Why not ask

Do not ask why…"! With better questions for better results

Sometimes you also ask your customers “Why haven't you paid the bill yet?” Or “Why don't you want to switch to us as a provider?”. We all ask something like this very often - without being aware of it.

If your partner asks you "Why are you coming home so late again?", You will feel it for yourself now: The why (or why and why) questions always make you feel uncomfortable. This is neither a good (communication) basis for the desired result, nor for the relationship between the people involved.

Especially when we are looking for solutions to a problem in business communication or want to acquire a new customer, then there is always one central aspect: we want our counterpart rethink. That he gives up his old thoughts, his previous actions in favor of a new alternative.

The why, why, and why questions are sincerely unsuitable for this. The reasons are:

  • They are "backward-looking". If we are looking for a solution or want to win a new customer, then he should think “forward” into the future. “Why” always makes you think back to the past and what has happened so far: “Why do you continue to buy from provider X and not from us?”. Now the customer thinks of the good reasons for what he has done so far and consolidates his existing opinion - and is even less likely to rethink, let alone in your direction!
  • Why questions trigger uncomfortable feelings in what is asked. This is not a good basis for a conversation. After all, the customer should feel good in contact with us!
  • The result is even worse: because he “feels caught”, “guilty” or simply “not treated nicely”, he will not answer truthfully and honestly. Rather, he tries "good reasons" to find excuses and will utter them - and not necessarily just give the real thing as an answer. So you do not receive the pure information you actually want in response.

Which questions are much better suited?

The good news is: every why, why, why question can be easily replaced by another W question - and we get exactly the results we want - and the person asked feels comfortable.


If we e.g. B. ask "The invoice XY is still open. Why haven't you paid them yet? ”- what do we really want to know then? (Just) the reason? No, I would like to know then when I can count on the receipt of payment. It is very easy to ask: “The invoice XY is still open. When can I expect the payment to be received? ”Or instead of“ Why do you continue to buy from provider X and not from us? ”- what do we actually want to know? The reason? No! We want to know how or when or under what circumstances he will work with us in the future, don't we? So, quite simply: “What do you expect from us as a possible partner that you decide to work together? What do you want from us? "

Do you notice the difference? As you can see, it's very simple. It only needs: Your "awareness", i. H. As soon as you notice in the near future that a why, why, or why question comes to your mind, replace it with another W-question.


  • Your counterpart does not feel bad, but continues to feel good. You communicate more appreciatively. That strengthens the relationship.
  • You get the real information (without excuses, etc.).
  • You receive information directed "into the future" about the result that you want to achieve with your communication. So new solutions to a problem or the customer's rethinking are suddenly much easier ...

Take this impulse into your repertoire and in the future pay attention to alternative questions to the why-questions ...

I wish you a lot of attentiveness and good luck!

/ by admin