In Chip and Dan Heath’s fabulous book Made to Stick, they describe using the “Three Whys” to uncover the emotional core of an idea. They suggest asking “Why” three times for any important topic. With each answer, you get to a higher and more meaningful level: the emotional core.
A sales manager (as a prospect) says, “I need more, better leads for my team…”
“Why is this important?” you ask.
“Oh, we’re spending too much time working leads that are unqualified…” is the response.
“I see,” you say, “Tell me, why is that a problem?”
“The team isn’t progressing enough leads to next sales stages…” replies the sales manager.
“And why is that an issue for you?” you inquire.
The sales manager admits, “Because if we don’t convert enough leads, we won’t make our quarterly numbers!”
Ah ha! You’ve just uncovered the Critical Business Issue for the sales manager. Three Whys…!
[And why is it important to identify a prospect’s Critical Business Issue? Because the absence of a Critical Business Issue will lead to a No Decision outcome. You can learn more about these ideas in Doing Discovery. Now ask yourself, “Why is this important…?”]