As AN pediatric district sales manager for the Chicago-based healthcare company, Abbott Laboratories Inc., Zariq Siddiqui is trained in a variety of sales methods, including the classic SPIN selling technique. The strategy, researched and developed by Neil Rackham in his 1988 book, SPIN Selling, helps sellers to build rapport with buyers through four strategic types of questions.
1. Situation Questions: “Is your cell phone mainly for business or personal use?”
The SPIN system is based on the idea that it is more effective to delay mentioning the product for sale until as late in the pitch as possible. In addition to getting a conversation going, these introductory situation questions elicit facts from the buyer in order to help the seller understand the background experience and context.
2. Problem Questions: “Do you experience more than one dropped or disconnected call each day?”
These questions are designed to help buyers realize their need for the available product by establishing the difficulties they experience.
3. Implication Questions: “Do these dropped calls ever lead to issues with your clients and business contacts?”
These questions examine and expand the consequences of the identified problem, helping to increase the buyer’s receptivity to accepting the product as a potential solution.
4. Need-Payoff Questions: “How many more clients could you effectively connect with each day if your cell phone provider could guarantee service without dropped calls?”
These constructive, solution-focused questions encourage buyers to explain for themselves the benefits of a product, convincing them of its value. The conversation can then shift to action and commitment.