Whether a salesperson has many years of experience or is just getting into the field, it makes sense to incorporate such methods as SPIN Selling into their work. Developed by sales and marketing expert Neil Rackham, SPIN Selling became a best-selling book that continues to provoke interest nearly 25 years after its initial introduction. Unlike selling practices that had been advocated for years, SPIN Selling recommends that salespeople focus on listening to customers rather than merely talking about their products.
SPIN represents four principles: situation, problem, implication, and need-payoff. Each principle requires a salesperson to ask well-directed questions aimed at learning what the client needs and wants and, just as importantly, what he or she does not want or need. To determine an individual’s situation, a salesperson inquires about their existing circumstances. By identifying current products, a salesperson gathers critical information about items that have attracted the client’s interest in the past as well as building a case for additional sales opportunities that might complement the initial deal.
Once the buyer’s situation has been assessed, the salesperson poses queries about problems that arise because of shortfalls in current products or systems. Gathering such information tends to be a delicate process; salespeople fare best when they remember to emphasize the client’s pain rather than stressing deficiencies in competing products or companies. The implications of assessing issues the customer hopes to correct and overcome, however, denote strategies the sales professional can use to decide whether the customer is actually willing to make a change by buying products or implementing new solutions. Using that information, the salesperson builds trust with the motivated client and convinces him or her to share specific needs that facilitate actual sales.
About the Author:
Zariq Siddiqui serves as a Pediatric District Sales Manager for Abbott Laboratories, Inc. He works closely with hospitals, private practices, and other health providers to educate medical professionals about products that will benefit patients. Focused on the sale of pediatric pharmaceutical and nutritional products, he also offers leadership for his company by creating sales plans and recruiting new members for the sales team.