Why: A Different Approach to Selling Yourself
By Tony Cole
- Clearly identify why you do what you do
- Catch yourself on fire for what you believe
- Base your “why” on values and morals to stand strong against time and competition
- Be committed to your “why”
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By Tony Cole, President, Anthony Cole Training Group
Why do you do what you do? No, really, what is your motivation? As Simon Sineck in his Ted Talk declares, “To make a profit is not the answer.” That is the result of doing what you do. If you are a company of a thousand or a company of one, making a profit is a given. So, back to the question of Why – in other words, what is your motivation?
Hello and welcome to this week’s Sales Brew.
I first heard Simon about 3 years ago when a friend of mine, Randy Wilhelm, sent me a link to Ted Talks. Simon’s topic – How Great Leaders Inspire Action – has been viewed over 27 million times. It is one of the all-time most viewed presentations on Ted. Early in the discussion, he discusses the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle has “Why” in the bullseye center, “How” in the middle ring and “What” as the outside ring.
His premise is that the normal marketing sales pitch starts with what we do and how we do it, but great inspirational leaders start with the why. He uses the example of Apple. If they used the traditional marketing/communication process, the sales pitch would sound like this: “We make great computers; they are beautifully designed. Want to buy one?”
Most companies can explain what they do, and a few can explain or express how they do what they do – their unique sales proposition. Very few can express why they do what they do.
TOMS Shoes has an awesome why – “People throughout the world deserve to have shoes. We make comfortable shoes that are affordable and they are built environmentally friendly. Oh, by the way, when you buy a pair of TOMS Shoes, we donate a pair to those in need.”
So, what does this have to do with you and how you approach what you do? The law of diffusion innovation = there’s a mouthful. Simply stated, you have early adopters on one end of the spectrum and laggers on the other end. The idea is that you want to work with people that buy into your story. If you want mass market success, you cannot have it until you reach 15% of critical mass. The early majority won’t try something until they hear it from someone else. The early adopters and the innovators will buy into what you believe and then convince the others.
If you clearly identify why you do what you do and catch yourself on fire for what you believe, then people will stop to watch you “burn.” They will be drawn to you like moths to the flame. Being committed to your “why” will help you get through the ups and downs and the delays. If your why is based on values and morals, then your business will stand the test of time and the scrutiny of competition. Commit to your why and the how and the what will take care of itself.