Tell Them WHY

My client, Scott, sent me the video link last week to a TED Talk by author Simon Sinek, explaining his “Golden Circle”.  I’ve seen this video before, but for some reason, it had an even more powerful impact on me this time.

“People don’t buy what you do,” Sinek explains.  “They buy why you do it.”

Here’s the Golden Circle:


Most professionals do at least a fair job of telling people WHAT they do and HOW they do it, but not WHY.  The WHY is your purpose, your cause, your belief.

I have always asked my coaching clients to know “why” people would want to choose their services above those of their competitors.  Sinek, on the other hand, looks at “why” you have chosen to do what you do, because he believes that your “why” is why people will want to hire you.

Sinek uses Apple as his example.  If Apple claimed, “We make great computers that are both beautifully designed and user-friendly,” would they stand out to buyers?  Sinek says, “No”.

But what they say that will work, he tells us, starts with their “why”:

We believe in challenging the status quo, because we believe in thinking differently.  Thus, everything we make is both beautiful and simple to use, and this just happens to produce great computers.  Do you want to buy one?”

And we say, “Yes,” Sinek tells us, because they’ve given us not just WHAT they do (make great computers) and HOW they do it (simply and beautifully), but WHY (to change the status quo by thinking differently).  It’s about inspiration.

After all, Martin Luther King’s following was built on “I have a DREAM,”—his WHY—not on: “Let’s change our world by ending discrimination”.  It wasn’t WHAT he preached (changing the world), or HOW he suggested it ought to be accomplished (by ending discrimination).  It was WHY he preached—his own personal vision—that brought so many others to back his meaningful cause.

If you want more business, share your dream with your clients and prospective clients.  Let them know WHY you do what you do, and they may come to share your beliefs, and thus, to trust your vision of WHAT and HOW to get their own needs met: by soliciting your products and/or help.

Let me help you figure out why.  Keep dreaming, and keep REACHING…