“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
– Simon Sinek
I sat in on a Strategic Coach Program workshop recently where Dan shared a brilliant TED talk by Simon Sinek called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”
The crux of his argument is that people in business tend to talk a lot about what they do and how they do it, but rarely mention why. And that “Why?” is the piece that actually moves people to buy from you and to stay with you.
As I watched the video, I thought, “Wow, that’s what I do!”
I coach one-day sessions to help entrepreneurs in the Strategic Coach Program figure out their Unique Process. What’s a Unique Process? Well, if Unique Ability is what you’re most talented at and passionate about as an individual, Unique Process is that talent and passion on the scale of your whole business.
When I ask people what they do, they might say something like, “We make business cards for our clients, and we’ll do their website or create newsletters for them to send out.” Basically, they started building a business and added on tasks they could get paid for, but it’s all over the place. I joke with them: “Would you bake a pie for me? Why not?”
So in our day-long workshop together, I get the entrepreneur and a few of their key team members to sort out:
- Who their ideal client is.
- What that client’s biggest dangers, opportunities, and strengths are.
- Exactly how the business addresses those concerns—step by step.
- Why they’re in the business of doing that — what special wisdom and passion they bring to it.
So instead of their doing a whole bunch of different things all over the place, their process neatly ties everything up in one coordinated process and gives them a chance to question whether each activity really belongs and whether they truly love doing each thing or if they should outsource it to someone else.
By the end of the day, each person in the room can walk me through the steps of their Unique Process. Even if they’re just talking about their own piece of the puzzle, it fits within a larger whole.
Imagine if tomorrow you went on Free Days for two weeks. How would you feel about leaving your team in charge? In a business that doesn’t have a Unique Process, what usually happens when prospects call in is that the team dodges the sale by saying, “John’s not here. Can I have him call you back?”
The real power of a Unique Process is that not only do your clients and prospects immediately “get it,” it also gives your team members an understanding and a language that helps them make sales, solve problems, and ultimately leverage you.
In today’s marketplace, people don’t just buy a what and a how; they’re also deeply invested in the why — the meaning and beliefs behind the people who run the business.
So as you think about what your own Unique Process is, aim higher than a mission statement or elevator pitch. This isn’t a poster to hang on the wall, then ignore. It’s a series of action steps you carry out every day, creating a transformation for a very specific type of person, and is completely tied into your personal Unique Ability and those of your team members.
In other words, a Unique Process gives you a powerful story to tell about what you do, how you do it, and why.