If you read our previous post (4 Step Guide to Improve Your Pitch), you know that most people approach sales pitches the wrong way.
Most people think: “How can I get him to buy my product?”. A sales pitch isn’t about selling your product, it is about sharing your vision of the world. You change the frame of how the prospect looks at the world, making him see the world from your perspective. The first thing you need to do is…
Start With Why
Inside his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek explains why some people and organizations are more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others.
The main point Sinek makes is that these organizations have clarity in their “Why” as a company. The most successful companies have clarity in their cause, or have some sort of enduring belief or purpose. They know their “Why”.
For Simon, the “Why” is the essential question. It’s what differentiates the profits of a powerhouse like Apple vs a feature based product like Lenovo.
Who is Simon Sinek?
A successful bestselling writer, and a well known speaker from his Ted talk ‘How Leaders Inspire Action’ with 26 million views. He knows how to deliver an effective sales pitch.
In his book, Sinek describes “The Golden Circle”, in which the inner circle is “Why”, surrounded by “How” and the final encompassing circle is “What”.
First figure out the ‘Why’ of your company. Then figure out ‘How’ your products fit. Finally, ‘What’ are the features and benefits you deliver.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, is one of his memorable quotes.
In this post, we will show you how to use some of Simon Sineks ideas to help your business.
Let’s see how to apply these ideas to your presentation…
Reframe Your Pitch (Start With ‘Why’)
Instead of merely describing what your product is doing and telling the prospect the features it has, start with ‘Why’ your company does what it does (it’s not easy). Focus on the foundational belief and purpose behind your company. Be proud of it!
This starts your pitch off on a broader level, letting the prospect easily relate and connect with your business. To make this happen naturally, connect your ‘Why’ to a current theme in your industry.
Have a Clear Understanding of Your Why
Let’s start with some examples of companies that have a clearly defined ‘Why’:
- Uber: Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone.
- AirBNB: We create a door to an open world — where everyone’s at home and can belong, anywhere. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcVFigGq1_I
Looking at these ‘Why’s’, you see they are about purpose, or a cause or belief that the company has. They are bigger than just the product, or the pursuit of profit. They are about people. They inspire.
Another great example that Sinek often uses is Apple. Their mission statement was “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
Too bad there is only one Apple in the world. What about the rest of us?
Does your company have a great mission statement? Use it. If it doesn’t, you have to start describing the ‘Why’ yourself. This is the most difficult part of this exercise.
Does every company have a ‘Why’? No, at least not one that’s very defined. Usually not one that really stands out either.
However, if you take a closer look at your team, your culture, client relationships, and the way you solve customer problems, you will find some things that stand out. Things that people remember your company by. Now you’re starting to scratch the surface of your ‘Why’.
Start writing down a few key words and discussing them with your colleagues.
Now relate it to your product: how does the product relate to the ‘Why’, to your culture, or to your Mission Statement?
Given your newfound ‘Why’, what fresh take do you have on your solution, or on the problem your product solves? What does your company bring to the table and how does it add value? Does it make sense for your company to offer those products?
Structure Your Pitch (Why > How > What)
Now you can start to structure your story:
- Introduce your ‘Why’: Why do we believe in this product? Why do we think it’s important and relevant to the consumer?
- Translate to ‘How’: How do we see the problem? How do we approach the solution? How does our solution work to fix the problem?
- Finally, the ‘What’: What are the characteristics and features of the product? What product are we offering?