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How SPIN Selling Works And What It Is: What It Is And Why It Works

Salespeople know that great discovery is the foundation of any deal, and SPIN selling is the best way to do this. If a salesperson truly knows a buyer’s problem, they can win big, consultative sales. Neil Rackham first came up with this idea in his 1988 book, “SPIN Selling.” It says that only when a salesperson asks specific questions can they get to that level of understanding.


SPIN Selling


SPIN selling is a way for sales reps to organize sales calls by asking questions about the situation, the problem, the implications, and the need-payoff. This approach focuses on the buyer’s issues and allows sales reps to build the kind of relationship that complicated deals need.


This is especially significant for businesses that sell long sales cycles, many people involved, and complicated implementations, like car dealerships and law firms. In this case, buyers may not know that they have a problem, or they think it can’t be solved if they know about it. Using questions to determine what your customers need and want makes it easier for sellers to create what your customers want to buy from you.


Four stages are called “spin selling.” What is each step called?


People who use the SPIN selling method usually follow the same basic steps when they make calls: opening, investigating, demonstrating capability, and finally getting a commitment. Then, let’s bring a closer look at these things.




They should use this time to build rapport and trust with the people they talk to. You can ask about what you did this weekend and the weather in casual conversation. Then, smoothly, you can move on to situational questions about what is going on in your life. It should give the buyer time to learn about you and your business without sales reps right away trying to sell them something.




When you have a general idea of their situation, move on to the next step. Please find out more about their business so you can see what challenges and opportunities they face and use this time to get to know them better. As always, don’t make assumptions or jump to conclusions. Instead, help the buyer figure out their problems.


Capacity is shown by doing


Next, it’s time to talk about your product. Rackham says three ways to do this: talk about features, advantages, benefits, or all three.


  • Features are what your product can do or be used for. Some cars have more horsepower than other cars.
  • Speed and comfort are two reasons to use a car instead of walking.
  • Benefits are the things that happen to you because of the features and advantages said. People at a car dealership might say, “Because this car has so much horsepower, you can get there faster while still having a good time.”


Getting People to Commit


Finally, it’s time to get people to believe in you. Here, ask for a specific next step, like another call with more people, a proof of concept, or something else, to take place. It’s important to remember that your buyer might not agree to anything you ask for, so be ready to deal with their concerns.


No, it doesn’t work anymore


SPIN selling is a well-known sales method for a good reason: it is very good at forming trusting buyer-seller relationships. As B2B products become more complicated, this method allows sales reps to become more deeply integrated into their customers’ businesses, which modern buyers want. There is an excess of companies that use SPIN selling and other ways to sell. This is the best thing about the method.


Best Ways To Make Spink Selling Work


What questions each person asks is up to them. There are a lot of methods you can “SPIN” a sales call, but there are a few things you’ll want to do right, no matter what questions you ask.


What do you accomplish when you like to know more?


To be a sales rep, the last thing you want is for your customers to say “yes” or “no.” When you don’t give specific answers, it will be hard to understand a business’s problems and opportunities in more depth. If you don’t want to do that, you should ask open-ended questions.


Remember that you don’t always have to follow up right away with a follow-up question. Sometimes, the best open-ended question you can ask is “Oh?” Buyers usually follow up with more information that helps them understand what you’re selling. This information can help you position your product in the best way.


Don’t take over the conversation


The instinct is to back up what people say with a story or opinion of our own when they answer us. An excellent way to build depth in a personal relationship is to talk about important things. But if you aren’t careful, this tendency can waste a lot of time for your clients.


Avoid taking over the customer conversation by confirming what the buyer just said by paraphrasing their answer. In this way, the buyer can see that you were paying attention. That’s all they need from you. Then, keep the conversation going.


Make sure you don’t ask too many questions in a single phone call


At first glance, the SPIN method looks straightforward. It may seem that you can and should try to finish all four stages in one call. For some products and businesses, this might be possible. If the buyer is ready to buy, this might be possible.


Even if your SPIN conversation is short, it will likely happen over a few calls for most businesses, especially those that deal with complicated customers. At a particular SPIN stage, a buyer may have complex problems explaining or needing more help learning. In other words, don’t hurry. Take your buyer’s lead and be ready to move at their pace, even if you have more questions than you can answer.


Before you do anything, practice


Practice is the key to perfecting any sales method, which is valid for this one. For revenue leaders implementing SPIN selling or any other methodology, it’s essential to build practice into your sales processes and programs.


People who work for companies that use SPIN questions should build up their confidence and try to get better at them before they ever use them to talk to a customer. Learning about sales should be done on your own, with help from a sales coach, and through role playing so that you can practice.


As a bonus, don’t forget about the power of learning on the fly. No two customer conversations will likely look the same when you ask open-ended questions. If you give sales reps sales plays they can use right now; they’ll be able to handle any objections that come their way.


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