SALES

Apple Doesn't Sell Computers (& Neither Should You)

It's time to stop selling what you do, or make. Instead, start selling why you do it.

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Confession time: I have a slight addiction to Macs. And while I'd like to blame the rest of my office for this (since everyone around me is fully equipped with every iPhone/iPod/iTouch/MacBook known to mankind), I know I can't.

The thing about Apple is that when you're purchasing your iWhatever, you're not actually purchasing a product. You're purchasing a set of beliefs; you're buying a way of thinking. The geniuses at Apple don't sell hardware; they sell a challenge to the status quo. They take complicated software and make it pretty and so intuitive that your grandmother can use it with ease, comfort and (gasp) enjoyment. They challenge their customers to engage in an experience at the cross section of art, utility and beauty.

Limitless exploration at the click of a button or the touch of a finger: That's what you really buy when you buy an Apple product.

Selling the Why

While everyone else starts by selling what they do, Apple starts by selling why they do it. The genius behind this insight is a guy by the name of Simon Sinek, who explains this in his Ted Talks episode, "Start With Why." Sinek explains that incredible companies and leaders throughout history have always done the same thing--they start by promoting what they believe and why they do what they do. Then people who believe the same thing rally around their cause.

This got me thinking. Why do we at Hunt Big Sales do what we do? What's our "why"?

Here's what we came up with.

  • We believe that there's a way that the little guy can win, even if the rules say he shouldn't.
  • We believe in upsetting the status quo and empowering the entrepreneurial people who are crazy enough to believe that they can create a better, safer, stronger product or service--and sell those to big companies.
  • We want to give visionaries the tools they need to win contracts larger than they've ever landed before.

How We Do It

We think about it in terms of the great David and Goliath story.

We help small "David" companies build their slingshot--their process for hunting and landing large accounts.

Then we help them identify their stones--the specific people, messaging and tools they need to win so that they can load their stones into their slingshots and defeat the big competition, land large accounts and explosively grow their companies.

Take the Challenge

Now, I challenge you to do the same thing for your own company.

As we're starting off a new year, think about the "why" behind what you do. Here are some tips:

  • If your company is small, make this a collaborative exercise. Take a few minutes and determine, in a few sentences, your "why."
  • Integrate your "why" into every facet of your company. If your sales people are selling a product because they genuinely believe in it, they'll be better sales people. If your marketing reflects your fundamental reason for getting up in the morning, your messaging will be that much stronger.

Once you know your "why," let everything else fall around it. Let me know how it goes!

Click for more reading on Simon Sinek's "Start With Why."

Last updated: Jan 12, 2012

TOM SEARCY | Columnist | Founder, Hunt Big Sales

Author, speaker, and consultant Tom Searcy is the foremost expert in large account sales. With Hunt Big Sales, he has helped clients land more than $5 billion in new sales. Click to get Searcy's weekly tips, or to learn more about Hunt Big Sales.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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