Archive for April 2011
Do you know ‘why’ you do what you do in business?
Most people know ‘what’ they do in business (at least I hope so)
Fewer people know ‘how’ they do it. (Most really great sales people don’t know ‘how’ – they just know they do)
Even fewer know ‘why’ they do it, yet this is the most powerful.
Why? Why is that the case?
Because, when we understand our own motivation, when we know that we believe 100% in what we do, it’s easy for other people to connect with us, engage with us and makes selling a product or service that much easier.
Marketing has always been about getting people emotionally involved with a brand, product or service but however big your budget is, old style marketing is finding it harder and harder to make an impression. Everyone is sceptical, everyone is cynical. Advertising and PR only go so far now because consumers now expect exceptional products, value and service but they also want to be involved, engaged and listened to. They are no longer passive receivers of marketing messages, they are active in finding what they need and that includes wanting to feel connected to the brand.
We’ve always been curious about the people behind exceptional brands
We like to know their stories, what makes them tick, their views and values but now it’s not just the exceptional brands that get this attention. We want to know this about pretty much everyone we do business with.
Sean’s company produces great video for business
“So do thousands of others. So what?”
Sean is *passionate* about what he does.
“Yawn. So is everybody else (or at least they say they are). So what?”
Sean’s company uses cutting edge technology to produce high quality products at very reasonable costs.
“So do many others. So what?”
Sean jumps out of bed in the morning for sheer excitement, adventure and a sense of wonderment. He believes there is nothing quite so fulfilling as working with others to transform an idea into a vibrant, profit generating business – a business where the customers, employees and investors all share in the benefits.
When you meet Sean, he doesn’t tell you this last bit of course but as you talk to him you soon start to feel his enthusiasm, his excitement, his wonder. You quickly get a sense of his values, his integrity, his sincerity. If you share these attributes you’ll be very comfortable with Sean. Even if you don’t need his services you’ll always be happy to see him and get to know him better and before long you’ll be talking about him and introducing him to people you know.
Why? Because Sean is 100% comfortable with who he is, what he does and why he does it. He’s not putting on an act. He’s not afraid of being found out. He’s not holding a position. He’s allowing you to see the real person. He’s exposing the real ‘him’ and because he’s relaxed about this, you will be too. Perhaps most importantly, Sean is not about to start pretending to be something he’s not, just to get a contract or please a customer.
The advent of the ‘social human’
As I was writing this I got an update from a favourite blogger, Jon Holloway*, who says: (my paraphrasing) We are all now looking for more from the brands we engage with, we want to know more about the reason they exist, who the people are and why we should care. We also want to know how we can get involved.
Jon explains that as brands are trying to move from push to pull marketing, consumers have moved to yet another stage and are now looking for a ‘value exchange’.
The advent of the ‘social human’ (Jon’s phrase) via the explosion of the use of social networking in marketing makes this easy for people like Sean who are happy to be their brand and to be themselves at the same time but it makes it hard for anyone to hide behind a brand. It’s not enough to be the ‘face’ of a brand, we need to be the heart and soul of our brands too.
For some of us, this may involve an uncomfortable amount of navel gazing.
The Ancient Greek aphorism “Know thyself”, was apparently inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and has been attributed to many Greek philosophers and sages.
If mankind has been struggling with this concept since the days of Plato and Socrates it is hardly surprising that the question “Why do you do what you do in business?” proved a hard one to answer.
There are some fascinating insights amongst the 70 or so comments on the LinkedIn discussion http://lnkd.in/i4iGxV.
There are many tools and techniques that help us to get to grips with who we are and why we do what we do. At our April TIG event, we heard about Motivational Maps supplied by Nick Ratcliffe of http://www.partnersinmotivation.co.uk ; Myers Brigs personality questionnaires from Sue Parsons of http://www.vamonostraining.co.uk/ and Belbin Team Roles, Transactional Analysis, NLP and more from Steve Hoare of http://www.legacyinterim.co.uk/. Steve’s blog is http://mbrfan.wordpress.com/
All of these people are experts in helping people to discover why they do what they do and how to apply this knowledge to business and would be happy to answer any questions.
*Jon Holloway blogs for http://www.bethehurricane.com/ and is on Twitter as @socialvation You can read the full text of what Jon says here: http://www.bethehurricane.com/2011/04/forget-push-pull-marketing-exchange/
Would you like to share your ‘why’ or add to the discussion? We’d be delighted to hear from you either here on the LinkedIn group.