An elderly woman arrived at a car dealership in an older model car, possibly looking to upgrade to a newer model. As she parked her car and inspected a white vehicle, a sales representative approached her, introducing himself and enthusiastically extolling the car’s virtues. He detailed the car’s features, including its powerful engine, quick acceleration, improved fuel efficiency, leather seats, new tires, customizable options, and great financing packages.
However, the sales representative failed to address the woman’s underlying concerns about the car’s safety and practicality. After his lengthy spiel, the sales representative asked if there was anything else the woman wanted to know about the car, to which she hesitantly asked if the car could safely take her to the grocery store and back. The sales representative assured her that it could, and she agreed to purchase the car.
The sales representative’s focus on the WHAT rather than the WHY may have caused him to miss the woman’s concerns and potentially lose the sale. A better approach would have been for him to ask the woman what specifically interested her about the white car and address her concerns directly. Selling the “why” rather than just the “what” is essential for most products and services because it focuses on the value that the product or service brings to the customer rather than just the technical details or features.
Apple is another prime example of a company that successfully sold the “why” and beat out its competitors, including IBM, in the personal computing industry. In the 1980s, when personal computers were still a niche market, Apple positioned its brand as innovative, creative, and focused on making technology accessible to everyone.
Apple’s marketing campaigns focused on its products’ benefits and outcomes rather than just the technical details. For example, their iconic “1984” Super Bowl commercial positioned Apple as the innovative and forward-thinking brand that was challenging the status quo, while also making technology more accessible and empowering individuals.
In contrast, IBM positioned itself as a company focused on the technical details and features of its products without emphasizing the benefits and outcomes to the consumer. As a result, Apple’s brand and messaging resonated more with consumers, and the company as a significant success in the personal computing industry.
Overall, Apple’s success in selling the “why” rather than just the “what” is a testament to the power of focusing on the benefits and outcomes of a product or service and how this approach can help a brand differentiate itself and connect with consumers on a deeper level.
By selling the “why,” salespeople can connect with potential customers on a deeper level and help them see how the product or service can address their needs and solve their problems.
Here are nine (9) reasons why selling the “why” is essential:
1. It resonates with customers’ emotions: People are often more motivated by their feelings than by logical arguments. By focusing on the benefits and outcomes of a product or service rather than just the technical details, salespeople can tap into customers’ emotions and build a stronger connection with them.
2. It helps differentiate the product or service: When multiple products or services are similar in terms of features or price, selling the “why” can help determine the product or service and make it stand out from the competition. By highlighting the unique benefits and outcomes of the product or service, salespeople can give potential customers a reason to choose their offering over others.
3. It addresses customers’ pain points: By focusing on the “why,” salespeople can better understand and address customers’ pain points and challenges. This can help build trust and credibility with potential customers and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.
4. It creates long-term value: Selling the “why” is important for closing a sale and creating long-term value for the customer. By focusing on the benefits and outcomes that the product or service can provide, salespeople can help customers see the long-term value of the investment, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
5. It helps customers see the big picture: When salespeople focus on the “why,” they are assisting customers to see how a product or service can benefit them in the long run. This can be especially important for products or services with a higher price point, as customers need to understand the value they are getting for their investment.
6. It creates a sense of urgency: When salespeople focus on the benefits and outcomes of a product or service, they can create a sense of urgency in the customer to purchase. Customers are more likely to take action when they see how a product or service can solve a problem or address a need.
7. It establishes a connection with the customer: By focusing on the “why,” salespeople develop a relationship with the customer. Customers are more likely to trust and be loyal to a brand they feel understands their needs and is focused on providing a solution that benefits them.
8. It helps differentiate the brand: When multiple brands offer similar products or services, selling the “why” can help determine the brand from its competitors. By focusing on the unique benefits and outcomes of the brand, salespeople can help customers see how it differs and why they should choose it over the competition.
9. It creates an emotional connection: When salespeople focus on the “why,” they create a dynamic relationship with the customer. Customers are more likely to purchase based on emotions, such as feeling understood or that a product or service will improve their lives.
Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why” is all about the importance of selling the “why” instead of just the “what” in business. In the book, Sinek argues that great leaders and organizations inspire people by focusing on their purpose and beliefs rather than just their products or services.
Sinek introduces the concept of the “Golden Circle“, which is a way of thinking about how successful organizations communicate their purpose and values. The “why” represents the organization’s purpose or belief, the “how” represents the actions or strategies used to fulfill that purpose, and the “what” represents the specific products or services offered.
Sinek believes starting with the “why” is crucial for building a loyal customer base and creating a sustainable business. When companies communicate their purpose and beliefs, they inspire and motivate customers to believe in and support their brand. This creates a sense of loyalty and a stronger connection between the brand and its customers, ultimately leading to long-term success.
Overall, selling the “why” is essential for building a connection with the customer, creating a sense of urgency, establishing trust and loyalty, differentiating the brand from its competitors, building stronger relationships with customers, differentiating the product or service, addressing pain points, and create long-term value. By focusing on the benefits and outcomes, salespeople can communicate the product or service’s value to the customer and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.
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