“How Sellers” Are Better Than “Why Sellers”


Sellers can get trapped into talking about why their product or services is best. Allow me to describe a scenario that many salespeople find themselves in every day. The client or prospect asks a simple question like, “Why should I buy your product or service?”

The salesperson, without missing a beat, launches into something that sounds like this: “The reason why you should buy my product or service is because we are the leader in our industry,” or, “There are many reasons you should go with us. For starters, we are family-owned and -operated and have been in this market for over 25 years.”

It’s easy to see why a salesperson would get caught up in this scenario. Let’s remember that salespeople are typically persuasive by nature, and when the client baits the seller with a question like, “Why should I choose you?” the response, to persuade, is, at some level, instinctive.

Change The Conversation To How

Top salespeople know that to truly be effective, to both earn the business and get results for clients and prospects, they need to change the conversation from “Why you should buy my product” to “How to use my product to get your business the results and ROI it needs.”

The truth is, your client cares much more about his or her business goals than the fact that your business is family-owned and -operated. Don’t get me wrong; having a quick way to describe your company and what it stands for and how you approach business is important, but it certainly is not the most important thing to your prospect.

The Differences Between How Selling And Why Selling

                                                        Why Selling                         How Selling

Focus                                                 Why to buy                          How to use

The sales process                                Pitching                               Creating

Aims to sell a                                Product or service                Tailored solution

Value offered                                      General                                 Specific

Makes the salesperson                  A convenient clerk                  A valuable ally

Keep the competitors                          Re-bidding                Shut completely out

“How Selling” Is More Than Just A Tagline

It would be too simple to think that the only thing you need to do is to change the conversation from “why” to “how,” and BAM! — all of a sudden your sales go up. Becoming a “How seller” is more than just a cute phrase. It’s a sales discipline. It’s a repeatable sales process that, if followed, will help you increase sales in a big way. It takes time and commitment to do it correctly, but the end result is more customers, and more customers getting results.

The “How Selling” Sales Process

The benefits of a repeatable sales process are outstanding. In fact, one of the best reasons for implementing a sales process is to determine where there might be bottlenecks, so you can focus on those specific areas to increase efficiency. But that’s a column for another day. Here is the “How selling” sales process, with a brief description of each step.

Find: Identify all possible prospects.

Select: Determine which prospects you should focus on.

Approach: Secure a quality appointment, an appointment the prospect is excited about. In order to do this, you need to be professional and persistent.

Define: Learn the clients’ challenges, priorities, timing, expectations, and budget.

Solve: Bring solutions. Not a proposal or pitch, but a few different possible solutions. Then partner with your prospect to determine which solution is best.

Confirm: A “How seller” believes in the “No surprises” proposal. The seller and the prospect have worked together to build the solution and the proposal so that when the time comes to present, the prospect sees only things they expect to see and has no reason to do anything but confirm the deal.

Deliver: Time to do what you say you are going to do and deliver results.


  1. Thanks, Matt.
    That’s also the most effective approach for doing H/R-work.
    After all, knowing “why” and a buck, ninety-five will get a small coffee and a donut. 🙂


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