Drive sales by establishing your core values and identity

The power of ‘why’

There are so many considerations when starting a business, but one that’s so often overlooked is establishing and communicating your business’ core values. Typically, entrepreneurs focus on branding, business plans and financing. Then there’s a mad rush to roll-out! However, neglecting to consider your core business values from the start could have serious implications further down the road.

My favourite example of this is via leadership expert and author Simon Sinek. He believes in starting with your ‘Why.’ Through his bestselling book, ‘Let’s Start with Why’ and his TED talk, he says that if you have a sincere and compelling “why” that resonates with like-minded people, it can propel your business to stellar and lasting success. The same goes for attracting outstanding and loyal employees. If you employ people who have core values aligned with yours, then they’ll see their job as more than just a pay check; they’ll see it as a personal mission. They’ll truly value their job, champion it with others and work for you through blood, sweat and tears.

Turn your marketing message inside out

Whilst Sinek’s book and talk are a few years old, the message he conveys is powerful and relevant. He discovered that all great inspiring leaders and organisations think, act and communicate in the same way, and that it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. He explains how by drawing, what he terms, ‘The Golden Circle.’ The circle’s inner core contains ‘why’ and around it is ‘how’, followed by ‘what.’

He maintains that every person within a business knows ‘what’ their company does; some also know ‘how’ they do it, but few know ‘why’ they do it. And, with regards to the latter he’s not talking about the profit (result). ‘Why’ to Sinek means what’s your business’ purpose, your belief, and your cause. Why does your business exist and why should anyone care? He argues that the inspired business’ and leaders all communicate from the inside out.

Sinek illustrates this point with Apple. If they were like any other business their marketing message might be: “We make great computers, they are beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Want to buy one?” Instead, they communicate their message: “We believe in challenging the status quo; we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our computers simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers.”

Apple has turned their marketing message inside out. As a result they are known for their cutting edge ethos and uber coolness which draws buyers to them. As great as their products are, ultimately it is their core values that drive brand loyalty.

[box]“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” TWEET THIS[/box]

The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

Sinek says his idea is not new; it’s grounded from the tenants of biology. If you look at a cross section of the brain it’s broken down into 3 major components that correlate perfectly with the Golden Circle. The outer layer – the neo cortex corresponds to ‘what.’ It is responsible for our rational thought, language, and is analytical. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains and correspond to ‘how’ and ‘why.’ They are responsible for our feelings, trust and loyalty. They govern all our behaviour, decision making and have no capacity for language.  When we communicate from the outside in, we can understand it, however, it won’t drive behaviour. When we communicate from the inside out, however, we are talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behaviour.

Do business with those who believe as you do

Why is it important to attract those people who believe as you believe? The answer is on account of the law of diffusion of innovation. The early adopters and innovators make way for the others. They want to be seen as being the first, they take on your beliefs and make them their own. Everything they do, is for themselves. The ‘what’ you do simply serves as the proof for what they believe. Remember always, people buy for themselves and they follow those who inspire them not because they have to, but because they want to.

In the comments below, tell me what your biggest frustration is with driving sales. Let me know what top tips you have for dealing with it and whether you’ve tackled this through your marketing message. Let me know what action you’ll take as a result of reading this post too. I’d love to hear.

Thank you, as always for watching, reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!

With love and gratitude – as always,



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Jane Frankland is a successful cyber security entrepreneur, consultant and speaker who has had a diverse career encompassing art and design; business development; and operations. Having held directorships and senior executive positions within her own companies and at several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business development solutions. Right now she is writing a book on gender diversity in cyber security and is focused on increasing the numbers of women in the profession.

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