“Keep It Simple, Stupid” is a phrase used by many across different disciplines and as much as we say it, believe it, and try to live by it, truly “keeping it simple” doesn’t always happen. Try as we might to live by this mantra, it isn’t always easy. In theory we get it; the simpler the message, the easier for the respondent to understand and be led to a decision. But don’t we all find it hard to get our message across in simple, clear terms? It is so much easier to be verbose and over-explain our product or service or offer too many options. We think that the more information we put out there, the more likely someone is to buy. This, my friend, is not generally the case.

Sometimes more is just too much. The hard part though is being able to describe your product in few words. Make sure to keep out extraneous, filler words, and always read aloud what you have written. So often we forget to read out loud and there is such value in performing this simple act. We hear things we might not see with our eyes and it provides perspective on how others will read and/or interpret the message. Be sure to also have an outsider, a friend or family member, read the information. This person has no preconceived notion so it’s fresh and new to them. If the information holds their interest, is thought provoking, enables them to make a decision, and they fully understand what is being delivered, then you have done your job.

By serving up many options and too much information you are actually doing just the opposite of what you are intending, to sell product and get them to take action. You are providing a confusing landscape for the buyer and instead of leading them in a direction, you end up complicating the buying process, which can cause them to jump to the next provider.

So in short, keep it simple, to the point, and don’t offer too many options. If you achieve this, you have “kept it simple, stupid.”