I was once asked, “Jeff, what trend or strategy is crucial to future business success?”

Hmmm. Not sure if this is a trend, strategy or merely an “attitude” about how to conduct your business, but I do think, it’ll be a key driver for relationships, revenue and results.
And that’s ... simplicity.
I know, seems too simple. Yet it ain’t. Because it’s something I keep hearing about, reading about and witnessing its impact.
Where do I hear it? First, from my clients. One of them, ATAS International, (a premier manufacturer of metal building and architectural solutions) ... embraces simplicity.
Daily, they search for new, innovative and yes, even simple ways to be what they call “ETDBW” – “easy to do business with.”

And they know, that commitment isn’t just external ... with architects, builders and distributors, it’s internal too—with their own teams, departments and individuals.
The folks at ATAS even identified how being “ETDBW” will help them grow and prosper:

  1. It’ll be a market and competitive differentiator.
  2. It’ll enable them to be their customers and prospects “first call” for architectural and metal products.
  3. It’ll align their products and services with a customer’s wishes ... to enhance customer satisfaction.
  4. It’ll avoid or eliminate price sensitivity, since their focus is on value, results and ease of execution.
  5. It’ll drive customer retention and loyalty.

What’s the emotional and economic impact of the preceding? Huge!
Here’s another great example. The Oct. 18, 2004 issue of Newsweek, featured an interview with Gerard Kleisterlee, who was then CEO of Royal Philips Electronics, who said, “It has become painfully obvious, that the promise of the digital revolution to make our lives easier, simpler, better, is not being delivered. In fact, in many respects, it's only made life more complicated. And we are to blame.”

In September, Kleisterlee kicked-off an initiative to transform Philips. It was based on a simple theme:
“Philips will make technology simpler to use.”

And they spread the “simple” gospel with the help of a $100 million ad campaign. (Kleisterlee knew then, that folks like you and I, consumers, hate long, confusing, complicated instruction manuals. We just want the blasted thing to work! Fast. And easy.)
The power of this strategy was reinforced years ago, in preparation for a keynote presentation I was going to deliver for a utility company. When I asked a senior leader, “What are the expectations of your customers?” he smiled and calmly answered, “Jeff, when they flick the switch, the lights should go on.” Brilliant. He gets it!
So did Philips’ Kleisterlee. He gave 100 of his top leaders a “simple” assignment: Spend the weekend at home and get a bunch of Philips electronic goodies to work.
Some succeeded. Many didn’t. They returned annoyed, frustrated and mad!
Was this a problem? Nope, Kleisterlee knew it was an opportunity. Because it boldly demonstrated the necessity, to make their stuff easier to use. Kleisterlee acknowledged Philips wasn’t the first company within the electronics industry to pursue this path, but he believed they were the first to articulate their commitment.
Philips called this initiative or strategic direction, “Sense and Simplicity.” It was built on three key pillars:

  1. Advanced technology that’s ...
  2. Easy to experience and ...
  3. Designed around you.


  • How can you, your people and company become even easier to do business with?
  • What's causing frustration, irritability and anger with your customers? Internal? External?  How can these “points of pain” be eliminated?
  • Do you have rules, regs or policies that make you “tough” to do business with? How is this impacting relationships? Revenue? Which rules, regs and policies can be knocked-out or changed?
  • What businesses, (in any industry) are easy to do business with ... when you’re the customer? And what are they doing, you could improve, enhance or adapt for your business?

Here are nine interesting synonyms for the word “easy”: simple, comfortable, trouble-free, straightforward, uncomplicated, effortless, undemanding, problem-free and painless.

How can you turn these words into action and results?

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition of the best-selling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

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