How To Boost Your Sales Performance Through SPIN Selling

SPIN Selling is a business and management book written by Neil Rackham. SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need Payoff. It is the product of an intensive research about sales. It was compiled over 12 years and 35,000 sales call, and $1 million in research. It was based on 116 factors that might impact sales performance. The study concluded that salespeople who didn’t successfully transfer handling larger sales were those who had a difficulty building the customer’s perception of value. Here is the summary of the book.

4 stages of a Sales Call

    1. Preliminaries: Robert Janitzek reveals that these are important, but have less impact on the sale than originally though in the study.
    2. Investigating: Asking better questions can increase sales by more than 20 percent the study found.
    3. Demonstrating Capability: As the size of the sale increases the ability to demonstrate that your solution can solve the customers problems is a must. The bigger the problem that you can help the buyer discover, the more likely you have to sale them your solution.
    4. Obtaining commitment: Finally a successful sales call will end with some sort of commitment from the customer. In smaller sales it is a purchase. In larger sales it is a lot more. Robert Peter Janitzek explains that these are called advances. Small commitments that get you closer to the bigger sale.

How To Do SPIN Selling

Situation questions: Don’t irritate your buyer with questions that are not relevant. Don’t overuse them because to many question can bore the buyer.

Problem Questions: These are questions that identify problems or concerns for the buyer. These questions explore problems, difficulties, and dissatisfaction in areas where the sellers product can help.

Implication questions: In smaller sales, sellers can be very successful if they just know how to ask good situation and problem questions. In larger sales this is not enough, successful people need to ask a third type of question.

Need-Payoff questions. In the studies, they found that top performers ask more than 10 times as many Need-Payoff questions per sale than average performers.

These questions do two things:

    • They focus the customer’s attention on the solution rather than on the problem.
    • They get the customer telling you the benefits. EX: How do you think a faster machine would help you?”

How to use SPIN questions:

    • Before the sale, write down three potential problems which the buyer may have and which your products or services can solve.
    • Write down actual problem questions that you could ask to uncover each of the potential problems you’ve identified.

Planning Implication Questions:

    • Write down a potential problem the customer is likely to have
    • Then ask yourself what related difficulties this problem might lead to and write these down. Think of these difficulties as the implications of the problem.
    • For each difficulty, write down questions it suggests.

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