Best Practices

SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Vijay Poriya

An oldie, but definitely still a goodie, this traditional SPIN Selling method can help you earn more clients in no time! Read on to find out more about it.

RELATED: Stop Pitching: Start Solving Problems For Your Customers

In this article:

  1. What Is SPIN Selling?
  2. SPIN Selling Background
  3. Situational Question
  4. Problem Question
  5. Implication Question
  6. Need or Payoff Question
  7. SPIN Selling Training Tips

SPIN Selling | A Good Way to Earn Clients

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What Is SPIN Selling?

There are millions of hacks, tips, theories, and experiments that have been carried out in the sales process. SPIN selling is one of the older selling techniques that are still prevalent in this modern digital era as salespeople still find it very effective.

SPIN selling involves keeping the clients engaged by asking them different types of questions and understanding their needs instead of going on about the thing you are selling. This sales methodology works because you are not selling a product or service — you are selling a solution to their problems.

It works because it taps into the basic nature of human beings – that need to express themselves and their needs before being asked for something. It stands at the core of a consultative selling process.

The SPIN selling model works because many people look for products or services as a solution to a certain problem they have.

By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to offer the best possible solution to your client’s needs. Successful salespeople use the SPIN selling process to gain the trust of their prospects enough to close a deal.

SPIN Selling Background

Woman explaining to client | SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation [INFOGRAPHIC] | spin selling book
Using SPIN selling to improve sales
The author of the book SPIN Selling, Neil Rackham, came up with the method. He wrote about the proven benefits of having meaningful SPIN selling conversations with your customer or buyer in order to sell them your products or services.

In his SPIN selling book, he divided a conversation into four phases and gave it the name “SPIN.”

SPIN is an acronym derived from the following:

  1. Situational question
  2. Problem question
  3. Implication question
  4. Need or payoff question

Let’s break down each section of this sales strategy and how they can lead to a closed deal with a grateful customer.

Situational Question

This is the introductory part of the SPIN methodology. Sales reps will ask generalized questions looking for a cue to jump on to.

Every question that falls under this phase will be related to the salesman’s product, but will not reference it directly.

The following are examples of situational questions:

  • How do you automate things in your sales cycle?
  • What is the procedure you follow for prospecting?
  • How do you track your customer’s interest and engagement?

RELATED: Salesperson Skills Of Top Performers

Problem Question

The salesperson will ask the prospect about the problem they have been facing due to their current situation. This will lead to the prospect or potential client being more comfortable with the salesperson, resulting in a healthier conversation.

Examples of questions are as follows:

  • Is it expensive for you to use different premium tools for small tasks?
  • Do you feel that a few processes in your company can get faster?
  • What challenges do you face during your current plan for this tool?

When a salesperson asks the right questions, potential clients tend to feel more at ease to share the situation they’re currently facing. If they discuss the challenges they have in achieving success, sales professionals can get a better idea of what solution to offer for them to reach their goals.

Implication Question

Business meeting inside cafe | SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation [INFOGRAPHIC] | spin selling training
Using an implication question in SPIN selling
In the implication stage, the salesperson asks a few hypothetical questions. These questions will have the implication that their prospect’s problems can be solved using their product or service.

However, there is a thin line between asking them an implied question masquerading as a solution and insulting their current methods of getting things done.

Be sensitive to your client’s plight as well. Don’t just assume that the product or service you’re offering will dramatically increase their productivity right away.

SPIN selling questions can help you understand their situation but it does not allow you to jump the gun in offering your product or service as a solution.

Examples of questions to ask are as follows:

  • If you fail to put the data into the sheets, what would happen?
  • How much time or money is this going to take from you to fix it if you’re unable to do this?
  • If once you stop manually connecting it, how much will it affect your daily revenue?

Need or Payoff Question

The last part of the method is to try to resolve the client’s need and ask them to buy the product. This is the most important part of the SPIN selling methodology, as it determines whether the prospect is interested in the idea or not.

If you genuinely listened to your potential client’s situation, you won’t have to extensively explain your product. They’ll be pointing out the benefits they can get if they purchase your product. You’ll be able to close a sale and establish a genuine relationship with your customer.

Example questions can be the following:

  • What if you could cut down on time spent on a process through automation?
  • Would you like to have a look at the possibilities you can achieve if you use the right tool?
  • Why don’t you give it a try?
  • What’s stopping you from having a free trial and testing if we are able to solve all your problems or not?

SPIN Selling Training Tips

If you’re planning to use the SPIN selling technique as your sales methodology, some ground rules to keep in mind include:

  1. Use this technique when your clients have yet to fully understand the problem they’re facing. If you can help them realize the pain points and offer them a solution, then you won’t have a problem building a lasting relationship with them.
  2. Listen carefully to your client’s answers. This is the only way to present them with a solution that will address their problem effectively.
  3. What works for one customer may not effectively solve the problem of another. Though they may have similar general issues, the specifics of each client may differ depending on the situation they’re currently facing.
  4. Research is the key! Don’t jump in without knowing anything and instead make sure you ask questions relevant to your client’s problem.
  5. Be aware of time limits. Talking about problems and possible solutions may go on for hours if unchecked but be wary of the time you spend in sales discussions.
  6. Prepare for your customer to ask their own questions. Because the Internet is more accessible now, people tend to make their own research ahead of scheduled sales calls.
  7. Ask questions to keep the conversation going for you to get more information and don’t just check off questions like a checklist. Remember, every customer has different needs.
  8. SPIN selling is just the first step to fixing your client’s problem areas. If they won’t use your product or service properly, then the solution they want won’t be achieved.
  9. SPIN selling is just a methodology, not the sales bible. In some cases, the SPIN selling model may not be the best strategy to use for closing a deal.

The SPIN selling technique can be the most effective way of earning clients if you know and understand the entire process. When it comes to major sales and solution selling, every day can be a new challenge.

Here are a few stats that show exactly why SPIN selling is so important:

infographic stats | SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation [INFOGRAPHIC] | spin selling questions

Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic about SPIN selling for reference:

infographic | SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation

The best conversations revolve around a client’s need and the solution to their problems, instead of touting a product’s benefits. Being a consultant, instead of becoming a salesperson, will help you gain a prospect’s trust and turn them into a customer down the line for sales success.

Need more visuals? The video below would also help you understand what SPIN selling is:

Have you tried SPIN selling? Which phase is more challenging for you? Let us know in the comments section.

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SPIN Selling | Perfect Way To Drive A Sales Conversation