A why can get you all the answer. It can build relationships, and it can bring you new opportunities and businesses.
My intention in this post is to help you understand how to approach organizations that you want to work for, and the things to do prior to making your pitch to the organization.
Today I bumped into my building manager as I was taking out the recycling. We connected about the philanthropy work I was doing as this was the last topic of discussion we had in our previous encounter. I had invited him and his family to attend an event I was hosting.
He asked me if I was part of a charity organization. I replied back that I wasn’t, but was doing philanthropic work helping various charities around our community.
This led us to talking about what I do. I shared my businesses that I am affiliated with and had mentioned to him that I noticed my competition was servicing our building.
From there I dug deeper. I wanted to understand the managerial perspective as to why and how they decide on who to hire to do the service work for the building. I am specifically referring to my steam cleaning company.
Prior to this encounter with my manager, this morning I had decided I wanted to branch out into the commercial field of work. We have had our focus on mainly residential cleaning with minor advertising for commercial cleaning. By minor I mean not at all, except for the graphics on our vans.
It is miraculous how the universe works to conspire to help you when you are intentional. Was this the universe manifesting this potential work for my company? Was it the fact that I was thinking about this in the morning to only facilitate my conscious mind during the day and in my encounters with various individuals?
What I do know is when you are thinking or working on something you will find things to relate to just like when you buy a car, and you see that car being driven numerous times as opposed to prior to buying that car.
Your perception begins to take shape in the objective that you evoke.
I continued the conversation with the building manager by asking him; “Why do you hire a carpet cleaning company to clean the carpets in the building?”.
Anytime you ask your first why you will get the surface level answer to your question.
The building managers’ firs reaction to this was stupendous. He gave me an awkward look and proceeded to stumble his first few words thinking that he is conducting an audit with his superiors. Understanding prior to this question that I have the background knowledge of the industry.
“The manual says so.” “To keep the lifetime of the carpet longer and to extract all the dirt that is being left by the tenants of the building.”
“Am I wrong?”
These were his surface level answers to my ‘Why’ question.
From there I continued to listen.
“We do carpet extraction once a year and the trim once a year.” “Tile and grout, 4 times a year.”
I then asked who conducts the work approval?
“This will need to go to counsel for approval.”
I concluded to tell him that he was not wrong and I explained the reason I asked was to understand his intentions.
As I was ready to leave he said to me “you should drop off a quote, we will hire whoever is cheaper.”
Walking away from this interaction I realized I had forgot to ask the most important thing. Not “Who can I speak with to solicit my service?” But: “Why do you care if the carpets are clean?” “Why do you care about the lifetime of the carpets?”
I want you, the reader, to understand what has transpired here, where I wanted this to go, and how you can do better.
The reason we ask ‘Why’ is not to irritate the other person, although it does become very challenging to answer the deeper reasoning behind what and how they do things. It will challenge their assumptions and their logic. It will pose as a threat at the beginning only because the recipient does not want to sound like an idiot when giving an answer.
We feel inadequacy, shame and vulnerability when we don’t have an answer so we try and come up with something that is vague or that is unrelated. Doing this only makes us sound dumber.
Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that no one can make us feel inferior unless we allow them too.
To avoid this inferiority complex; when you don’t know, just say, you don’t know. This empowers and lets the other person know that you are willing to listen to what they have to say. This in turn puts the other person asking the question into facilitating the answer.
When we give it some thought we do come up with a great answer, one that is far beyond the surface level. An answer that we do not give much thought or any thought at all and that is alarming.
Simon Sinek, whom you’ve heard me mention in the past says it best: “We know what we do, some of us know how we do it, most of us don’t know why we do what we do.”
When everyone knows the ‘Why’, everyone in the organization works in unison to achieve a common goal.
Why did I walk away from this conversation not digging deeper? I am kicking myself now, only preparing myself to ask in our next encounter.
Why is it important to recognise each others ‘Why’? This is especially crucial for business and life time relationships. When our ‘Why’ is aligned we connect on a deeper level. We understand what we believe and we facilitated each others needs.
People follow people who believe what they believe. People do business with people who believe what they believe.
3 key things to take away here:
1. Listen and do not try and sell anything. Instead ask ‘Why’ they do what they do, and let them talk. Ask ‘Why’ again and again.
2. You will get to understand their positioning, when they need the service, how often, and who makes the final decision. All very important pieces of information that are going to be useful in the closing factor
3. Connecting on a deeper more meaningful level requires for you to ask meaningful questions, none that are soliciting your brand or service. Get acquainted with there purpose.
Let your potential client get interested in what you do. They will put their wall up when you make a push approach. Instead use a pull method.
Push: you automatically resort to ‘Selling’ your product or service. Pull: you are interested in what they have to say, what there doing and of course why there doing it.
As you can see today and as Gerard Adams beautifully quoted “The process becomes the plan.” The ball is now in your court.
Thank you for reading this post. What I forgot to mention is my why in my cleaning company: I believe in clean work/living environments so that people can live healthier. To be continued….
Image copyright by cleantile.com