Five Important Sales Questions That All Begin with the Same Word

By Troy Harrison And asking them consistently can make you a better salesperson. Years ago, when I was in high school, we did a short unit on Philosophy. You’ll have to forgive me for not remembering which class included this unit – high school was quite a while ago. In any case, the teacher began the unit with an anecdote that, for him, summed up philosophy. As part of a college philosophy class, the instructor brought the class in for the final, and told them that the final was one question, written on the blackboard. The question was, “Why?” The students began writing furiously, some filling page after page with verbiage answering the question, “Why?” One student quickly finished and left. When the grades were posted, this one student received the only “A” in the class. His answer? One word – “Because.” I recount this story because it’s funny, and as they say, if it isn’t true, it ought to be. I also recount this story because it seems to me that the most important questions in professional selling are the ones that begin with the word, “Why?” Not coincidentally, these are also some of the questions that frighten salespeople the most (because they’re scared of the answer). They shouldn’t. Being a true professional salesperson entails a thorough knowledge of one’s products, one’s customers, and oneself. It also entails a level of intellectual curiosity that demands that questions be asked and answered; questions unasked can never uncover a need or a buying motive. With that, I’d like to give you my top five questions that begin with “Why,” and how asking these questions consistently can make you a better salesperson. Why do my customers buy from me? Salespeople usually have no problem with asking why customers do not buy from them; postmortems on lost sales are part and parcel of a learning process. However, salespeople who attempt to understand why they win business better position themselves to continue winning it, now and into the future. It’s the difference between playing offense and playing defense; knowing why they buy from you teaches you to win. Knowing why they don’t conditions you to prevent loss. Both are important, but ultimately, knowing how to win is the most powerful thing you can learn. READ FULL STORY >>