Many in business chose to define the reason they are in business from the outside in. They think what they do (“make a profit”) or how they do that (“we sell financial products/provide superior advice”) as their reason for being in business. But making a profit is the result, and selling products and services – no matter how carefully selected or expertly executed – are the means to that result. Their purpose or reason or belief is why they are in business. It is the reason their organization exists, and it’s critical that every business owner who seeks to thrive in a competitive environment learn to uncover that purpose.
Simon Synek calls it The Golden Circle, with “what” being the outer ring, “how” being the inner ring, and “why” being the core of the circle.
If a business owner doesn’t know why they are in business, they may be at a loss to explain their purpose when things don’t go the way they planned or when others are more successful than they are.
Let’s look at two scenarios and you can decide which is more compelling to a prospective client. Position A works from the outer ring of The Golden Circle inward, moving from “what” to “how” to “why.” Position B does the reverse, starting with “why” so that what you sell is a solution to your client’s problem.
“We sell proven financial investments and services. We create carefully balanced portfolios so that they address your present needs and future goals, and we meet with you regularly to stay on top of changes in your life. We do this because we believe your peace of mind is paramount when it comes to your retirement needs. When might you like to meet?”
“We believe that your peace of mind is paramount so that you don’t have to worry if you’ll be secure in your retirement. Towards that end, we create carefully managed portfolios that address your present needs and future goals, and we meet with you regularly to stay on top of changes in your life. We carefully choose the investments in your portfolio and the services you receive. When might you like to meet?”
Forgive the simplicity, but I think you get the point. Serious shift begins with defining your purpose and articulating it. Clients buy the reason you are in business because they share that same reason. You want to do business with those who believe what you believe because they align with your purpose and will be more committed to the relationship. Your purpose is their solution. In an environment replete with products and services, your approach is refreshingly real, unique and selective, and prospective clients will view everything you do and offer in the same way.
Your competitors could choose the same approach. But most won’t because they are still too busy selling things.