PEOPLE DON'T BUY WHAT YOU DO; THEY BUY WHY YOU DO IT. SIMON SINEK
If you are interested in producing a trendy sales pitch, launching a glitzy promotional campaign to wow your clients, or offering a tempting rebate customers simply can’t refuse, you can stop reading now. This blog is not for you.
But if you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or leader whose goal is to perpetuate customer loyalty and trust, if concepts like quality, authenticity, and purposefulness matter to you, if you are inspired to align your mission statement with all of your communications and build a organization founded on the original excitement that gave rise to the idea in the first place, read on.
Transform your communications. Transform your business. Really?
Does writing purposefully—in accordance with your mission/vision—affect your clients’ loyalty and your overall profitability? Do people respond to writing that embodies core values? Yes. Everything you write has (by default or design) an overall tone and agenda. Whether you are recommending a plan, writing a proposal, or a complaint, your business values should drive the message or purpose. However, it’s not likely we consider our mission statement when shooting off an email or sending a company memo. But we should. Here’s why.
In his seminal book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek presents a thought-provoking model he calls The Golden Circle. His theory states that businesses which identify and perform with a clear notion of their values, or Why, go beyond surviving. They thrive. Apple, Southwest, and Harley-Davidson, says Sinek, are such companies. They tend to rely less on shoddy sales gimmicks or overt manipulations to make money. The leaders of these companies defined their Why early in the game. In doing so, they fostered emotional relationships to their products and services. Consumers remain loyal to the brands—some to the point of tattooing a brand logo (Harley-Davidson) on their bodies. Conversely, companies who either fail to define or eventually lose sight of their Why (like Walmart after Sam Walton’s death) can lose the trust and loyalty of their customers. Understanding the basic premise of Sinek’s book can help lay the groundwork when it comes to understanding and using your Why (vision and mission statements) in defining and refining how you communicate in business—internally and externally.
“If you’re not willing to accept the pain real values incur, don’t bother going to the trouble of formulating a values statement. You’ll be better off without one. But if you have the fortitude to see the effort through, you can learn some important lessons from the few companies that have adopted meaningful corporate values.” Patrick M. Lencioni, Harvard Business Review: “Make Your Values Mean Something.”