Start with Why

As I have written previously, I love questions.  I love asking them, and I love when they are posed to me.  Who, what, where, why, and when are probably the foundation of all knowledge, and are no less critical in the world of sales.

So you can imagine how intrigued I was when I learned of a book called “Start with Why”, by Simon Sinek.

Start with Why

Simon Sinek: Start with Why

The book was recommended by Terry O’Reilly, the host of the amazing CBC radio program “Under the Influence“, (formally The Age of Pursuasion).  The program deals with marketing, and messaging, and is a must-listen for anyone interested in these important topics.

Interestingly though, Start with Why is not about asking questions to others, but rather focussing inward, and asking ourselves as business owners a critical, and often difficult question: why do we exist?

It’s actually pretty elementary; afterall, how can we presume to sell something, if we don’t know why we make it and sell it in the first place! Sales is a tough profession.  And while technology and our shrinking world opens up the opportunities exponentially, at the same time our competitive challenges increase at least at the same rate.   As Sinek writes:

“There’s barely a product or service on the market today that customers can’t buy from someone else, for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service, and about the same features.  If you truly have a first movers adavntage, it is probably lost in a matter of months. If you offer something truly novel, someone else will soon come up with something similar and maybe even better.”

Sinek suggests that the only chance that we have is ensure that what we do (the products we make and the services we provide) is alligned with why we do it.  He uses Apple, Harley Davidson, and Southwest Airlines that have found this center.  Walmart, United Airlines (launchin TED), even Dell and HP…not so much…at least as of late.  And not only must we identify the why, we must successfully communicate it.  Then our actions…what we do, and how we do it, must be consistent with our why.

We spent some time at our Sales Meeting in Chicago discussing this very question. I felt that it was (and is) important for our representatives understand our why…our purpose, if you will.  It is equally important for them to ask the same question of themselves, as it relates to their own rep organization.

So is it  an accident that after introducing the wool duster to the cleaning industry over 43 years ago, the DUST WAND remains the category leader?  Is it surprising that the DUST WAND is the only wool duster manufactured in North America? 

312FH Big Pro Duster

The DUST WAND “Big Pro” wool duster: 44 years and going strong!

Our purpose has been to make things…and particularly to make things that work.  We are also committed to making the process of doing business not only easy, but actually enjoyable.

Yes, we offer the finest quality wool dusters in the industry.  And yes, we offer one of the deepest selections of dusting products – feathers, synthetics, microfibers and wool.  And yes, we offer a great selection of products that are for floor care, and window care, and auto care, and general clean-up.

But the point is that we are committed to building our relationships with our distributors, built on trust, and performance. 

So why do we do this? Because we have a strong belief in the industry; we believe in the North American manufacturing sector; we love to make stuff, and we love to serve our customers.  That’s why.  Next chapter…How do we do it?

Have a great day.