Victor’s Insider Scoop on Why Your “WHY” Trumps Your “HOW” and Your “WHAT” Everytime.
December 17th, 2012 | top of page

How do you get what you want? Your answer to this question is independent of whether you’re trying to get a customer to sign a contract or your kid to take out the trash. That’s because there are only two ways to get someone to do what you want them to do: you can manipulate them or you can inspire them. 
Most of us get it wrong!

Most people try to manipulate. And for good reason: it works and it’s the tactic we’re most familiar with! Typical manipulations include:

  • Reducing your price or having a sale
  • Using fear or peer pressure
  • Promising innovation or follow up support
  • Listing features and benefits
  • Providing aspirational messages

If manipulation is your default tactic then I think you’ve got it all wrong. You’re opting for the easy route because you don’t really know why your customers are your customers.

Manipulations may lead to you getting what you want—the customer signing the contract—but it will not lead to loyalty which is much more valuable. The next time that customer is looking for that same product or service she’ll be swayed by a reduced price or a shinier product with improved features from someone else.

First, back to the basics. What’s your “What”? This is easy! You know what your “What” is. Just describe your products or services.

Your “How” digs a little deeper. Your “How” is not as obvious as your “What”. It could be your USP (unique selling proposition) that differentiates you or your product from your competitors. You may have features, patents or simply unparalleled customer service. But doesn’t everyone contend they have unparalleled customer service?

Most companies start a sales presentation with their “What”. After all their “What” is what they’re selling isn’t it? It’s got features, it’s got benefits, and it might even have buttons. Then, after they’ve explained their “Whats” they’ll tell you about their “Hows” and why their “Hows” are better than their competitors.

But here’s the rub. Very few people or companies can tell you “Why” they do what they do. And it’s the “Why” that’s the most important part. The “Why” is the part that inspired leaders and companies know cold. And it’s the “Why” that inspired leaders and companies start with. Not the “How” and certainly not the “What” because that’s what everyone else does.

Let’s look at an example of how an inspired company uses their “Why”. First, consider the marketing message you’ve probably seen from the XYZ Computer Company:

We make great computers. They’re solidly built, functional, contain 500 GB hard drives and have 8 gigabytes of RAM that run at a blazingly fast 2.7 GHz so you can blast through your most complex spreadsheet or graphic-intensive game. And they’re on sale this week for only $1295. Buy one now.

Then, here’s a sales pitch you might see from Apple:

In everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Buy one now.

Apple’s message feels different from XYZ’s. Apple does not try to appeal to everyone. They’re only after those persons that align with Apple’s message. Those that “think different” or at least aspire to “think different”. If you can remember Apple’s very first TV commercial it was all about “think different”. It’s from 1984 and is now iconic. You can watch it by clicking here.

Look at Apple’s TV ads today. They only have one person in them not groups of people. Sure, Apple could show a group of people gathered around an iPad. But they don’t. Their commercials are geared to individuals. Those who “think different”. Same message, same “Why”, only 28 years later.

You’re much more likely to want to buy a computer from Apple based on their message. And the reason is that Apple and other inspired companies start their marketing message with their “Why”, then they tell you their “How”, and end with their “What”. It’s the exact opposite of everyone else.

Companies try to sell us “What” they do but we buy “Why” they do it. With nothing to differentiate themselves from their competitors, companies that sell us their “Whats” and “Hows” become commodities. And commodities customers typically buy based on price. Think Walmart. It’s a good model for them but there can only be one “low price leader”. You’re just not going to compete with Walmart based on price alone.

Companies that communicate their “Why” make us feel special, safe, like we belong and are not alone. Think Harley Davidson … their riders are bonded to each other.

To reiterate, inspired marketing starts with “Why”, moves to “How” and ends with “What”. Simple, yes. Easy, no. But worth it.

For a complete insight into this idea see an introductory video at Ted Talks and then read Start With Why by Simon Sinek. You’ll be glad you did!

Dedicated To Multiplying Your Income


PS – If you are ready to begin to thrive again by getting off the sidelines and putting your money to work give me a call at 602-320-6200. I see lots of deals and may have just what you are looking for.

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