Reviewed by Scott Stiver, Partner at Carew International
Why should customers buy your product or service? Most sales professionals know “What” their company does and “How” they do it, but few people know “Why” they do what they do. In other words, they have no grand vision, no distinction; nothing that inspires them to win. In his popular book, Start with Why, author Simon Sinek presents a method for looking at one’s company and its products/services in a way that differentiates your organization from the competition.
While Start with Why looks at business from a leadership and marketing perspective, the content is aligned with key concepts from Carew’s Dimensions of Professional Selling (DPS) sales training. Sinek shares a principle called the “Golden Circle” as a means to distinguish the “What” and “How” from the “Why.” Likewise, the Positional Selling System in DPS sales training is intended to extend your sales process as a means to get beyond the “What” and “How,” to understand customers’ needs and motivations (Odds Are), or the “Why.”
A key element of the Positional Selling System is the concept of the GAP, or the difference between a customer’s current reality and his/her needs and desired outcomes. Once we uncover a customer or prospect’s GAP, we are able to move forward and present our solution. It’s in this process that we identify the “Why” in our company’s services and products. After all, the “What” and “How” are just features and advantages of the products/services we sell. The “Why” is our solution to the customer’s GAP.
Understanding the “Why” may take some digging, or several repeat attempts to connect with a prospect to gain permission to explore. It also may take some consulting from the sales professional to help a customer see that there is a better way he/she didn’t know existed. However long it takes, once we uncover a customer’s “Why,” then, and only then, are we able to present our solution.
Sales professionals can get by for years by becoming very good at explaining and presenting the “What” and “How,” but it isn’t until we master the concept of “Why” that we are able to improve our position with customers and take our sales career to the next level.