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SPIN Selling

What's the deal with SPIN Selling questions... do you use or recommend the questions and-or the sequence? - by Swamprat
I was first introduced to the SPIN method in 1983 shortly after it was implemented by the Xerox Corporation (Australia) as a professional and effective blueprint for selling their business equipment. It was and still is an approach more suited to higher priced products and tends to be a bit intense for the average customer.

However conceptually it's a method that provides an excellent basis for asking questions logically and sequentially, with the salesperson following a tack something like this ...

What is your present situation/method in regard to procedure x?
Is that working well for you? ... How would you like to see it improved? (Probing to expose potential problem areas)
How does not having those improvements in place affect your operation? (Probing to explore the negative implications of a possible problem)
What impact would it have on your operation if that problem were to go away? (Probing to quantify/identify positive product benefit or need pay off areas)

(Please excuse the gross simplification of a very well conceived sales method)

The objective is to have the customer identify his own specific needs (preferable to having the salesperson tell the customer) and to also open up problem areas that perhaps had not previously occurred to the customer.

I found the questioning sequence worked well provided it was not overdone. In a perfect world the technique virtually closes the sale before the presentation has taken place. The need and the cost of not owning the product have been driven home and voiced by the customer, so it's hard for him/her to have any real objections if the price is right.

The general consensus among the Xerox practitioners at the time was that implication questions were most likely to contribute to a successful sales call.

In subsequent sales incarnations I continued to use the questioning method (it had become a habit for me I guess) and it worked extremely well albeit in a slightly diluted format. - by Tony1905
Ok, forget potential sellers how about potential buyers? Could someone please post examples of the Spin Selling questions for someone selling real estate? - by Vito
Hi Vito,
Let me put it into some kind of context as an apology for my tactlessness ...
Within your experience you probably have 5 or 6 universally appropriate questions you ask up front to find out basic information about the vendor, his house, his family, what he likes, dislikes etc ... Right? ...
Asking those questions is Step 1 .. Situation Questions

Step 2 - We probe a little deeper. "John you mentioned that your 6 kids & the dog are a little unhappy sleeping together in one bedroom ... How does that affect harmony in the household?"
This is a problem question. but of course every customer is different so your PQ's will vary accordingly which means there's a huge number of possible problem questions.

Step 3 - Now we magnify the problem by exploring the implications of the situation as explained ... "So how do you feel about Mary talking to her lawyer, do you foresee the possibility of divorce ...?"
This is an implication question. John says "Yes that's a real possibility"

Step 4 - "Now let me ask you John, would a lovely 6 bedroom home with 5 bathrooms and a lemon tree in case of an emergency positively impact your marriage?" Need pay-off question.
John says "Yes that would make Mary, me & the kids very happy!!"
And we now have a clearly stated specific need and we repeat the process to dig up some more.

So you see the SPIN questions follow a formula and understanding and applying the formula will enable you to develop PQ.IQ.NQ's on the fly. The objective is to make the customer clearly aware to the point where they state their own specific needs.

Does that make sense?
Cheers, Tony
BTW, don't think twice about the lack of response, remember almost everyone on the other side of the world is sleeping.;sm - by Tony1905
That makes sense Tony. You illustrated clearly what SPIN Selling questions would look like in the context of real estate. Thank you for putting in the effort... it is much appreciated. ;) - by Vito
You're welcome Vito, I'm happy to have been able to contribute. Cheers - by Tony1905
"Huthwaite’s story begins with our founder, Neil Rackham, a behavioral psychologist whose seminal 12-year sales research study remains to this day the only research effort of its kind (please see Research and Intellectual Property). Observing and analyzing more than 35,000 sales calls, Neil and his research team were able to isolate and identify distinct behavioral traits of successful sales people." - quote from Huthwaite.com - by Jeff Blackwell
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