Selling Is All About The Whys

by Tessa Stowe

Focus on these questions to make selling easier.

Selling is all about the whys. There are some very important whys that you want answered and there are some very important whys your prospect wants answered. If you focus on these whys, selling will become a lot easier for you plus it will be easier for your prospects to buy from you.


So what are these whys and why are they so important?

When you are talking to a prospect the whys that you want answered are:

1. The real 'reason why' they want this problem solved or they want to obtain this outcome.

You want to find the 'reason why' because you need to discover the ultimate outcome they want. If you know the ultimate outcome they want, you will not only increase your chances of gaining a client but you will also probably make an even larger sale. Also, if you think about it, you need to know the ultimate outcome your prospect is looking for before you can propose the solution that is going to give them this ultimate outcome.

Let me clarify this with a very simple example. If someone wants to buy a drill, they are wanting to buy an outcome which is the hole. If you go one step further and you find out the 'reason why' they want the hole, you will find the ultimate outcome. If they said they want holes so they can put up shelves, you could now focus the conversation on a solution which will give them the ultimate outcome they are looking for: shelves. You have now increased your chances of making a sale as you are now focusing on giving them what they really want: shelves. Plus by focusing on a solution that gives them shelves, you could probably include additional components and make an even larger sale.

2. Why they want this ultimate outcome NOW.

You want to find out why they want this ultimate outcome now as you need to know if there is a compelling reason to take action now. If there is no compelling reason to take action now, chances are high that they will not make a decision now. If there is no compelling reason you will probably be wasting your time, money and resources in pursuing a sale that is not going to happen now.


So just as you have whys you want answered so too does your prospect. The whys your prospect wants answered are:

1. Why should I buy this product or service?

Your prospect wants to know what's in it for me (WIIFM) if I buy your product or service? What problem does your product or service solve and what outcome is it going to deliver? What difference is your product or services going to make for me? Is there a justification for buying your product or service? Why is it important for me to buy your product or service now instead of later?

2. Why should I buy this product or service from you?

Once your prospect has made the decision that they want to buy a product or service like yours to solve a problem or achieve an outcome, they will probably also think they can buy this product or service from other companies as well. It is at this point they start asking themselves all sorts of questions about you. Are you capable of solving this problem and delivering the outcome? Will you do what you say you will do? Can I trust you? What risk am I exposing myself to if I buy from you? Will I get the outcome I want if I buy from you? Why should I buy from you instead of your competitors?

If you look at your sales conversations and all your steps in the sales process, they really are about finding out and answering these whys. In essence you want to find out why they want a problem solved now so you can know if they are really a prospect. In essence your prospect wants to know why they should even be interested in your products and services and if they are, why they should buy from you. Selling really is all about the whys.

(c) 2008, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her free monthly Sales Conversation Letter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up at

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