Lady buying cereal, why do we buy

If you are in the business of selling, you want others to buy your product or service. You want to sell something to someone for a price. It is a common demoninator between those in marketing.

So, why do some people and some companies seem to be better at selling their ideas, their service and their products to others?

Today, I would like to talk to you about the work of Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle discovery. Simon wondered why some people were successful and other people were not and through research he discovered successful companies basically – think, act and communicate the same way:

  • No matter what the economic climate
  • No matter what the finances are
  • No matter what resources they have or don’t have

Successful companies he discovered knew the secret of the Golden Circle.

What is the circle?

  • On the outer ring it is what
  • On the middle ring it is how
  • And on the inside ring it is why

Most companies know WHAT THEY DO and what they sell. Some companies know HOW THEY ACTUALLY MANAGE TO DO THAT CONSCIOUSLY – they have a plan that has been thought through – they aren’t just reacting. But, very few companies know WHY THEY DO THINGS. And profit isn’t why you do things – that is a result of what you do.

He uses Apple as an example. If you sold from the outside of the golden circle inwards, your sales pitch would first tell people what you have – a great new computer. And then how it works – with all these amazing new features. And then ask them to buy.

But, Apple doesn’t sell from the outside in – it sells from the inside of the golden circle outwards.

First, they sell you on why. They tell you they believe in non-conformity. They believe in thinking outside the box and they are about challenging the status quo. And so they build computers that defy the ordinary: that turn the world on its head. And so naturally it comes with incredible unique features. Want to buy one?

Selling from the inside out is about selling why you do it first. You sell what you BELIEVE.


Digging further into his research, Simon found that people don’t make decisions based on facts and figures – they make decisions from a part of their brain called the Limbic. And this part of the brain controls decision-making but does not use language.

So, you can tell a great story, give all the facts and figures and still people say, “It all sounds great, but it just doesn’t feel right.” People trust their guts, their inner intuition and if they override this inner voice, feeling – well you know what happens. We have all not listened and lived to regret our decisions.

So, why should we care about Simon’s research and The Golden Circle?

Most importantly Simon’s research talks about why people buy. They buy what they believe in – they buy what moves them – what inspires them. He tells the story of the Wright brothers who were underfunded, had no university education but wanted to change the world. They funded their flying machines with money from their bike shop. Samuel Langley on the other hand was a well-funded man, with a university education and he hired all the biggest minds in the world to try and create a flying machine. He was chasing wealth and fame. Well, we all know how this one turned out. On December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers took flight and Langley on that very day – quit.

Martin Luther King was another man who defied the laws. He gave the I have a dream speech, not the I have a plan speech….and he did change the world.

Want to change your business world?

Look at how you sell things. Do you say what you do and how you do it? Or do you tell people what motivates you, what inspires you, what drives you to get up out of bed each morning.

These are the stories that should go on your blogs and out into the world. Because the goal is not to do business with just anyone. The goal is to do business with people who believe just as you do. It’s how successful companies become successful. They think, act and communicate the same way. They communicate not from the outside in – but from the inside out.

Remember the Golden Circle Rule – Tell why you do it first, then follow with the how and what. It won’t just get people buying – IT WILL GET PEOPLE INSPIRED TO BUY.