“People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek.
Stacy Sheldon, Managing Partner at POMIET, agrees, saying that having clarity on POMIET’s why has helped their sales team attract more of their ideal type of customers. (POMIET provides customized web and mobile solutions in the healthcare space.)
“What we realized early on is that in the sales process, if people didn't value this offering we were going to bring to market, if they didn't value how we thought about it and the way we wanted to solve problems, they weren't going to value what we did,” she says.
When POMIET finds potential customers or partners who resonate with their why, the sales process becomes much more natural and authentic. Instead of pushing a message to the marketplace, the company is merely sharing their story. “This is why we do what we do. And if you think it's important to try that, too, maybe we should talk,” says Stacy.
“We've realized it's more about finding the people who get it, than finding the people who just could be prospects, or leads, or who want more information. It's finding that right client so that we can have a lot of value in this [partnership together which] allows us to grow and thrive as a business, too,” she says.
Uncovering Your Why
A great time to uncover or clarify your why is when you go through the exercise of identifying (or evolving) your mission, vision, and core values. This can be your personal mission or your organization’s mission.
Starting with your mission, ask: why is that mission so important? Then continue to ask “why” until you’ve defined why it is that you do what you do.
“If you ask, ‘Why?’ or, ‘Why is that important to me?’ several times, eventually you will get to the deep and meaningful layers that are tied to an emotion,” explains Phillip Stoller, an Aileron Business Advisor and private business owner.
“Once you have gotten deep enough, to a level connected to an emotion which you can feel, you know you have gotten to your “why.” It has to move you before it can move others,” he says.
Stacy says this is POMIET’s Why, How, and What:
“Status quo software development has failed. There is a better way to develop software, work together, and lead teams—and we believe ‘peace of mind’ (also known as ‘flow’) is central to achieving that better way. In everything we do, we believe in promoting peace of mind and we believe in working differently from the status quo to achieve better results.”
“We promote peace of mind through clear communication, engineered experiences, and craftsmanship in software development and human factors engineering.”
“We provide custom web and mobile software development teams to transform how the healthcare industry delivers high quality human-centered experiences.”
Leading with Your Why
Having clarity on your why attracts and retains customers. Staying true to your why can also help leaders make better decisions. “When you lead with your why in your sales process, a really cool thing is you know what to say ‘no’ to,” says Stacy.
“In a small business, it's more about the work you don't take, than the work you do take , because the stuff that you shouldn't be working on will stretch your teams in a way they're not prepared to handle,” shares Stacy.
Championing their why has put POMIET in a position where they don’t have to dilute their value. “It's given us the courage to stay truer to the offering that we deliver, to the clients who buy us for a reason,” says Stacy.
Phillip agrees that when a leader has clarity on their strengths and their why, they can focus on what they are best at. Subsequently, their organization is more likely to stay disciplined to its why. “Being aware of your strengths allows you to serve your customers better because you're staying disciplined and doing the things that are aligned with your passion, which is also where you have the ability to add the most value.”
“When you are working in alignment with your passion and staying true to your why, you are operating in your ‘sweet spot.’ In other words, you are in the space where you are best positioned to create value for other people,” says Phillip.
“When you are there, you can feel it, your team can feel it, and your customers can feel it, which only helps to build momentum and energy within your organization.”
Understand the Why Behind Your Thoughts, Emotions & Actions
Take time to explore what drives you—your values: the crucial principles that guide your emotions, your decision-making process, and practically everything else that you do at the Leading with Values workshop. Lead with your values, and become the best version of yourself. Take this time to move towards a future in which acting with your values leads to more fulfillment in life.
A version of this post originally appeared on Forbes.