“Two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Why are you in the kitchen and bath business? Look past the need to make a living to support your family and lifestyle. Those are good reasons to make a living, but not answers for WHY you do what you do.
Maybe you love all the moving parts involved in remodeling kitchens and baths. Perhaps you’re great at selling and love to see people happy with their newly remodeled kitchens. Whatever your WHY is – it’s found in other people.
When you know WHY you do what you do in business, you’ll get a lot more satisfaction and have a more significant positive impact on people!
Why find your WHY
Finding your WHY is about uncovering the powerful experiences of your past that define who you are. Simon Sinek, co-author of Find Your WHY, defines his WHY as; “To inspire people to do what inspires them, so that together we can make the world better.”
Your influence will be the strongest when you know WHY you do what you do.
Look into your past to find your WHY
In the mid-1970s, I wanted to increase my annual sales and personal income, so I decided to find out what mattered most to clients of kitchen and bath dealers. What would it take for them to retain me on their project?
I took a risk, deciding that when I had my next kitchen redesign opportunity, I’d loop the prospects into the pricing structure based on a design concept I would share with them during their home consultation. I discovered that my clients truly wanted to see how the cost of a kitchen project added up to what it did. So, using just a lined pad of paper and a pencil, I interactively developed a budget number for each major category of material and labor expense.
When clients know all the costs associated with their remodeling project, they become more comfortable with you, the educational process, and ultimately willing to spend more money to get what they want.
I decided to approach all prospects with a transparent selling process from that point onward.
With this transparent selling model, clients could see what every decision made for their remodeling project would cost them. On top of that, they felt great about their choices because there were no hidden costs.
The educational experience was meaningful to them; they “owned” the overall budget and could move forward with their investment, enabling me to double my sales and income quickly.
Two exercises to find your WHY
1. “Ask your clients” exercise
A simple way to discover your WHY is to call your clients and openly ask why they selected your firm for their remodeling project. They’ll appreciate the follow-up over the phone and will give fuller answers in a candid conversation.
Questions you may want to ask your clients include:
- Why did you choose to do business with our firm?
- What did you like best about your experience working with us?
- What did you like least?
- If you decide to do another remodeling project, would you choose us again? Why or why not?
- How likely are you to recommend our firm to your friends or family with a remodeling project?
2. “Impactful People” exercise
A second way to find your WHY is to do the “impactful people” exercise.
To do this, make a list of people who answer the question: “Who has helped me become the person I am today?” These people might be relatives, teachers, high school friends, or significant others from college.
When you have your list, share stories about these people with someone you’re close to. The person you share your stories with is to ask questions such as: “What did their influence mean to you?”
Talking with a partner about these impactful people from your past will help you pinpoint the most significant experiences you had with them. These experiences can be positive or negative. In this exercise, make it your goal to discover how and why these people helped shape who you are.
One memorable experience with an impactful person that I had came when a successful, older businessperson, Mr. Julian Schor, became a client of ours.
I was a few years out of college, and I learned a lot from him. When I had my first home consultation with the Schors, it was set for 7:30 pm on a weekday evening. I will never forget Mr. Schor looking intently at his watch as he opened his front door to me at precisely 7:30 pm.
Mr. Schor was a dapper, smiling, silver-haired gentleman. But underneath that cover was a sly fox who asked really tough questions. Particularly prices, such as: “Why do I have to pay so much more for a kitchen when you said the average was around $65,000?”
I had more than one difficult confrontation with Mr. Schor during that first project for him. I say “first project” as our client because my firm did three projects for the Schors. Plus, Julian Schor gave many referrals to Signature Kitchens and Baths.
Finally, one day, I had the guts to ask why he selected us as his “kitchen specialist.” Mr. Schor said, “Ken, it’s simple. When you showed up exactly on time for that first home consultation, I felt that everything would be on time…the ordering of our St. Charles cabinets, the shipping of them, the start of the job, the completion of the project, and the addressing of any issues that might arise along the way.”
That experience showed me how crucial first impressions are and how they lead to success in business. Being respectful of a client’s time delivers a powerful message. Julian Schor was a demanding customer, but when he saw the work that Signature completed for him on time, he hired us for two more jobs and freely referred us to his circle of friends and business associates.
My WHY is to win clients’ confidence in doing business with me so that they become raving fans of our company. Julian Schor was the impactful person who taught me to find my WHY.
To instill this client confidence, I pride myself on being on time – exactly on time – for every onsite appointment or Zoom meeting, and I infuse that same discipline in SEN Leadership Team members.
When you know WHY you’re in the kitchen and bath business, you can make the biggest impression and have the most rewarding time making it. Take the first steps to know your WHY by attending the 4-Day Executive SEN Business School. Join us at our next school in June!
—Ken Peterson, CKD