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Sales Questioning Techniques - Why you shouldn't ask Why
May 17, 2022

Sales Questioning Techniques

Why you shouldn't use the 'Why' question

If you ask customers a question starting with 'Why' you could be making it difficult to close the sale

I received a question from a salesman in the B2B services sector, he had downloaded one of the free sales training eBooks on the website and asked why I don't include questions starting with 'Why' in the section on discovering a buyer's needs, wants, and desires.

The Why Questioning Techniques

When you ask a prospect 'Why' using your questioning techniques:

  • Why they don't want your product.
  • Why they think the price is too high.
  • Why they are not interested.
  • Why they don't have time to talk.

They answer by stating their position and once stated it is difficult to get them to change. You could be building obstacles for yourself that make closing the sale harder than it needs to be.

If they later say something different that conflicts with the answer they have given you, they would not be consistent with their previously stated position

If they change their mind they are saying their last answer was untrue or they were wrong.

And prospects won't do that unless you give hem a good reason to, such as new information that you give them.

When you're using sales questioning techniques this situation can often come about because you asked the Why question.

When you ask a Why question you could be creating a massive obstacle to the sale. To influence the buyer to change that viewpoint, and not be consistent with what they have already stated, you will have to give them a really good reason.

My Advice on Sales Questioning Techniques

My advice on sales questioning techniques and the Why question: don't ask why if the question could lead to the prospect stating a viewpoint, position, or reason not to buy from you.

Let's take the second Why question from the earlier list above, the one on price.

You've given your price and the prospect says it is too high.

If you then ask the why question,'Why do you think it's too high?'

The buyer will then give you their best reason that justifies and supports their answer and viewpoint on the price.

This means you now have a stated viewpoint to overcome.

What if instead you answer their comment on the price with, What is it that you are comparing the price with?

This will give you useful information on where they get the belief about the price, which you may be able to challenge without creating an obstacle.

The Positive Why Sales Questioning Techniques

The reverse of this sales questioning technique also works well.

You can ask a Why question that will lead to an answer that supports your sales offer or proposal.

If a buyer states a need, want, or desire that you know you can meet, ask why it's important. A strong answer is a positive related to the benefits you will be presenting to them.

Sales questioning techniques are a vital part of your sales process and there are many techniques you can add to this stage of the sales process. You can see a full section on how to ask sales questions by visiting Sales Questioning Techniques

Enjoy Your Selling Success

Stephen Craine

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