A while back we shared a TED Talk named “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” given by Simon Sinek. Sinek’s 18-minute message can be boiled down to one sentence: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. In essence, your purpose is more important than the products or services you offer when selling to a client.
Sinek is not alone in his thinking, as other leaders have echoed this sentiment. Most recently was Bill Taylor in an article, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Believe,” for the Harvard Business Review Blog.
Taylor poignantly explains how outstanding companies separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
“It’s not what you sell it’s what you believe. If there is one principle that explains why some organizations — Apple, Southwest Airlines, USAA, Cirque du Soleil, the Marine Corps, Pixar — consistently and dramatically outperform their rivals, it is that every person in the organization, regardless of job title or function, understands what makes the organization tick and why what the organization does matters.”
Spence, with Haley Rushing, explains why extraordinary businesses are driven by purpose.
“I have found if your business purpose goes beyond just making money, you will actually make more money–not all the time, not every day, but at least you’re in the business of making a difference so you have a purpose,” Spence told Entrepreneur.com.
The Lesson: Who you are, what you stand for, and your company’s belief system are all just as important as the product or service you sell. Clients prefer to do business with sell your business down the road.with which they have a personal connection and purposes that they believe in. A strong sense of purpose within your company will help you increase your bottom line now and better position it when you
Carl Doerksen, director of Corporate Development for M&A advisory firm Generational Equity, recently attended an Association for Corporate Growth meeting in Dallas where he met with quite a few professional buyers that said the same thing.
“When buyers look at businesses to invest in, they spend most of their time getting to know the people — not just the current owner, but also his staff in order to determine if they all the passion and vision to grow the business,” Doerksen said. “This passion comes from believing in what the business stands for and knowing how they each individually contribute to its mission. These are financial buyers, and for them it goes beyond just dollars and cents.”
Action Items for Private Business Owners
Answer these questions before you go home tonight:
- Why does my company exist? What is my company’s purpose?
- Why should anyone care that my company exists?
If you can’t provide concise, compelling answers to these questions, then you have some work to do. Don’t worry, but make it a priority to figure it out. This strategic leadership is crucial to your company’s success.
Want to learn more about growing your business? Download a free copy of Building and Exiting a Desirable Business today.