Simplicity Needs To Mask Complexity… Don’t You Be An Idiot!

The trick now is handling the complexities of life and business while making it look and feel simpler to our family, friends and customers.

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ife is getting busier. Business is more complicated. And your customers are increasingly fickle… Darn, the retail business is harder than ever before! What happened to the good old days when business was simpler?

FYI, everything is getting harder, but that is only because we are making it so. Although this self-fulfilling prophecy may sound like a command hurled out from Captain Picard on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the human species – particularly the techno-savvy Americans – has become overly skilled at making things more complicated than they really are. It has become so easy to overlook the simple (and important) things in life because we are more obsessed with texting an urgent, yet utterly unimportant message on our new smart phone.

The trick now is handling the complexities of life and business while making it look and feel simpler to our family, friends and customers.

[pullquote]“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
~ Albert Einstein[/pullquote]

Einstein was a genius! So don’t you be an idiot! The best and brightest minds in retail have figured it out. Google, Apple and Amazon are examples of complicated businesses on the backend. Yet their sole goal is to simplify our lives as customers. Your goal as a powersports retailer should be the same.

[pullquote]“Make it easy and they will come.”
~ Eric Anderson[/pullquote]

Help us get back to the “simple life” of the wind in our hair and reaching for the horizon – the real horizon and not the screensaver photo on our computer. Powersports needs to become the antidote for modern man’s stress-related ailments. Your customers are addicts to technology. That means the very powersports products you are pushing are as addictive as the TVs, computers, phones, helmet communicators, GoPros and drones we are amassing in our homes and garages. Even our clothing is becoming complicated and “smart.” Will it ever stop?

Not a chance! Instead, it is up to you as retailers to cut through all this additional “noise” to get customers’ attention. You have to convince them how simple it is to learn to ride, upgrade their machine, meet friends or own a new ride. Fewer words… and more pictures? Fewer shoppers… and more buyers? More word-of-mouth… and less self-serving advertising? How will you make it more compelling – and simpler – to experience the machines you have for sale?

[pullquote]“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”
~ Socrates[/pullquote]

Business is barrenness, to steal a concept from Socrates. Perhaps the best way to get grounded would be to retreat to the mountaintop on your favorite motorcycle and isolate yourself from the madness for a few hours. Do it!

What I hope you will realize is YOU… and how important “you” are to the retail business. The madness from high pressure OEMs, distributors, aftermarket manufacturers, payroll, insurance agents, reps, employees and demanding customers has likely sucked you dry of enthusiasm for the business… or at least buried you and your true energy for motorcycling. True? Well, it shows.

[pullquote]“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity” ~ Thor Heyerdahl[/pullquote]

We all started with the same exploratory gene of Thor Heyerdahl to excitedly adventure around on our powered equivalents of a Kon-Tiki raft… but many of us have drifted off course. You need to find that sense of adventure again and let it out! Never again will the world of business be the same as it once was, BUT… man’s true sense of adventure will also never disappear (even if it has temporarily been torn from your psyche).

You sell adventure… and the products that go along for the ride. Perhaps your problem has been focusing more on the techno-advanced products themselves and not enough on the benefits they deliver to mankind. Dump what’s immediately urgent and focus instead on what’s overly important.

OK.  That may sound completely theoretical, paradoxical, philosophical and obscure, but you need to “get it.” You have forgotten how to sell the “sizzle” of that steak because you now work in a slaughterhouse. It’s not easy to take what’s complicated and make it simple for your customers, but that’s what successful companies like Apple, Google and Amazon do best.

Don’t be an idiot! It’s time to temporarily shelve the sea of minutiae. Focus on the longer term vision and mask the business complexity with the simpler reasons for customers to ride. Start with escape, adrenaline and adventure…. and keep it simple, stupid!



Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
3-Step Program

STEP 1  Digital Detox
Unplug for a day. You have likely forgotten what it’s like to be “disconnected.” Try it, you’ll like it.

Isn’t it a beautiful thing to put on a helmet and ride? Highly stressed people are paying for digital detox experiences these days. Isn’t that what a motorcycle does for us anyway?

STEP 2  Share It
Now, help share that enlightening “detox experience” with your customers… get their butts on motorcycles, UTVs and other powered machinery! Once the techno-generation realizes what powersports vehicles
can do to “reconnect” them with non-cyberspace adventure, they will tell their friends.

STEP 3 Sell It
“Have you ever seen a motorcycle parked outside of a psychologist’s office?” ~ Anonymous Motorcyclist. Only the true experience of riding a motorcycle (or UTV, ATV, PWC) will enlighten your customers. All of the paid ads and social media suggestions won’t break through. Getting butts on seats is the cure to our overly complex existence!

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