As Simon Sinek has famously said “customers don’t buy what you do, they buy Why you do it.” Your “Why” is your number one differentiator. When your “Why” isn’t front and centre your company is commoditized, you don’t stand out and buyers see you as being just like all the others.
Getting to Why is a deceptively challenging task. When working as a Fractional VP of Sales with my clients, I typically hear classic statements like “we help our clients to increase profitability” or “we assist our clients in becoming market leaders in their industry”. These statements, though they may be true don’t get at the heart of Why.
A true Why statement articulates your company’s existential reason for being. It communicates how your products and services improve your customer’s situation down to the personal level.
I know that examining your Why to this level is daunting. You are likely saying “how do we articulate it?!”. There are many great thinkers out there and an equal number of models and processes to follow to help you find clarity around articulating your Why. It’s a highly satisfying experience that when best done engages all team members across all departments.
Why have a “Why”?
Whether you are a distributor of office supplies, a reseller of complex software or a custom designer of fine furniture there are hundreds of providers who do precisely what you do. It’s vital that your buyers see and feel at a visceral level how you are unique, different and worthy of partnering with. If they don’t then you run the risk of being commoditized and have every sales interaction proceed quickly into a downward price negotiation.
Once crafted, your Why will become the most powerful communication tool you have. It will inform your marketing messaging, be the bedrock upon which your employee engagement stands and serve as the foundation for your sales conversations.
The buyer’s journey with companies who leverage their Why is fundamentally different from those that don’t. The Why companies start with the statement of who they are and Why they do what they do. The questions they ask buyers are less about features and functions and more about how their products and services will be used to help the buyer’s enterprise as a whole – along with helping their customers. Next time you are being sold to ask, “is this person selling from their Why, or are they just trying to sell me stuff?”
Companies that sell from their Why will outsell the competition. Further, they have more engaged employees and lower turnover rates. This increased continuity leads to a better customer experience for their client base. Investing in uncovering and capturing your Why is absolutely worthwhile.
There is of course a great deal of detail and nuance around capturing your Why and leveraging it in your sales process. It never hurts to call in some outside expertise to help you navigate the process of defining your Why. This is one of the things I can help with as an outsourced VP of Sales. I am happy to chat if you’d like to learn more.