The golden circle applied to business development

by | Mar 20, 2019

The golden circle by Sinek is a powerful concept that can change the way you work. Read how to apply it in business development.




If you have a business, or if you work in any company, you spend most of your day trying to grow it to success and be trusted in your market. In the most fortunate cases, to become the market leader. In the most unfortunate ones, to stay afloat.




Focusing on everyday tasks, you tend to ignore the most important concept you should never forget – why you exist in the first place. This is a simple but scary question, so ask yourself right now:




Why are you in business?



Think of your early days, when everything was so idealistic. Work was hard, nobody believed you, but you did.




You truly believed in the adventure you had just embarked on and you did everything it took to show your value to anybody. Even the ones who didn’t ask for it, even for free!




After some years, you exchange a bit of your grand vision for a more practical approach. You have meetings with your team, you all decide what the sales and marketing strategies are going to be. What new features you want to add to your product, “because our customers are asking for it”.




Customers feedback is great, following the market trends is a good idea. However, there is something that can always give you the answer you are looking for in business – your core reason, your intrinsic motivation.




As Simon Sinek puts it – your why.




Start with why, the name of Sinek’s book that changed my life and everybody else’s who’s read it, allows you to know who you are, what deep reasons move you. Those reasons will make your clients move – hopefully – to take their wallet out of their pocket.




It is perfectly normal to feel confused sometimes when you are sitting at your desk and you are wondering how you can make your clients buy more. How you can convey your messages better if a partner is right for you or not.




Ask yourself:




Why does my company exist? Does this action serve that purpose? Your inner why is so powerful that you will know the answer within 3 seconds.




How to apply the golden circle in your company?



Now the next problem is – how do you check that everybody in your company knows about its why? How do you ensure you can keep it alive over time? You may watch Sinek’s TED talk once, and then what happens?




To make sure that the inner motivation never fades away from your colleagues’ minds, try to identify the personalities inside the company that fit the “Golden Circle” three categories: Why, How and What.




golden circle in business development



Each one of us has certain personality traits that make us fall under one category or another. If you are here, it probably means that you are in Business Development.




Business developers tend to have either a ‘Why’ or a ‘How’ personality. ‘Why’ people are those who have little ability to practically organize a company or the people inside it but are great natural-born leaders. They are the embodiment of the company’s why.




Very often, they are the CEO or a team leader. Whenever they talk, they make everybody remember why they wake up every morning and show up at work.




The ‘How’ people, most of the times the business development managers, are the ones who have learned the “why lesson” and have translated that into the actual organization. The why itself will remain a dream if there isn’t a ‘How’ person that can turn that dream into an actionable plan.




The ‘What’ people are those who let themselves be inspired by the company’s why, they take it as their own and concretely do all the necessary tasks to make the vision a reality.




These personalities all need each other, but it’s necessary for you to understand who is which.




This month’s challenge:




Have a meeting with your team and ask them “What is our company’s why? Why do we exist?” Everybody will have different answers.




Pro tip: what works really well is to make the concept very visual. Draw the golden circle on a whiteboard and start brainstorming with your team. You might be surprised by how each individual will think about your business core reasons.




What are the benefits of the golden circle?



Once you identify the personalities within your team, you will have great benefits from using the golden circle. One of the reasons why this concept is so useful is that it makes the entire company think about your company in a strategic way.




At that point, not only the CEO or managers will have a broad overview. But everyone, at any level, will have an understanding of why they’re doing their job in the first place.




If everyone knows the core reasons why your business exists, they will be more motivated in doing their job. Motivation will push them to do the extra mile and to do all that it takes to make your business successful.




Moreover, business developers will be able to better explain why your company is the right choice for your clients, simply because they – in the first place – actually understand why they are selling it.




Besides the internal effects, using the golden circle will critically transform the way you communicate your value to your audience. And this will set you apart from most of your competitors.




The reason for this is that most of the companies tend to focus on what they do. This is usually translated in value propositions that are mainly centered on the product itself.




But, if you start with why you go to the core of the issue your company is trying to solve. And this, only this, is what it’s gonna convince clients to buy from you.




After all, there are many companies doing just the same as you do. So why should someone choose you over your competitor?




Last, when you start with why you will focus on the emotional aspect of the business. You will appeal to people’s real needs or pains and that’s what’s gonna make you different.




People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it

S. Sinek



The golden circle can help your company shift the way it presents itself to the outside world. Use it to motivate your team, to craft better value propositions and define your vision in a more inspiring way.




Have you already tried applying the golden circle in your strategy? Share your story in our community.


Related article: Top 10 books for business development.



Martina Di Pasquale

Business Developer at The BD School

My energy comes from working for companies that meet the values I live by. I want to see them reach their full potential and virtuously influence the marketplace.


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