2 min read

Why is it so hard to ask why?

Why is it so hard to ask why?

The  simplest Discovery Call question that we forget to ask.

I was running a coaching session this week with a sales rep that is 2 years into their career. We were reviewing calls, looking at:

  1. Tonality
  2. Information shared
  3. Information gathered
  4. Objection handling
  5. Secured next actions

As we got to the end of the second call, I asked myself - why is it so hard for salespeople to ask why?

We get a very limited time with prospects on both cold and organized calls. You may think that hour is significant, but when you consider the entire buying process, it’s minimal. Knowing this, it’s absolutely essential that we understand the why behind our prospects status quo.

The formula is simple. Rinse and repeat and don't overcomplicate things.

What, when, how, where, - then WHY.

The rule of thumb is, if you ask why 5 times you will get to the root cause and real reason behind action, inaction and results. Yes, there is an art to how you deliver the questions, but in order to get a complete picture of the status quo during the discovery stage, you need to probe.

I told the rep to try this exercise to help them monitor the number of questions they’re asking. I hope it can help you too.

Step 1

During planned and cold calls, get a pen and create a tally chart on your notepad of the number of times you ask a question during a call. Alternatively, review 3 of your most recent calls and run the same exercise.

Step 2(this can only be done in retrospect)

Tally the number of times you could have asked a probing question after a prospect shared information with you.

Ongoing learning

Choose one specific area of your discovery or cold calls to focus on over the next week. As an example, everytime a prospect reveals their top priorities, ask why.

Let me know how you get on.

Ps. The Sistas in Sales Virtual Summit is coming up on September 16th-17th! If you work with or manage  women of colour in sales roles or if you are a woman of colour in sales then get registered!!!! Here’s the link - Registration link