In sales, it’s easy to get caught up in the features, specifications, and benefits of the products or services or laundry listing all the things you can do for your clients. However, what many sales professionals and business owners often overlook is the true essence of their success lies not in the "what" but in the "why". Your “why” is your only truly unique differentiator. It is the driving force behind connecting with clients on a deeper level to understand their wants and needs and be able to offer them a valuable solution.
This is your friendly reminder to lead with your WHY and not what. Are you familiar with the Golden Circle Theory?
Simon Sinek's Golden Circle Theory emphasizes that successful individuals and organizations focus on their "why" before delving into the "how" and "what”. The Golden Circle consists of three layers:
Why: This is the core belief, purpose, or cause that inspires you to do what you do. It's the reason you wake up every day, passionate about your work.
How: This layer defines the actions and values that set you apart and differentiate your approach in the market.
What: The outermost layer represents the products or services you offer, which are merely the tangible manifestations of your "why"
As a sales professional or business owner, identifying your "why" can help you build stronger brand awareness and connections with your clients and potential clients creating brand loyalty beyond the functional aspects of your offerings.
Some other examples of how leading with our WHY builds connection and is valuable in business development and sales: Understanding the role emotion vs logic plays in buying decisions.
While logic and practicality do play a role in purchasing decisions, research shows that emotions have a more significant influence on buying behavior. People often buy based on how a product or service makes them feel rather than the technical details.
When you communicate your "why" effectively, you’re essentially telling a compelling story that resonates with your customers on an emotional level. This storytelling taps into the limbic system of the brain, where emotions and memories reside. Additionally, according to cognitive psychologist, Jerome Bruner's theory people are 22X more likely to remember a fact when it's presented as part of a story.
A strong "why" fosters trust and authenticity, two vital factors in establishing long-term relationships with clients, partners and teammates. When people believe in your purpose, they are more likely to trust your offerings.
Clients who connect emotionally with your brand are more likely to become loyal advocates, leading to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth and referral. I don’t know about you, but I am forever putting on businesses, products, and services that I connect with and find valuable. I figure if they helped me other people might be looking for the same type of solution.
Translating Your WHY into Sales Success:
a. Know Your Purpose: Reflect on why you entered your industry or started your business. What drives your passion and motivates you to excel? Understand that your "why" is not just about making money but about making a positive impact.
b. Craft Your Story: Develop a compelling narrative that communicates your "why" in a way that captivates your audience. Make it relatable and authentic, sharing experiences and values that align with your organization and ideal client. I recommend crafting what I call your, “Your Foundational Story,” which allows you to bring your whole self to your interactions and presentations creating authentic connection.
c. Listen and Empathize: Understand your customers’ needs, wants, goals and challenges by actively listening to them. Empathize with their emotions and demonstrate how your "why"addresses their concerns.
d. Align Your Team: Share your "why" with your team, partners, and network. Let them get to know you and get to know them in return. Oftentimes our values are similar or aligned with folks we are working alongside. When everyone is aligned, we can authentically convey our purposes for one another for introductions and referrals.
I know it can seem a bit intimidating to start leading with your WHY and I promise after a little practice you’ll find you actually get to be more of your true self.
Your WHY is the heartbeat of your success. Simon Sinek's Golden Circle Theory reminds us to focus on our purpose and passion (why) first, which will lead to a deeper emotional connection with customers. By understanding that most buying decisions are emotional, not logical, you can craft compelling stories that resonate with your audience and build lasting relationships. So, before you jump into selling your products or services, remember to embrace and share your WHY with the world.
On that note, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by the great Maya Angelou.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something that you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
There’s always enough!