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Is Your “Why” Helping Your Clients

I attended an event last week, and the subject was social media marketing and personal branding. As the representatives of the host company shared their frameworks around messaging, a branding person immediately asked the question, “Where is the ‘why’?” He went straight to the idea that a brand is built on some big idea, some big “why?”

Inevitably, someone mentioned Steve Jobs, “Put a dent in the Universe” quote, which defies any explanation or quantification (it was just Jobs being Jobs). Sinek’s explanation is far better.

In marketing, the “why” is overplayed.

It’s Not About You

I know that explaining your “why” is better than showing your prospective client a deck that starts with your logo, moves onto the ultra-compelling content that is your company history, followed by your locations, your board members, and the logos of the clients you serve. Your values are certainly more compelling then a lot of what’s in your deck.

That said, are you trying to create a preference for you, your solution, and your company? If so, you demonstrate you are someone worth doing business with when you begin the conversation about what your prospective client wants.

Mind-share Precedes Wallet Share

When I speak to companies about Level 4 Value Creation, I ask them to share their marketing material with me. The vast majority of their material is about their company, their products or services, features and benefits, and technical specs. This content is devoid of any real insight or values. It’s Level 1.

A smaller amount of their marketing material is Level 2. It speaks to the experience of the client or customer. That stack of marketing collateral is much smaller than the Level 1 content.

Then, we get to Level 3 content, or tangible business results. Almost everyone has a few case studies and white papers. More sophisticated content creators have some tools, like cost calculators.

If there is anything that is Level 4, it’s not much. Almost nothing speaks to the strategic challenges the client is having, the reason they are having those challenges, why they should change now, and what changes are going to be necessary to avoid risks and capitalize on opportunities—all of the things a trusted advisor would provide. There is almost nothing that expresses a strong point of view about what is right and what is wrong.

Your point of view is better than your “why” because it is focused on what your dream clients needs, why they need it, what they should do now, and what the right answer looks like. Your “why” is helping your clients, isn’t it?


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