Is your marketing message and sales information clear to your team? Do you have multiple flow charts and decision trees all written in Time New Roman 6 pt font? If so – time to break out the “Big Crayons!”
Though many kindergartens are no longer using the large-sized crayons, hopefully you have seen them in action or personally used them. They still sell them and encourage you to try the exercise we will describe. One positive outcome of using the Big Crayons is it taught one to use very few words to get a message across. Otherwise it wouldn’t fit on the paper or you would see the writing get smaller and smaller and take odd shapes. Now the concept of using the Big Crayons is born.
If you ever purchased a product from Ikea that needed assembly – how many words do you see on the assembly instructions? Usually zero and a few pictures. With sales and marketing, we may not get to zero – but what if you used a large crayon to write the key information on an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper? Rather than trying to use ultra-fine point Sharpie – a Big Crayon will force one into using fewer words and maybe a picture. This concept becomes even more important the wider and diverse your sales or service portfolio. Equip your front-line sales team with information to enable them to understand the value proposition and key words to listen for to see if there may be a match with the prospect. You can always bring in a specialist for the deeper knowledge as needed – but first – get the prospect interested and excited about a follow-on conversation.
Three steps to breaking out the Big Crayons:
1) Buy the Big Crayons – The big crayons are still sold or as a substitute an extra wide marker will also work. If you want to do this digitally – try a 48 pt font. Crayon is preferred – it makes this more fun.
2) Write – Try to use the fewest number of words and add a picture to get the core concept across. Resist the temptation to keep going small or use multiple pages. Once you think it is as simple as possible. Let it sit for a day and then simply further.
3) Test – Test with a member of your sales team that may be struggling. Can they explain and ask the right questions with a prospect to understand if your product or service may be a fit? If not – go back to step 2.
I found this quote and could not say it better myself:
“The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit.” — François Fénelon, writer and theologian.
It isn’t easy to simplify a message. It also reminds me of a saying attributed to Mark Twain “If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.” Spend the time to simplify. You will see a positive return on your investment.
Tell me about your using “Big Crayons.” Small business – keep coloring outside the lines and your business growing!
About the Author:
Gregory Woloszczuk is an entrepreneur and experienced tech executive that helps small business owners grow their top and bottom line. Gregory believes in straight talk and helping others see things they need to see but may not want to with a focus on taking responsibly for one’s own business. He and his wife, Maureen, started GMW Carolina in 2006.