By Neil Rackham
One of the most intuitive books on the market for selling. SPIN Selling explains the science behind consultative selling, or rather, presenting an offer to a potential client, based systematically on the clients pain-points, using a powerful questioning process.
The subtitle of the book describes quite well what's inside; “The Best-Validated Sales Method Available Today. Developed From Research Studies Of 35,000 Sales Calls. Used By The Top Sales Forces Across The World.”.
If that isn't enough, consider other sales books written by professional sales people, to be intuitive opinions on the sales process, rather than based on testing, optimizing, and results.
In contrast, SPIN Selling uses data from thousands of calls, and sifts through them to determine if ‘closing' techniques, and ‘situational openers', etc, actually work.
Well, it turns out, there is a huge difference between selling low-cost and high-cost items. Consequently, we are shown evidence that disproves the efficacy of various well-known sales techniques in the high-cost sale.
So, let's break down what SPIN Selling actually entails.
- Situational Questions,
- Problem Questions
- Implication Questions
- Need-Payoff Questions
Situation Questions, we learn, involve getting the facts about the business, such as, Who is in charge of the final decision, or what kind of systems or services are already in place.
Problem Questions attempt to investigate where the pain points are with the current service/product. Clarifying the problems to the client is essential.
Implication Questions determine the effects of the problem, and amplify the problem. This increases the clients motivation to shift towards finding a solution.
Need-Payoff Questions get the client to tell you the needs of a potential solution for them. Furthermore, the client ends up explaining the benefits of a solution, such as the one presented by the salesman. It's less intrusive, and ultimately allows the client to present their important needs.
A good quote from the book: “People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.”
What Is The Successful Sales Process?
Ultimately, in a successful sale, the buyer does most of the talking, relative to the appropriate questions asked.
Furthermore, the author covered the four stages of a sale: opening, investigating, demonstrating capability, and obtaining commitment.
One example was ‘obtaining commitment' with specific actions from the other party involved. In this case, an actionable commitment is required, such as an additional meeting, or a request for a proposal, and does not necessarily mean a close.
If an actionable commitment is not reached, then the likely outcome is a ‘continuation' or a dead sale. Both of which lead nowhere.
For the high-powered salesman, this is a great read, with practical application. The ideas are intuitive and powerful enough to even influence others outside a business context.
If selling is your thing, then read this. If you want an intuitive perspective on presenting benefits that sell themselves, then read this.
Highly recommended. Pick it up from your library or online. A+
P.S. From Spin Selling:
And as if all this wasn't enough, consider if you will his quartet of self-training Golden Rules:
- Practice only one ‘behaviour’ at a time
- Try the new ‘behaviour’ at least three times
- Remember Quality before Quantity
- Practice in safe situations
Quote of the Moment
People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.