The Importance of Asking Why


A buddy of mine called and asked for help on a consulting proposal. He was struggling a bit to connect his solution to the customer’s needs.

While he knew what he wanted to propose as a solution based on the prospect’s feedback, I asked him, “Why do they need a new system?” ”

He responded, “I don’t know. I never asked.” He was a bit chagrined by the simplicity of the question. Yet, without knowing this, he was a bit stuck.

Further I said, “Nobody wakes up one morning with a burning desire to buy a new system unless there are issues/challenges with the current system. You need to understand what’s driving this need.”

Understanding why will help you and your business thrive.


Photo credit: Wonderlane on Flickr

Thought for the week:

I want to express my condolences to all who perished on Malaysia Air Flight 17 as well as their families and friends who, like me, are struggling to understand this horrific event. Here are some thoughts on the gift of life:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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4 Responses to The Importance of Asking Why

  1. Hello David-I enjoy your posts.  I


  2. Joanne says:

    A bit simplistic. Complex sales cycles require alot of “why’s” especially because there are multiple influencers and decision makers on any one opportunity and many agenda’s. Why is a great place to start, but continue to learn as much as you can, identify the different needs and target your message accordingly. Also keep asking even if you are asking the same person a few times, as agendas and priorities change and change quickly. Why, why, why, why, why…. is important.


  3. Dave Gardner says:

    Thanks, Dr. Cayton! Appreciate you commenting here.


  4. Dave Gardner says:

    Agree, Joanne. The more questions you ask, the better off you’ll be in a sales process.


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