Tuesday - Friday | August 25-28, 2020

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA | USA

Check the latest article for IWF atlanta users

Start with Why

31. May 2018 12:35

When you are competing for a modern job, or any project for that matter, you need to focus on what sets you apart from the competition, what makes you different. Joe Knobbe of Exclusive Woodworking (Waukegan, IL) has said that at Exclusive they don’t sell a product, but rather they sell their experience and reputation.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” or listened to his TED talk about the same subject, I strongly encourage you to do so. It will motivate you to rethink your sales process – in a good way.  Sinek shared a concept called “The Golden Circle”, which is graphically represented as a target with three rings: the outer ring is WHAT, the middle ring is HOW, and the bullseye is WHY.

Any company can explain WHAT it does; some can explain HOW they do it; but very few can articulate WHY they do what they do. It’s no doubt that you know WHAT you do. These are products you sell or the services you offer. Perhaps you even know HOW you do it: what makes you special or sets you apart from the competition. But do you know WHY you do what you do? WHY is not about making money. That’s a result. WHY is a purpose, cause, or belief. It’s the very reason your company exists.

In his opening keynote address at the CMA’s 20th Anniversary Conference, Paul Downs criticized the typical shop’s website for focusing on phrases like “family-owned” or “in business for XX years”. Paul was blunt and told the audience that essentially no one cares about these things.  He didn’t refer to Simon Sinek’s concept of The Golden Circle, but hopefully you now recognize that these things are simply the WHAT. When describing your business, you may get into the HOW with phrases like “hand-crafted” or “using the latest technology” but even those things are not meaningful to your prospective customers. You need to dig deeper and focus on the WHY.

When people start with WHY they are then able to inspire others and achieve remarkable things. They command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike. They are more successful and are also able to repeat their successes over and over. They become more innovative, and ultimately, more profitable.

Once you figure out what your WHY is, then refer to it like crazy. Make sure your employees understand it and embrace it. Use it to promote your company: put it on your home page, create a tag line, add it to your email signature, update your advertising and marketing materials. Get the word out.

To learn more about the sales process related to modern work, register to attend “Acing that modern job” during IWF this summer.


Comments are closed