SPIN Selling is a sales technique developed by Neil Rackham on the basis of data collected from 35,000 sales calls over 12 years. His book, SPIN Selling, went on to become a best seller. The system focuses on four types of questions which, when asked in sequence, dramatically increase the likelihood of closing a sale. The system is especially suited to high value selling. If you sell high value products or services to other businesses or customers, SPIN Selling can help you sell more.
SPIN is an acronym based on the four types of questions you can ask to convert a prospect into a motivated buyer.
- SITUATION questions
These questions help you understand prospect’s context and backstory so you can develop the right approach for the prospect. For example, if you are selling a mobile solution for sales reporting, you may start by asking questions such as:
How do you collect sales data and create sales reports?
How long does it take to collect and process this information?
- PROBLEM questions
The goal of these questions is to get the customer to realize that there is a problem that needs fixing. You may ask questions like this:
Do you think it is a problem if the sales leadership team does not have real time sales information?
- IMPLICATION questions
The implication questions help the prospect realize the significance of the problem. He is able to see the consequences of the problem not getting fixed quickly and effectively. This, in turn, increases his desire to listen to you and motivates him to find a solution. In this stage, you may ask the prospect the following question:
What is the impact on sales if you don’t know your channel inventory level accurately?
- NEED-PAYOFF questions
This is where you demonstrate the value of your solution. The need-payoff questions are designed to get the prospect to appreciate the benefits he will get if the problem could be resolved effectively. The key is to get the prospect to visualize the solution and articulate the benefits himself so he can appreciate the value of your solution. For example, for your mobile sales reporting solution, you can ask the following question:
What would be the impact on sales if you could see the changes in inventory levels on a daily basis?
How would it help you if you knew the performance of each of your sales people at the end of every day instead of waiting for a month?
By now, the prospect is clearly able to articulate the benefits of your mobile sales reporting solution and will be motivated to know more about how you can help him.
Interested in learning more and using it effectively? Read the book and start practicing.