Sales and Sales Management Blog

October 18, 2011

Why Should You Ask Yourself Why?

Filed under: business,sales,selling,small business — Paul McCord @ 9:24 am
Tags: , ,

As I was preparing to post this article I discovered an article by my friend Anthony Iannarino that deals with similar issues from an organizational standpoint.  Sometimes serendipity kicks in and you discover you’re on the same wavelength as someone else.  I encourage you to read Anthony’s take on asking why.

Why did you lose that sale?

Why did that prospect insist on such a deep discount?

Why weren’t you prepared to answer that objection even though you’ve heard it before?

Why did your best client decide to “try” your competitor for his current order?

Why can’t you get to that great prospect even though you’ve tried for almost two months?

Why is one of the most important and powerful questions we can possibly ask ourselves.  It is also one that we so often seek to avoid because the answers can make us really, really uncomfortable.

No matter our experience or success level, we never reach perfection.  All of us make mistakes; we all fail in big and little ways; we all need to improve; we all have weaknesses that cost us business.

Overcoming these issues and weaknesses isn’t pleasant for any of us. 

It’s much easier to chalk up our losses to a bad day and move on.

Certainly it’s easier to simply move on, but that’s a sure way to fail again in the future.

The most powerful question you ask is why.  That simple question is more important than any sales training you can get.  It is more important than any sales “secret” you can learn.  It is more important than any sales tips anyone can give you.

If you consistently ask “why” and then diligently dig to discover the answer, your sales will dramatically improve.  This isn’t a quick fix, but it is the single most effective change strategy you can employ.



  1. It’s also essential to ask the customer “Why?”
    “Why this priority and not that?” “Why a small supplier and not a big one?” “Why a 60 delivery and not 90?”
    “Why” is the most powerful question when facing the customer as well.

    Comment by Philip Strange (@pstrange60) — October 18, 2011 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  2. Hi Paul,
    This “why” should also be asked at the organisational level and not only at individual levels. This will create a culture throughout the company which in turn will encourage individuals to ask themseleves the “why” questions.

    Comment by Rahul — October 24, 2011 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for a well written article, just what I was looking for. Will be back for more 🙂

    Comment by NegotiatorKing — December 17, 2011 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

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