Am I Oversimplifying Things?
Brad from Southern California is a Merrill Lynch advisor. He sent me an email, which is in a way, funny, but poses a very serious question nonetheless.
“Don, I have a strange concern. I’m concerned that in my attempt to make things simple I go too far. There are times when I feel I’m patronizing people by talking what I call ‘baby talk’. I literally get embarrassed sometimes. I know what you’re going to say, keep it simple. But when’s enough enough?”
Listen to Don’s answer or read the transcript below to learn when enough is enough.
That’s right – keep it simple. But you can’t oversimplify. And here’s why.
When people are uncomfortable about taking the next step, they’re going to say to you, ¨I want to think it over¨.
That’s because people don’t buy what they don’t understand.
When people come to see an advisor, it’s only a job interview with them for the first meeting. They’re talking to you; they’re talking to an independent advisor; they’re talking to someone at their bank. Eventually, they’re going to make a decision.
They don’t want more information. People don’t want data – they want someone they can trust. And they’re going to pick the person with whom they’re most comfortable.
The person that keeps it simple, and makes them understand, is going to make them feel the most comfortable.
Making it simple really has two major advantages.
(And remember you you can’t oversimplify.)
#1. When you make a difficult subject simple, you make people feel smart.
When people feel smart, they like you, and liking you is the first step toward trusting you. That’s the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
#2. When you use a story to make things simple, it captivates people.
When you tell a story, people are waiting for the point, because every story has a point. So they listen better and they retain more.
Therefore the advisor who speaks third grade English is going to beat the advisor who speaks college level English every single time. Trust me, we all should be guilty of oversimplifying. It’d be a great sin.
Thanks for your letter. Keep these emails coming, please.
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