Why Ask Why?

Young children have the habit of asking “Why?” Often, as parents, it is easy to become annoyed with the nonstop stream of questions. “Daddy, why is the sky blue?” “Why do I have to go to bed now?” Why? Why? Why? If you’re a parent you know what I mean.

Why did we ever stop? The simple question of “why?” teaches us, as parents, to better communicate with our children and teaches us, as adults, to not settle for a simple answer. Asking “why” made us functioning members of society, yet we gave up the habit.


It made us feel childish and then we hit the age where we thought we knew it all. Consider how our communication would be if we simply reverted to the use of why? Why is a trigger word that forces us to open up and explain. In the case of communications one must be able to successfully explain his or her point of view to others. Some of us do not like to explain why we do what we do.

My favorite style of communications uses The 5 Why’s Communications Model. By asking yourself or others “Why?” you are able to reach the root of the question/problem and gain results. This method, covered in more detail in the www.everyoneinsales.com book, not only helps us to focus our conversations, but also to gain a better understanding of others. When you ask “5 Why” or related questions, you will get to a buyer’s real truth behind an answer.

Here is an example:

Question 1: Why didn’t we get that brochure job?
Answer 1: Your price was too high.

Q 2: Why was our price higher?
A 2: Well, I am not sure offhand, but it seemed to be higher based on my quick review of the quotes received.

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with the front end of privately held printing and related organizations across North America. The areas of focus are: sales growth, brand positioning, organizational strategy, and integrated marketing (with an emphasis on social media). Sauers speaks at many national events and writes feature articles in global publications. He is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and entrepreneurship. Sauers is also the author of the best-selling book "Everyone is in Sales" and the newest book "Would You Buy from You?" Please visit: SauersConsulting.com.
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  • Printbest

    WHY seems to really get to the root of the matter and makes us keep asking until we find the true reason. Nice job.

  • SamLovesPrinting

    Why ask why? it seems to be a logical way to get to what a person really means. Thanks for the post.

  • Bob J.

    Thanks for sharing insights on a new way to ask better questions to clients.