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The Six Whys

The Six Whys are six specific questions, each beginning with the word “why,” that represent the mental steps all potential customers go through when making a purchasing choice.

  1. Why change? Answering this question lays the foundation for the entire sale; it equips you to defuse any bias your buyers may have toward keeping things in line with the status quo.
  2. Why now? To be successful in selling, you must be able to build urgency, but not cause buyers to feel that you are pressuring them to buy. In fact, countless sales have been lost when salespeople try to create urgency, but instead trigger reactance.
  3. Why your industry solution? To be truly successful in answering this Why, you may need to rethink your definition of a competitor. Many salespeople consider a competitor to be an organization that provides a similar product or service. However, such a shortsighted view leaves these salespeople vulnerable to competitors outside of their industry, which are often the most challenging and difficult to compete with because they fly under the radar.
  4. Why you and your company? This Why is so important and must be attended to in the sale, because without a commitment to you and your company, potential customers will not buy from you.
  5. Why your product or service? The answer to this is found in knowing the competitive advantage your product or service offers. That’s how you will demonstrate that your product or service is the best one for your potential customers and gain commitment from them.
  6. Why spend the money? It’s important to realize that regardless of the type of sale, anytime you ask buyers to purchase your product or service, you are asking them not to do something else. Whether making a purchase for themselves or on behalf of their employer, buyers have access to a limited amount of funds.

2016, The Science of Selling, TarcherPerigee



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