This is the second episode of B2M Business Insights and I am doing all the talking this time. The main topic is the importance of WHY and the reason why this should be your foundation. This means, your starting point and an important part of your story. Most people in business start a conversation by stating WHAT they do. This is deeply flawed.
People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it
My background is unusual. I am a"reformed engineer" and a linguist. I talk about my education in England and Germany and my journey from engineering to international marketing and now business coaching. I explain B2M's purpose as an example of Simon Sinek's "The Importance of Why". Finally, I give some tips on getting results from your LinkedIn Profile and this builds on being very clear about your WHY.
Read more and listen to the podcast episode.
The podcast lasts for 26 minutes and it covers the following topics:
I find mind maps to be a very useful way to gather and organise my thoughts. I often use a mind map when I am giving presentations, as it helps to keep me on track by giving me the main elements of the presentation.
The mind map below may look a little daunting, Nevertheless, it works for me and displaying the mind map on an iPad enabled be to move around the mind map and expand one part at a time.
I share a common ancestry with Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. I like to make an impact, but I prefer to do so in a more peaceful way. My degree was in Engineering and Modern Languages (German and French) and I studied in England and Germany. My initial career was as a structural engineer in England and there was a transition to project management in New Zealand.
Studying for an MBA at Otago University was the catalyst for a major change and this helped me secure the role of Trade Commissioner for New Zealand in Germany. This marked the start of my interest in exporting and international marketing. I learnt the importance of trade fairs and how to do business in Germany. I talk about one lunch meeting in Hamburg and the speech by a newly appointed junior minister in the Federal Government, which made an impression on me. The minister was none other than Angela Merkel,
Some years later I experienced "Crossing The Chasm" with Wellington Drive Technologies. This should be "trying to cross the chasm", by offering a radical technology to a very conservative appliance and electric motor manufacturers. What happens when "disruptive technology" meets a hug "DO NOT DISTURB" sign? Sadly. the answer is too often "not very much",
B2M is the domain and an acronym for "Business to Markets". B2C and B2B are common terms. B2M is all about taking businesses to their markets. So the initial focus was export marketing and business development for New Zealand companies wanting to export to Europe. Trade Fairs played a key role in developing new markets. Over time this has shifted to coaching in strategy, marketing and social media.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.
My refinement of this quote is: "don't expect the people who created the problem to think differently on their own". This is where coaching can he[p.
We believe in thinking differently and in challenging perceived assumptions and ways of working.
We ask probing questions as part of a structured conversation using a range of simple, but powerful business tools.
Our main service is coaching, both online and in person. The three main areas are: Strategy, Marketing and Social Media.
If you want better answers, you need better questions.
If you are open to being challenged in a constructive way, you may be a good fit for business coaching.
Simon Sinek's TED Talk "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is well worth watching, but not right now!
Most companies tell you WHAT they do and why they are different or better, and they expect everyone to buy from them. Simon Sinek made a discovery that profoundly affected him. All the great inspiring leaders all think, act and communicate in exactly the same way and it is the complete opposite to everyone else. They start with the WHY. Sinek compares Dell and Apple and he asks why Apple continues to be so innovative.
If Apple were like everyone else, their marketing message might be: "We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?" Here is how Apple actually communicates:
"Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The 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?"
Sinek explains that this is grounded in biology, not psychology. The brain can process information. This is the WHAT, but decisions are made on emotions and that part of the brain has no capacity for language. You need to strike an emotional bond and this comes from the WHY.
My challenge to you is to answer the question: why you are in business?
This is not an easy exercise, but it is very important and it needs to be done well. It should fundamentally alter the way think and talk about your business. You can see how I apply this and the next topic of LinkedIn shows one way that you can apply this concept.
Your LinkedIn profile should be a dynamic electronic billboard and not a tombstone with brief details of your work history. LinkedIn is by far the biggest and most important B2B and professional network.
First impressions do count and there are two ways that you can achieve this:
Both your Summary and Experience: Current Role need to convey your WHY. That is, what drives you and what sets you apart. Click on the image below to get more tips from the post: How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile More Effective.
You should now understand the approach that Simon Sinek advocates and that I have tried to follow. I encourage you to reflect on the podcast and then commit to taking these two actions.
Please contact me if you feel as though you are getting stuck or need some guidance.