This sales philosophy was recently recommended to me so I made it a goal to find out what Spin Selling is. Spin Selling is most effective in large ticket sales.  The four key elements refer to the type of questions asked during the sales process: Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-Payoff.

Situation questions are necessary, but must be put to limited use because they risk boring the customer.  Green sellers ask more situation questions.  Examples: do you make buying decisions? what are your annual sales?  how many people work here?

Problem questions are more strongly linked to sales success than Situation questions, but the link is stronger in smaller dollar sales than in large ticket sales.  Examples: is your current equipment difficult to use? is the equipment reliable?

Implication questions are necessary to bridge the gap between identifying your customer’s problems and selling your solution.  Without this bridge, you risk sticker shock, possibly being perceived as know-it-all or otherwise unqualified to meet the customer’s needs.  Most importantly, you are unable to get your customer to relate the seriousness of his problems to the cost of your solution.  Herein lies the key to sales success.  You must demonstrate to your customer that the cost of NOT doing business with you is greater than buying what you are selling.

Decision makers respond better to sellers than uncover implications because their success depends on seeing beyond the immediate problems to bigger picture consequences. Examples: your equipment can only be operated by 3 trained people, so doesn’t that slow down overall production? is your employee turnover rate causing training costs to erode profits?  does the cost you are saving by driving a 10 year old car get outweighed by the inefficiency of operating that car?

Need-Payoff Questions are solution centered. Examples: why do you find this solution so useful? is there any other way this could help you? why is it important for you to control your long distance costs? can you tell me how this system can expedite your process and why that is important to you?

These questions get the customer’s focus on the solution rather than the problem.   Even better, they get the customer telling YOU the benefits.  Need-payoff questions reduce objections because the customer, as expert of his business, tells you what parts of his problems your solution can solve.

Implication questions are problem centered.  Need-payoff questions are solution centered.

Timely is crucial in knowing when to ask Need-Payoff questions.  If asked too early, they put the customer on the defensive.  Also, don’t ask Need-Payoff questions for which you have no solution or you risk sending you customer to your competition.

Know the difference between features (product centric) and benefits (customer centric).  Large ticket sales require benefit focus.  Keep it about the customer.

For the full education, you should probably read the book.  But, I also found great value in the Quantity before Quality teaching method of learning SPIN Selling.  Practice, practice, practice.  And do so in safe environments.  Choose lower level sales situations to employ new techniques.  Don’t try out new behavior on your next huge deal. 

Happy hunting!


About Melanie M. Morris
Broker of Trust and Authenticity I'm really a sales executive, but I'd rather identify with these ideals rather than to simply say...I'm a seller.

One Response to SPIN SELLING

  1. Fred Shlesinger says:

    Melanie,I suggest that you read:
    The FRED factor
    Encore Effect
    You, Inc.
    Then, give me your take on SPIN VS. these treid & true sales concepts….

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