The One Why

Fears and desires

Q- Why are you looking for a new sales deck?

A - My team need resources to increase sales

That's the first 'why' question.

In the past, that was the only 'why' question I'd ask, scared to move onto the next. It felt like a stupid question to ask, and I didn’t want to look stupid.

Q - Why do you need to increase sales?

Who wouldn't want more sales?

Most of your competitors are stuck on the one 'why' question

That's why they end up with uninspiring headlines like: Empowering SaaS teams to grow sales. Or, following my question above, something like: Sales decks that help you increase sales.

Not exactly a scroll stopper.

Here's what happens when you ask the following four 'whys'

Q: Why do you need to increase sales?

A: Because the business has expanded into a new territory. Operating costs have increased, so I need to cover those costs and grow in that new territory.

Q: When did you move into the new territory?

A: About six months ago.

Q: So why do you need a new deck now?

A: Because we're not making the sales. I hired a couple of salespeople for the new territory to gain momentum, but they're not hitting their numbers. I think a sales deck might help.

Q: I'm guessing you're hitting your numbers in the original territory without a sales deck. What's different?

A: Well, I'm doing the sales, have been from day one. I don't think these new guys understand the product and benefits. Looking back, I guess I just hired these experienced sales guys, told them to go knock on some doors, but didn't take the time to convey what's in my brain to him effectively.

Fears and Desires

That's what you uncover with the five whys, the driving emotions behind the answer to the first why question. 

If you speak with six people representing your target prospect and ask them the five whys, you'll unearth common fears and emotions.

With our example, we know that:

  • They expanded into a new territory
  • They took on bigger overheads
  • They hired new, experienced salespeople to grow revenue in the new territory
  • Sales aren't growing
  • They've been trying this for six months and it's not working
  • The sales team don't understand the product or how to sell it
  • It’s not a sales deck they want. They want to transfer the sales success from the original territory to the new one.

That list is gold for your sales copy because it uncovers their fears and desires, and it's these fears and desires that drive action.

When you build a story around them and incorporate them into your copy, the reader feels like you genuinely understand this problem they're struggling with. 

If you've encountered this problem before, maybe you found the solution too.

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Every 4 weeks, I publish deep dives into B2B thought leaders, breaking down the content strategy they used to go from unknown consultant to top tier personality.

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