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Practice Management > Building Your Business

The golden circle of sales = why + how + what

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We have one of the best jobs imaginable. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to create strength and unity within my community and to help people live the future they’ve planned for and dreamt of. 

This is my why, and the driving force behind our firm. And as advisors, there is nothing more powerful than your why.

I’ve been asked countless times, “What exactly is it that you do?” For too long, I answered with the standard response: “I am a financial advisor who helps clients protect and grow their assets. I offer different investment vehicles and services for those entering or already in retirement.” No matter how passionate I sounded, it seemed that all clients heard was, “I want to sell you something.” Needless to say, this was not what I wanted clients to hear or think.

I wasn’t seeing the kind of success I’d imagined, but I didn’t know how to change my pitch. Why couldn’t clients understand that I just wanted to help them retire successfully?

My life changed several years ago when I was introduced to a concept that shifted my entire thinking. It started with a book called “Start With Your Why” by Simon Sinek, focusing on helping individuals tap into what moves them to get out of bed in the morning and make a difference in their world. He states that people don’t connect to the vision of a company based on what they do, but rather why they choose to exist and do what they do. I went all in and employed the concept into my professional and personal life and things started to change in a radical way. Success came at me from so many different directions that I never expected!

The framework Simon proposed, The Golden Circle, is what every great leader and communicator does to pass their vision on to others. It all begins with your “why” and ends with your “what.”

The Golden Circle = Why + How + What

• Why: What is your purpose, cause or belief?

• How: Systems and process within your organization

• What: Result of your actions— products or services

First, build your “why statement.” Reflect on your business and write down your thoughts. Ask yourself hard questions and get to the core of your purpose/mission for your business. Second, think about how you plan to support that purpose in your operations. Include every step in your practice, from whom you hire, to the environment of your office, and the investment vehicles you use.

You don’t need your why statement to be complicated or wordy, just honest and from the heart. You got into this industry for a reason. If it was to make money, that’s OK, but it’s not your why. Find your purpose; that is your why.

Once you figure out your why, reflect on the how and what. Each should naturally lead into the next and make for a concise mission statement. If you have a partner, do this exercise as a team.

Here are the steps I took to help change my practice, and how they can help you do the same:

1) WHY

Bring clarity. Make it as specific as possible. Inspire your clients to see your vision. Relay trust, passion and compassion.

2) HOW

The systems and processes that create the culture that helps manifest your why. Understanding how you do things and holding your company accountable is vital to success.


This is all about the results of your actions.

Identifying your why will help enhance your clarity and passion for your business, and allow you to achieve your business goals and be the best in your market.

Your why is what will help make 2015 your best year ever. It worked for me, and I’m confident it will work for you. So, what are you waiting for? It’s never too soon to start making big changes.