A Question To Change How You Think About Sales (and Help Get You More of Them)

Do you have a guiding principle for making 2015 your best year yet?

Do you want one?

First, read the article Doing Business With “Why” (easily one of my top reads from 2014).

Then, try these three exercises to translate the power of “Why” into a new outlook for sales success in 2015:

Redefine Your “Why”

You may already know the answer to the question, “why do you do what you do?”

Even so, take the opportunity presented by the new year to reflect on and redefine your “why.”

At your next team meeting, ask your colleagues why they think you do what you do. Write down the answers. Then come up with an agreed-upon way to end this sentence:

“We offer our products and services because we aim to _______.”

Then use that answer to guide your biz-dev strategy for 2015.

More specifically...

Reexamine and Reevaluate Your Assets (and Tell Your “Why” Story Everywhere)

What do we mean by “assets”?

The info on your website. Your marketing materials (online and off). Your product guides or demos. Your sales presentations. Your years of experience and professional training. Anything and everything you use to market and/or sell your products and services.

Take a look at it (all of it). Does it describe what you sell? Or does it describe why you sell it?

When you describe what you sell (e.g., your cutting-edge product features or excellent technical support), your prospects say “so what?”

When you describe why you sell (e.g., the problems you help people solve and the goals you help people achieve), your prospects say “interesting… I wonder if that could help me, too.”

If you notice a lot more “what” than “why” stories in your sales and marketing materials, then you’re primed for an overhaul. Reorient everything from “what” to “why” (tip: phrase everything in the second person so it speaks to your prospects and explains why you help them).

Here’s an example:

Imagine describing your latest or most exciting product feature to a prospect. You could say something like, “our product includes a state-of-the-art dashboard with tools for monitoring activity and measuring results.”

That’s a “what” story. And it doesn’t clearly explain how your prospect benefits or why they should be interested.

On the other hand, you could say, “with our easy-to-use dashboard, you can improve your biz-dev efforts on the fly and reach more new prospects in half the time.”

That’s a “why” story. And it’s much more compelling.

Answer Every Question with Your “Why”

Infusing your “why” story into everything you do takes practice.

There’s one way to improve your “why” skills while at the same time spreading your story to every prospect and client:

Every time someone asks you a question about your business or your products and services, use it as an opportunity to tell your “why” story.

If someone asks you what business you’re in, tell them why you’re in business.

If they asks you what your business offers, tell them why you offer what you do.

If they ask you what your product does, tell them why it does what it does.

Sound hard (or weird)? It really isn’t. Every “what” has a “why”--a reason for existing. And when someone asks “what?”, they’re usually asking “why?”

So remind them--and yourself--why you do what you do. And use your “why” to make 2015 a year to remember.