Simple drives the universe. It’s a fact. At the top of the periodic table (you remember that chart from high school chemistry that organizes all the elements we’ve discovered) are two simple elements. In the first place holder is Hydrogen. It is the lightest of all the elements and has just one proton in its nucleus. Despite its humble structure, Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical substance in the universe, representing 75% of its mass. Right next to Hydrogen is Helium with an atomic number of 2 (two protons in its nucleus) and it is the second most abundant element in the known universe at about 24%. Simple dominates the known material in the known universe.
The idea that simple can be a dominant player in everything from strategy to system and process development has been the foundational principle of Creative Ventures for over 32 years. We build our platforms and models around a maximum number of three parts. For us, three marks the outside boundary of simple. This takes incrediblediscipline and focus. We also know that if it can be done in two parts, well, that’s exponentially better than three. And, if you’re somehow smart enough to find a way to do something in one step, CONGRATULATIONS, you have a light switch and everyone understands a light switch.
In the recent bestseller by author Lee Child, his hero, Jack Reacher, was in a fight. A witness told Reacher; “You really were harsh with that guy.” To which Reacher responded; “I only hit him once. That’s the minimum number of hits.” That’s the Hydrogen of fisticuffs. I love the simplicity of Jack Reachers worldview!
I was sitting in a client meeting where we were helping design the curriculum for a series of five regional sales meetings. I was astounded at the amount of stuff they were trying to jam into a two-day meeting. Every second was accounted for and the volume of content had my head spinning. It would be a challenge for anyone participating in the meeting to weed through the density of content to discover real learning value. What information, knowledge or skills could a sales professional grab to improve their performance? That was one of the main goals of these meetings, to provide the kind of programming that would make their sales force better. I get it, you need to introduce the new software package and that the recent shifts in compliance issues need to be addressed. I know that an update on how things are going is a good piece, but no one was thinking about THE BIG TWO.
Within the apparent infinite amount of stuff on the agenda, no one considered the ONLY TWO THINGS any sales professional can actually control, the two things directly in their sphere of influence. They can’t impact product mix or development. They can’t impact corporate resource allocation. They can’t impact governmental regulations. So the question is; what can they impact? What can help them get better? There are ONLY TWO THINGS:
- How good are you at what you do? This is about skill sets. What skills can make you better? What existing skills can you hone to a fine edge? You want to get better, add new skills and improve your existing skills.
- How do you treat your customers/clients? You are the delivery service for the client experience. This aspect of what you do is probably your top player is distinguishing you from everyone else. In a commoditized world, the client experience reigns supreme.
You cannot provide enough of these two fundamental sales elements at any meeting. If the idea is that your attendees will leave the meeting BETTER than they were when they arrived, then give the right amount of focus to THE TWO. Teach them great sales skills and provide them innovative, unique, value-driven ideas to create a client experience that creates WOW moments. Hit your sales professionals with a focus on what they CAN control and you will hit your goal. A strong learning experience that makes your sales force better.
The universe treats simple as a dominant force, so should you!