Don't you want to KISS?
March 4, 2013
by Brian Wolf

In the insurance and investment world, there are a lot of really good ideas. Of course, we have plenty of bad ideas to go around, as well. But when I think of the good ideas, it often seems that although they are a good idea, they certainly aren’t new ideas. Have you noticed this in your profession?

I do a lot of reading (mostly industry-related stuff) and I recently came across this article that promoted the idea of keeping things simple. So naturally I thought of the KISS acronym; keep it simple, stupid. I believe that this is probably one of those age-old good ideas that would work well with most professions.

This article was directed at insurance and investment professionals, and this was the message:

Simplify to get the sale!

Do you ever find yourself wondering if your sales process is becoming overly complicated? If you are like many producers, you go to all the industry training events to see what the top producers are doing and then try and copy them.

The question now becomes: What does your sales process look like today? Is it simple, or are there a lot of moving parts? Adding little bits here and there from all of the different kinds of industry speakers you see can begin to complicate your process. Eventually, all those good ideas can actually start to work against you.

When you think about it, there are only three decisions you need your prospect to make in order to bring them on as a new client. No matter how simple or complex your sales process, it should all revolve around just three decisions.

1. Your prospect must first recognize and admit to having a problem (or at least a potential problem).

2. Your prospect must then realize this problem (or potential problem) is large enough and important enough to fix or address right away.

3. Your prospect must finally come to the conclusion that they want you to address the problem.

That’s it! If you can help your prospect work their way through these three decisions, you should have yourself a new client.

OK, so that message seems simply enough, and a pretty good idea, as well. So why don’t insurance and investment professionals take this advice? Well, it seems that somewhere in the world of professionalism, it is written that the more complicated you make an issue, the more you will need extra or professional help. Can anyone say “attorney” right now?

It seems that many people in my profession want to impress people with their knowledge, so they talk in “industry jargon” in order to impress and confuse people. Obviously, this works to a certain point, but I’ve always thought that if I took complicated financial topics and reduced them down to simple language that anyone could understand, it would be far better for everyone.

Every day I meet people that are completely at a loss to explain what they have in the way of investments. It’s actually a national epidemic. Almost nobody understands their investments. This is one big reason why people end up losing lots of money in poor investments.

If we have advisors starting out the process with smoke-and-mirror confusion, what chance do we have of getting a well informed general public?

So ask yourself two simple questions.

1. Do I really understand what all my money is invested in?

2. Did my advisor explain things in a way that made sense to me?

If your answer to either of these questions is no . . . then maybe you should come by my office for a little KISS.

Don’t worry my – wife approves of the acronym KISS . . . Keep it simple, stupid!

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