The Eagle Blog

Two Questions … "So What" and "Why"?

So what turns features into benefitsMichael Paquin has a company called Paquin Training & Associates, and I reference some of his coaching tips every now and then. Obviously I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t like his stuff.

This latest tip is about the need to have a “WHY” that supports each of your goals and is the motivation behind you striving for those goals. It is a powerful tip, and it reminds me of another tip I learned about selling. So this blog is a “twofer” … a tip on reaching your goals from Michael Paquin using “WHY” and a tip from me on selling messages using “SO WHAT?”

#1 “So What?” … Kevin Dee

One of the big mistakes made by inexperienced sales people is to sell FEATURES … without explaining the BENEFITS to the client. (Note: You need to understand what is important to your client in order to give them RELEVANT benefits … but maybe that is a blog for another day).

The easy way to turn features into benefits is by asking the question … so what? If a salesperson tells me that his company has offices across Canada that is nice but unless he tells me what that actually means to me it is just a statement of feature … the BENEFIT may well be that he can service all of our offices and has access to resources from many markets in the case that my market is busy. To get the BENEFIT you would ask the questions “So What?”.

This technique is particularly powerful with proposals. In the technology space proposals are often (almost always?) written by very competent technical people who will describe solutions very factually. By having a “salesperson” review such a proposal and ask them self the “so what” question for every “feature” you turn the document into a selling document that “paints a picture” of what this solution can do for the client. You NEVER want the client to have to interpret for themselves what the “benefit” might be, you should make it clear.

#2 “Why?” … Michael Paquin


People are not born inspired to achieve goals. Successful people achieve what they do because they have a powerful why. But not just any why, it has to be a reason so strong it overpowers any obstacles, problems and concerns standing in the way. With a strong enough why, the motivation to accomplish any goal will follow.

Coaching Question

Do you have a strong enough why to back your goals?

Daily Action

Today, review your goals and the why behind them. If you don’t have a strong enough why for a goal spend some time working on finding one. If you simply can’t find a strong enough reason why you should obtain the goal, find a goal that you do have a strong why for achieving. In the long run, it will make obtaining the goal a lot more meaningful and a heck of a lot easier.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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