Start with Why! Emotional Selling & the Philosophy & Mechanics Behind It

Start with why.

If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk or read his book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, the above sentence might not mean very much.

But boy, does it have meaning!

Here… catch up quickly.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Does start with why make more sense now?

You see, buying is emotional. Sure, there are lots of reasons why people buy. But in the end, it’s an emotional decision. That’s why starting with why is so important: it’s emotional selling.

The Philosophy & Mechanics Behind “Why”

Charles recently trained a group of seasoned salespeople and sales managers at a fast-growing company in the media industry. The group spent a bit of time exploring the start with why concept and the philosophy and mechanics behind buying and selling.

Curious what it would’ve been like to be a fly on the wall during that discussion? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Here’s some video:

Philosophy & Mechanics

Now, before we continue I’d like to make a distinction.

Simon focused specifically on the philosophy behind why people do what they do. This concept has many applications. As a human being, why do you do what you do? As a sales manager, CEO, or salesperson, why do you get up every day? Why that field and why that company?

Let’s take this to the next level. As a sales professional, as a business person, there is another layer. And that’s selling.

The “Why” & “How” of Selling

At CFS, we believe that selling has two parts.

  1. The philosophical side, or the why
  2. The mechanical side, or the how

When it comes to selling, both sides are important.

Take prospecting for example. What is the philosophical part of prospecting? The why?

Well, if your company has a product or service that helps improve the lives of others, it’s important to share it, right?

But what if your product or service isn’t for everyone? What if it’s for specific people in a specific industry?

Then guess what? You need to create a prospecting action plan so your product or service is targeted to the right people!

Now look at that! We’ve jumped right to the second part of selling: the mechanics. Understanding why we prospect and why it’s important is step one. Taking action and creating a prospecting action plan is the how, or the second step.

“Success isn’t based on what you do, it’s based on why you do what you do.” – Charles Bernard

Does your sales process follow a philosophy and mechanics format? Do you start with why? Share more with us in the comments section below!

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By | 2017-07-13T14:05:38+00:00 December 1st, 2016|Sales Leaders, Sales Success|2 Comments

About the Author:

Rebecca Smith is the Director of Marketing at Criteria for Success. She writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others discover success. Be sure to say hi on Twitter @RebeckerSmith.


  1. Barry Hall December 1, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I have only one thing to say Rebecca, COOL! – Barry.

    • Rebecca Smith December 12, 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Thank you!!! Simon Sinek is great, right!?

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