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  • Writer's pictureBassam Tarazi

Your Customers Don't Care About Your 'Why'

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” With that line, Simon Sinek set off a chain reaction. Companies and entrepreneurs everywhere tried to get to the center of their Tootsie Pop so they could share their raison d'etre with the world.

Sure, all things being equal, we will pick the person who sells us their honest story of purpose above someone who just tells us what they’re selling.

But you know who I would pick above these two options? The person who knows what I want.

I only care about your motivation so long as you understand my conundrum.

When I was doing organizational change management, one of the first things we would do to prepare a group for some change coming their way was to put ourselves in their position and ask: What’s in it for me? 

Yeah, you want to upgrade the software systems. Yes, it is supposed to help the company’s bottom line, but how does it make my life better? Why should I care?

If we didn't have a good answer or a compelling sotry, that change was going to be a grind.

Same goes in the business world. If you can’t articulate value, then you haven’t convinced me why I should give you my money or attention.

I still see so many small businesses, sole proprietors, and freelancers stuck in the ‘Why” loop.

Your passion is exciting, but my results are more important.

You have to get to the center of my Tootsie Pop, which is past a connection we may have, past your product/service features, beyond your "about" page, further than the benefits you may have stated, all the way to you knowing how to remove the specific thorn in my side using language that resonates with me.

Nailing that takes a certain amount of humility as you interact with and listen to your hopeful customer. Admittedly, that's not as fun as waxing poetic about yourself, but it's the key to success.

People don’t buy what you do. They don’t buy why you do it, either. They buy what’s in it for them.


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