourself, as a consultant, freelancer, or outside contractor, then you are the product. Make yourself be the best product available: keep improving and expanding and enhancing what you do.

The best products are easy to use and give desired results quickly. They are fun to use and they get the job done swiftly. No problem. Like lightning. Simplicity and speed.

Your clients, once they realize the severity and urgency of the problem that your services solve, will want a remedy in a big hurry. They don't want to sign the contract, hand you a check, then sit around waiting for something to happen. Days go by. Weeks maybe. Still: nothing.

Keep it uncomplicated. Do it fast. Simplicity and speed.

Make your client feel relaxed, happy, confident in your professionalism, which is proven by your simplicity and speed. They turn the problem over to you, and aside from a few minor modifications or the distribution of material explaining new procedures and goals, the client does nothing. You take care of it all.

"Once you sign these papers, after looking over them, we'll get started on it right away."

Say those exact words, especially "right away."

"Right away" is breathtaking, it sweeps you off your feet, it's a magic carpet ride, off you go into the wild blue yonder -- snap! The program is up and running.

"...and best of all, we can get the basics all lined up immediately."

The client will know you don't mean "instantly" or "right this very second." You will be understood to mean by "immediately" something like within a few hours after returning to your office. If you're really organized and disciplined, barring any unexpected intrusions or interruptions, you'll get on their project within minutes of arriving at your place of business.

You'll send the client an email, letting them know you've already begun, and as you wade into these new waters, some questions and concerns arose, and now you'd like to present these issues to the client, and get a response to each one of them.

Create the impression, credible because it's true, that you are such a seasoned expert, you can get the project done with astonishing speed. Your client will consider you to be smarter than the other fellows or gals. You'll stand out as the super professional expert with all the right information and smooth moves.

Even if you must ask the client to participate on some level, don't make it sound like more work, yet another load to bear. Make it seem like something he'd demand to be allowed to do, and you are going to be gracious enough to read his mind and deliver this opportunity to him.

"Mr. Client, since I know you'll want to optimize the effectiveness and maximize the results of this program, I look forward to your limited, sporadic participation, to set a good example for your staff, and get a feel for what to expect out of your people. By experiencing the system, spending a few moments engaged in the process, you'll understand it better, from the inside out. That intimate understanding will automatically cause you to be more authoritative in regard to its value and importance."

Words like "limited", "sporadic", "good example", "experiencing", "understand", "intimate", "automatically", "more authoritative" are used to both convey the reality of the situation, and at the same time, soften it so it doesn't seem so abrupt, disruptive, or uncomfortable.

You come up with a more targeted set of words for your own sales situation.

But you get the idea.

Avoid all negative words when asking for action, emphasize opportunity and normal operational assumptions ("you'll want to set a good example for your staff" and "you'll gain a more intimate understanding of how the process works"), and make the client understand that you will be handling the lion's share of the responsibilities and work.

The client should want to have direct experience with the process being implemented. There is no better way to understand it. He or she will then come up with their own words to explain and describe the project's inner workings. No memorization of any script is necessary. The client crafts an individualized narrative, based on personal involvement.

This experiential knowledge could come in handy when talking about it with the press, employees, family, friends, peers, colleagues, and the board of directors.

How foolish we look when a deep question is asked about methodology and we stumble around, unable to answer because we delegated the process and didn't see any reason to know the nitty-gritty details. At least a limited, sporadic engagement with the process provides a general orientation to the thorny, super specific query.

You can't just sell something.

You have to help the client come up with their own story about why your service is the ideal way to solve a problem the client may not have been aware of having. The client must explain what the problem is, why it's serious and needs immediate attention, and why you are the one to do it.

In some cases, getting the client directly engaged with the process is not possible.

You must provide the client with the correct words to use to defend and explain his or her decision to trust you and pay you money to provide them with something. You can't just let them wing it. You can't assume they can communicate clearly all the benefits and rationale for purchasing from you.
You must coach your client on how to describe what you're doing for them, why it's mandatory and urgent, and how you are going to deliver the needed solution -- with the utmost in simplicity and the greatest of speed. Simplicity and speed.

Drill that into your mind and the mentality of the corporation.

Simplicity and speed.

These two qualities will set you apart from other persuaders.

This will make you look vastly more professional.

Now live up to this high regard by actually being the best in the business. Be sure you really are fast, professional, expert, and happy to be providing a valuable service at a fair price to those who genuinely need and want it.

Let your competitors remain complicated and sluggish. Problematic and slow. Unresponsive and procrastinating.

You use the secret weapons of simplicity and speed.


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