We make decisions based on our emotional brain, not our rational brain. Changing behavior (e.g. sales) isn’t about dumping the largest amount of features on the prospect – its about finding alignment between what you believe and what they believe – the “why” of what you might do together.
Life is just more interesting because of TED. I’m a TED addict. Why? Because no matter what the topic covered in 18 minutes it always makes me think and almost every time my mindset is in a different place at the end of 18 minutes. What impact does TV have on our thinking? (never mind, topic for a different time and place). By the way, I don’t own a TV so you can guess what I think about the tube and what it’s doing to our collective consciousness.
If you’ve read any thing I’ve written, you probably know that I’m on a constant rant against using feature lists to explain a product, sell a product, or compare products. I have always felt passionate about this, but up until now I didn’t know exactly why – then I watched this TED video and like a great camera lens, everything came into focus.
Here’s the synopsis of what Simon Sinek communicates during his talk: there is a pattern happening with phenomenally successful companies (e.g. Apple, etc…), they don’t sell the “what?” (RAM, processing power, screen resolution) or the “how?” (great engineering, incredible industrial and user interface design, etc…) they sell the “WHY?” – they sell what they believe and we buy those products because we believe what they believe. The amazing thing about this Golden Circle (as Simon calls it) is that it exactly matches how our brain makes decisions.
We don’t make decisions based on the “what” or the “how” – we make decisions with our limbic system not our neocortex (where we process facts and figures). If you’re trying to influence behavior (isn’t that what all sales is?) by presetting facts and figures – you’re targeting the wrong part of the brain.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it.”
Absolutely brilliant, so simple and simultaneously profound – it will take a long time for me to fully integrate this idea. Think about the “why” and how it fits into your business? If you asked your organization for the answer to “why?” what would they say? How many different answers are there? Do any of them go above the level of “making a living, paying the bills, etc…”? If you’re selling what you believe – maybe its time to examine your beliefs as a method for improving your sales?