Don’t Call it a Comeback

Due to long hours at the new job, sinus infections, and an overall lack of sleep, I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks.  Lousy excuse, I know.  So thanks to Walter for holding me accountable.

Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all sales people.  Almost everyday we are trying to sell somebody something.  Ever asked a girl out?  You are selling.  Ever interviewed for a job?  You are selling.  Ever tried to convince your friends to go to certain restaurant when you are all getting together for dinner?  You are selling.  Ever simply wanted somebody to understand your way of thinking?  You are selling. Despite the negative connotation of sales and sales people, I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to convince someone of something you are passionate about.  After all, have you ever talked to a non-believer about your faith and invited them to come to church with you?  Guess what?  You were selling.  Even though you might hate the word “sales,” you have to do it in your everyday life, so you might as well be good at it.

I saw this video last week, and it really struck me as a great way to improve your skills of persuasion.  Simon Sinek talks at the TED conference about what makes great leaders inspire action.  He says, very astutely, that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

I think we can apply this principle in our everyday lives to get better results.

Selling From the Inside Out.

The “why” is why we do things or believe certain things.  The “what” is what we do. In most of our inter-personal interactions, we focus on the what.  You can see it in the workplace.  Ever had a manager tell you to do something “because I’m the boss” or “because that’s our policy?”  That isn’t telling me why.  Talk to me like that, and I’m more likely to defy you than follow you.  Instead, try it from the inside out:  “Here’s why we are doing this, and that’s why I want you to take these steps to get there.”  Okay, now I’m listening.

Simon uses the example of Apple (love them or hate them, that company knows how to sell) to illustrate his point.

If Apple focused on the “what” their ads would sound like this:  “We make great computers.  They’re beautiful designed, simply to use, and user friendly.  Want to buy one?”  Eh, maybe not.  Yet, that’s how most of us communicate interpersonally.  But here is how they sell from the inside out starting with their passion or their “why.” “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo.  We believe in thinking differently.  They way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly.  We just happen to make great computers.  Want to buy one?”

I’m not suggesting that we think this deeply when trying to convince our friends about going to a specific restaurant, but there will be a time when you will want to persuade somebody to do something.   They probably won’t buy what you do, but they probably will buy why you do it.  People are drawn to passion.  If they see it in you, they will want it for themselves.

Can you articulate why you are passionate about some things?  If so, now you might be able to get others to share your passion.


On this topic, more to follow . . .


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