“If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.”                  – Jack Canfield

Note: This is Part 4 in a 4 part series on “Probing in Sales”.

So far, we looked at a few generic, yet powerful, probing techniques. Now, let’s explore a specialized, structured and proven technique known as SPIN Selling.

What is SPIN Selling?

          SPIN Selling is an acronym of four different types of sales questions that can take a disinterested prospect to someone who’s motivated to buy.

 Why is SPIN Selling so highly rated?

          The SPIN Selling process was developed following the careful observation of 35,000 sales calls carried out by experienced, professional sales experts. From the observations, it became clear that the quality of questions asked by a salesperson were key to whether or not a sale was closed. For example, the right questions could speed up the process, whereas the wrong questions could stall it or even halt it completely.
The SPIN Selling questions are:

  1. SITUATION questions: These help you to get a better idea of the customer’s current status – their vision, budgets, systems etc.

         Example: “How do you currently manage your customer’s contact details?”

  1. PROBLEM questions: Asking questions that are directly aimed at identifying the problems facing the client.

Example: Is your current CRM system exceeding the allocated budget?

  1. IMPLICATION questions: Their purpose is to make the customer eager for a solution to the problem(s) they’ve just identified.

Example: If your current training system is expensive and hard to integrate,                  wouldn’t you have more problems going forward?

  1. NEED-PAYOFF questions: The final stage of SPIN Selling, is to encourage a prospect to consider how valuable a solution to the problem they’ve identified, would be.

Example: If you could halve the amount of time spent training new staff on your current system, what impact would that have?

In conclusion, SPIN Selling is a proven, tested technique. It focuses not only the questions but also in what order they need to be asked.


The series authored by – Hubert D’Mello

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