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Simon says, ‘Start with why’

Why should your customers choose your business over all the thousands of others doing the same thing?

According to Simon Sinek, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, when we’re trying to influence others we need to start with why.

We could be selling a product or service, looking for employment, employees or seeking funding – the important thing, Sinek says, is to start with telling people why you are doing it. He says;

“People don’t buy what you do,
they buy
why you do it”

Sinek refers to his Golden Circle – the outer edge of which denotes the what. In every industry, including yours, there will be hundreds of businesses doing the same thing. He explains that the businesses that use what to sell products need to manipulate customers into buying their product or service. People will come to this type of business because it offers low prices, freebies, novelty (under the guise of innovation) to compete with others all doing the same thing. This doesn’t breed loyalty or create trust.

The reason why you do what you do is likely to be different for every company. This could be your company’s sense of purpose, it’s beliefs, its values – whatever it is that underpins its reason for existing. This is what attracts people to your business and keeps them returning.  

The goal to influence in business is no longer about the practical aspects of doing business. Consumers have a wealth of choice for every service or product they could ever desire. It’s about the emotional aspect and how connecting with a certain business can make them feel. So as a business, connecting to the group of people who ‘get’ why you do what you do is the key to business success.

What do successful businesses do differently?

Seth Godin explains in his book, All Marketers are Liars that the most successful companies are those who fit into the worldview of their customers and offer something different that these customers value. They use an effective, authentic story to make a better and more lasting impression on customers who will say ‘I’m willing to turn down a better offer or product elsewhere to do business with you.’ because they can relate to your company beliefs and feel as though they belong.

Steve from Efficient Thinking Solutions is a client of Rather Inventive. Steve loves to solve problems. It gives him a sense of purpose and fulfilment to put systems and processes in order so that businesses can get the most out of their employees. Steve’s ‘what’ – to offer the service of consulting for businesses and helping to improve their productivity – is the proof of what he believes. It’s his values and his guiding principles that fuel his business, not the other way around.

How do you get staff on board?

When it comes to selling your company to your staff, so that they are working for something they believe in, it’s the same principle. Sinek says a company should be a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs. This is what keeps the company moving in the same direction, giving everyone a sense of belonging and working together to achieve goals and solve problems. This can only happen when a leader demonstrates his beliefs and his values about the company. Without it, the staff will be working only for pay and will jump ship at the first sign of trouble.

So, do you know why you do what you do, and can you shout about it? Do you hold yourself accountable to that reason, every time you work?  Make sure everyone knows your why and they’ll keep coming back.

Photo credit: Walter Lim, Start With Why Diagram