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Discovery: Go Deep
Jerry Cahn, PhD, JD - Mentor-Coach to Executives Jerry Cahn, PhD, JD - Mentor-Coach to Executives
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Thursday, October 13, 2022


As you probably know, if you’ve been following our Presentation Excellence advice on how to win more deals, we developed a simple acronym to help presenters: ADAP – always deliver an Audience-Driven, Authentic Presentation. 

At a recent training program, we focused on the need for the presenter to go deep when trying to understand the source of the challenges to a buyer’s willingness to take action after having the presentation-conversation. Only then can you design and deliver a truly effective presentation.

One way to do so, is to use the Five Whys approach: keep digging past each “superficial” reason till you get to the core reason that you can impact on.

The diagram below gives an example of the process. Why does a car not start? Because there is no charge in the battery. And why is that… by digging deeper, it concludes that the car isn’t being maintained to schedule and so many problems occurred and emptied the battery.

However, it stopped too early. WHY was maintenance not done on schedule. That’s the key question.  If the owner was planning on junking the car, then there was no need to maintain it – which explains why the thief found the battery didn’t work. If the owner was planning to sell the car and claiming it’s in good shape, then not maintaining one thing, might mean there are other problems – and the buyer should beware of other problems (caveat emptor).  If the car otherwise is in top-shape, maybe the seller was away during a long “vacation”, and was unable to bring the car in for regular maintenance.  

Going Deep means digging till you reach a root factor that relates to her/his willingness to take action.  You may not always be able to get the answer you need, but the closer you get to all the factors, the better. 

Two examples. Often customers tell you that they are the decision-maker.  However, unless you dig deeper, you won’t uncover that there is a partner to whom your customer will repeat the information. And if she/he can’t reproduce your exact message and passion for that partner, the customer’s delivery of a presentation using your material, with which she/he doesn’t feel comfortable will be weak – and could cost you the deal. Second, a construction client learned about an RFP at the very last minute. Despite the shortage of time and lack of prior experience with the building owner, the client made it to the final two – but ultimately did not win the deal. Investigating why, we learned that the buyer liked our technical proposal better, but went with the other contractor with whom they had a long relationship – something we did not know.

In sum. to truly meet the range and depth of customer needs, go deep to understand the final why!

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Jerry Cahn, Ph.D., J.D.
Title: President & Managing Director
Group: Presentation Excellence Group
Dateline: New York City, NY United States
Main Phone: 646-290-7664
Cell Phone: 917-579-3732
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