Knowing your own “why” is valuable in a multitude of ways. It helps you to stay focused, connects your actions to a greater sense of purpose, and can positively inform your decision making. Many of the most frequently cited benefits of knowing your “why” are internal, impacting your own behavior and perspective. Knowing the “why” for your audience or customer is an often overlooked application that can yield tremendous advantages when employed properly.

For example, our team recently went out in search of a new database tool to manage our business contacts. We watched a number of tutorials, logged on to multiple webinars, and read through a plethora of comparisons between tools. Though many of the features of the various tools were similar, it was the company that could connect a feature to our “why” that earned our business. Explaining the sorting, grouping, and coding functions is just the first part of the process. We needed to know whywe might sort that way or whytheir coding conventions would improve our processes. Whether you’re trying to talk your kid into taking dance lessons, sell a new online product, or manage a tricky negotiation, consider both your own “why” and that of your audiences using the suggestions below.

What is your audience trying to do?

In the case of the online database tool, we needed to upgrade a system to keep up with our growth. We needed a non-technical solution to a fairly technical problem: how to manage thousands of contacts efficiently. Each of the data base tool makers could have connected their features to our why and won our business. The majority of them spent far more time on the technical aspects of their tools than on presenting those features as the solutions we needed. Had they understood our why, they could have communicated more clearly and persuasively.

What is important to your audience?

Discerning the values and priorities of your audience can be as involved as you’d like to make it. Qualitative researchers build whole careers on investigating the perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions of particular groups. You can do the same or simply think through the customer experience, talk to a few potential clients and learn about the top three concerns they have in reference to your product or service. All too often, we get wrapped up in our own why and forget to seek out valuable information about those we aim to serve.

What would be a home run for your audience?

You may know that selling 200 units or closing that big contract or finalizing your child’s summer camp plans is a win for you. But what about your audience? How are those 200 units helping the recipients? What “why” are you serving for your contract partner? What will thrill your child about camp? Understanding their goals will help you more quickly achieve your own.

Knowing the “why” for your audiences can be both a competitive advantage for you and a way to stay connected to your own sense of purpose.

Talk to you next week,

Amber D. Nelson



P.S. If you aren’t familiar with Simon Sinek or his work on why, check out his book Start With Why, view his TEDx talk on the same subject, and visit his website for info on his online course.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive a copy of Amber's eBook.

Thank you! Please check your email to confirm your subscription to our newsletter.