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LABYRINTH: Gross Overselling and Confusion on the Internet

I have always believed that the key to sales and marketing success is KISS:  “Keep It Simple, Salesman ” or, in the case of writer’s: “Keep It Simple, Scribe.”

Apparently, the technicians who dominate the Internet do not accept the KISS concept. 
Doing business over the Internet is a labyrinth of gross overselling.  You get an email stimulating your interest.  You click on it.  You then get the same sales pitch – plus dozens of other promotions.  Finding your way to the checkout is next to impossible. 

Next there’s the endless stream of identifications, email addresses, and passwords – even with companies you’ve often done business with. 

Amazon is a good example.  At one time it was pretty easy to buy a book.  One click!  No more!  It seems they are never happy to have you buy what they initially interested you in.  No!  They’ve got to sell you more and more stuff.  In the process, they confuse and oversell.

Another example: yesterday I tried to buy a digital course from “The Great Courses.” I’ve been a customer of theirs for 15 to 20 years – going back to the cassette tape era.  I spent 20 minutes trying to get one of the products they were currently advertising.  No luck.  I entered my email address five times.  I was never able to complete the transaction.  Ironically, a few minutes ago I received an email from “The Great Courses.” telling me that I have an item in my checkout.  So I tried to complete the transaction – but again more roadblocks – no luck. 

I’m suspecting the problem is with me.  I’m a 75-year-old businessman, investor, and electrical engineer.  I spend a good part of my day on the Internet as part of my investment practice.  I write articles for ClashDaily every week.  I have an excellent computer-guru with whom I communicate anytime I experience a computer problems, software problems, etc.

In the days when I was running product manufacturing companies, I always emphasized the KISS principle and the following tactics: 

The first rule of good marketing is to intercept 100% of the interest that exists for one’s products and services.  The second is to take the customer out of the marketplace before he/she can change his/her mind.  The third and most important rule is to provide so much satisfaction that the customer will come back to you the next time.  Lastly, one should always make it quick, easy and fun to do business with you and your company.

Doing business on the internet isn’t quick, easy and fun – at least for us old timers.  Hopefully, this note will motivate at least one organization to understand and use the KISS concept to improve their top and bottom lines.



William Pauwels

William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.