KISS: Keep It Simple (or You May Look) Stupid

Towards the end of a training course one workday morning the partner of a fast-growing exterior remodeling company in central Maryland stepped in to teach his marketers about roof decking. I will summarize:

  • Rooves are comprised of three components, weight bearing studs, plywood decking, and shingles.
  • When shingles wear out, they begin to retain moisture. This moisture may seep into the plywood decking causing rot, then into the weight bearing studs making for a much more expensive repair.
  • When plywood begins to retain moisture, it warps causing little “tents” to appear on the roof. When this starts happening, it’s past time to replace the roof.

One marketer raised his hand and asked, “How do we explain that to homeowners?”

The company partner gestured as though pointing to a roof and said in a professional tone, “Good plywood doesn’t look like that.”

Which drew a laugh, and the marketer subsided.

Keep it simple or you will look stupid. Even if the client is impressed by a long explanation, chances are, they’ll think you’re using a scare tactic.

This applies to just about every sales and communication situation. If you can present your ideas clearly, simply you will win.

Probably the best recruitment ad I’ve ever seen went like this;

Want Money? We’re Hiring!

Of course, they had to provide more information in the job description, but what better way to get clicks than to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Need money? Cool! Put in a fair day’s work, you’ll get a fair day’s pay. Why does it need to be more complicated than that?

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