As we prepare for another season, of life and of business it’s time to come back to a few core truths that shape perspective and orientation towards performance. This column starts a three-part series focusing on Why, How, and What, as an adaptation of the principles explored in the Simon Sinek Book, ‘Start with Why.’ As Sinek states, ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’
Starting with why is a paradigm shift from the norm or the old way, in which we are asked to practice leading with our purpose, not with price, rules, or negotiation. Whether you are a leader of people, sales person, or some combination of both; which many of us are, being able to invite others into your ‘Why’ is an essential part of building teams and growing sales.
Those who are unsuccessful at proliferating their ‘Why’ often find themselves in price competition, whether it be for wages, services or products. Lifestyle brands like Apple and Tesla do not put an emphasis on price, and consumers are willing to pay a premium for their products. Ask either of these companies what they sell and their answer will not be cars and phones, but a lifestyle of innovation. For proof take a look at the company’s mission statements. Those who identify with their vision, buy into the brand. The same is true for you, differentiation in leadership, service, and products negate competition at the lowest common denominator. However, differentiation cannot be achieved unless you are familiar with and an expert at evangelizing your ‘Why.’
New converts in your church of ‘Why’ are those who believe in you, your brand, your integrity, and your growth. These followers value a relationship more than undercutting margin and know that reciprocity allows for both the ebbs and flow of business over time. Conversions are not made by asking ‘Last name?’ and ‘How long would you like to tan?’ as customers enter your business, they are made through expert consultation, relationship investment, ongoing business reinvestment, pristine equipment maintenance, and access to cutting-edge technology.
The beginning of a season is always an appropriate time to come back to WHY. Leading with your why, your purpose or your motivation is the reason why others chose to believe in what you do and to follow you as a leader, as a boss, and hopefully as both.
Why do you do what you do?
If the answer is, to make money, then choosing a customer facing business might have been an oversight. Productivity, success, wealth, and growth are all byproducts of fulfilling your why.
Now is an ideal time to assess your ability to create converts to your Church of ‘Why’ and to begin reshaping your mindset to share your vision, not just your price point. You are also invited to read along in the Sinek Book, ‘Start With Why’ over the next weeks and join thousands of other business leaders who have made the shift from pricing wars to sharing visions.