The 5 Whys- A Technique to Uncover Hidden Customer Needs.
The Five Whys is also a powerful tool for getting better customer testimonials. Here’s how:
Let’s say you call on a number of recent buyers and ask them, “How is our product/service helpful to you?” You may be lucky and get a Cadillac quote you can roll right off the lot, but that’s unlikely. Chances are they’ll say something like, “It works.”
This is where you need the Five Whys interviewing technique, which postulates that to get what you want from an interviewee, you need to ask “why” roughly five times. The Five Whys technique uses a “threaded conversation,” where your follow-up questions pick up on the last thing your buyer said.
You ask “Why does it work?” And they’ll say, “Because it’s reliable.”
You reply, “That’s great. Why do you find it reliable?”
“Because it solves my problem.”
“Help me understand why it solves your problem.”
“Before we bought your system, it used to take three people eight hours to process our payroll. Today it takes one person six hours.”
“And why is that important to your business?”
“Because it cut our payroll costs by 70%, that’s why!”
The Cadillac quote
Now there’s a Cadillac quote. It took some persistence, but you
got it (with just four whys!).
Here’s a bonus to getting in-depth testimonials like these: By getting customers to think about why they use your product or service, you reinforce their original decision to buy – and predispose them to buy more from you in the future.
Michael Boyette is the managing editor of Selling Essentials newsletter, executive editor of the Rapid Learning Institute’s Selling Essentials e-learning site, and editor of the Top Sales Dog blog. He’s also managed marketing/PR programs for DuPont, Tyco Electronics, and US Healthcare, among others. In addition, he’s authored ten books on a variety of subjects for such publishers as Simon & Schuster, Dutton and Holt. Contact Michael via email at [email protected].