Your Prospect Asks ‘Why’ — Here’s How Social Selling Can Answer

Social selling professionals are asked difficult ‘why’ questions by their prospects. Here are the keys to answering them while demonstrating value.

November 22, 2014


Remember learning the ‘w’ words in elementary school? Who, what, when, where, why. Five important words that can help us put the pieces of any puzzle together, including those in the realm of sales and social selling.

But in looking specifically at the first four, most people would agree that they are fairly factual and straightforward. They can usually be answered with simple, one or two-word responses. For example:

  • Who: salesperson
  • What: tradeshow
  • When: Friday
  • Where: Atlanta

It’s that last word — “why” — that possesses a more esoteric nature, and one that leads to much larger, in-depth conversations when trying to define it.

For those of us with children, “why” becomes the burning question (quite literally, burning) for almost everything. “Why do I have to go to bed now?” “Why is the sun so bright?” And so on…

In the world of sales, the issue of “why” is no less challenging to address. Your prospect, the one you have been diligently getting to know throughout the buyer’s journey, wants to make sure all the key questions are answered before signing a contract.

They’re less concerned with “who” you are, “what” the size of your company is, or even “what” your product is or does.

They want to know why. Specifically, “why are you a good fit for us?”

So rather than talking about what makes your product or service unique, consider how your social selling can instead focus on why it matters to the prospect. Here are some questions you’ll need to address…

Q: Why do you want to do business with us?

A: Think about certain events, insights, or perspectives that have driven you to connect with this prospect. Perhaps you observed a specific pain point or opportunity they expressed within a LinkedIn Group. Look at it from their perspective. Use their own words and phrases (the same ones you read online) when providing your rationale.

Q: Why should we do business with you?

A: What existing connections do you have that can speak to your character and performance? Mention them. B2B buyers are more likely to connect with sales reps who have prior connections within the prospect network. LinkedIn endorsements also serve as good credibility builders.

Q: Why is your product a good fit for us?

A:This is the big one. As a sales professional, you need to demonstrate the value of your product or service as it relates specifically to the customer’s needs. How does it help them? You can list off product features until you’re blue in the digital face. But which features will actually provide a tangible benefit the buyer by solving real business problems? From the research you have conducted by looking at their website, blog, LinkedIn profiles, and other sources, you should have a pretty good idea of how you can match your solution to the prospect’s needs.

If you are answering questions via InMail, a well-written subject line can set the stage for prospect engagement. Discover this trick and more tips on writing effective InMails in this post on “When and How to Write InMail Messages that Get Noticed.

Darren Marble, author of the post “3 Secrets to InMail Success” adds that, “With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, social sellers can leverage actionable sales intelligence to position their product or service. For example, the ‘Lead shares’ and ‘Company news’ filters allow a salesperson to tailor their response based on real-time company insights such as an acquisition, new initiative, or statement about a future goal or direction. Armed with context, salespeople can address these tough questions head-on, generate instant credibility with their buyers, and move the sales cycle forward.”

Why, why, why? It may be an annoying question…and it’s certainly not an easy one to answer in any context. But it’s also not going away.

So make sure your social media efforts answer the tough questions: “Why do you want to do business with us,” “Why should we do business with you,” and “Why is your company right for us.”

By prioritizing these concerns, you’ll display a desire to understand your prospect deeply — and increase your odds of closing the deal.

See how social selling can answer more of the big questions by downloading our free eBook "How to Move Your Team to Social Selling."