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Super Mario taught me the most important word in sales

And I'll teach you 3 ways to use it.

When I was 16 years old, I was selected to join an AAU baseball team. AAU stands for “driving many miles to exotic locales like Charleston (!) and Carlisle (!) to get destroyed by players that are bigger, stronger, and destined for careers in the low minor leagues.”

My coach – who was the spitting image of  Super Mario (true story) -had a penchant for screaming a word that, years later,would help me through many tough sales conversations.

Overthrow a cutoff man? Strike out looking? Take a hot dog out to second base in the second game of a doubleheader? (I perfected that one)… Mario would jump on a mushroom, smash a brick with his head, and yell at that top of his lungs:WHYYYYYYYYYY?????? 

This word has been a staple in my sales repertoire ever since. Here are 3 ways to use it :

Prospect: We're looking to make a decision quickly.

You: Why?

  • How many times have you heard this one? Asking why will allow you to vet out whether the prospect is simply baiting you OR if they truly do need to move quickly. If it’s the latter, you can use that knowledge to create a mutual action plan to keep the deal on track, and prevent it from stalling at the finish line.

Prospect: That (your solution or feature) isn't how we do things. We need to do it this way.

You: Why?

  • This is an easy trap to fall into. When a prospect has a specific feature / execution objection about your solution, many sales folks will attempt to use their product expertise to overcome it. “Oh no, our widget does it way better than that, let me show you.” By asking why, you can uncover the reason they want to execute a certain way, which can be due to budget issues, personnel concerns, or a desire to please the executive. Once you understand the reason, you can align your solution. 

Prospect: That’s too expensive for us.

You: Why?

  • Asking “why?” to a price objection will help you uncover - 1. If they truly don’t have budget for your solution 2. they think you are including too many bells and whistles they don’t need or 3. They don’t think your solution is “good enough” to warrant such a price. (ie, Lebron’s $50K Kia). If it's 1 or 2, you may be able to trim some functionality to drop price. If it's 3, you need to double down on building value around their current challenges and desired outcomes.

Trust me, this will seem unnatural at first; no sales person wants to come across as annoying.

But…if you really want to help your prospect solve a challenge…you won't succeed unless you understand their WHY.


Buy Just F*ing Demo! on Amazon.

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