How to Uncover Why Clients Buy Using the Five Why Technique


When doing customer development, selling is not enough. You need to learn why clients buy to be able to reproduce sales in the same market with the same model and the same pitch. In other words, you’re looking for a repeatable and predictable model.

To do that, you have to understand why people pay, how they want to pay and at what time they can pay. It’s a long process, but if you can learn from pitch to pitch you can uncover why prospects buy.

Challenge your clients. Ask them to justify why they bought your solution using Toyota’s Five Whys questioning — asking “why” after each answer until you reach the root cause of the purchase.

For example:

  1. Why did you decide to buy our solution?
  2. Why do you like this feature?
  3. Why do you want to be able to do this?
  4. Why is this type of market intelligence important for you?
  5. Why do you want to track your customers like this?

Make your customers calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) for you; does it make sense for them? How has their world changed since they bought your solution?

Try to convince them that your solution is not good for them with negative selling (see video below). Take note of their answers.

All of these inputs will be highly valuable. Getting to the root cause of the purchase is very informative. Your goal is to uncover the thought process of your new clients to improve your benefits and unique selling proposition.

Once you know why a few prospects buy, you can start predicting and repeating sales in their market. It’s a significant step forward for your startup.

More on Negative Selling:


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