1 Professional Selling 7 SPIN Selling S Situation Questions P Problem Questions I Implication Questions N Need-Payoff Questions 2 SPIN Selling Based on analysis of 35000 Sales Calls over 10 years Argues that traditional methods are fine for small sales but are ineffective perhaps even harmful for large sales Probing Introducing Benefits Overcoming Objections Closing 3 Four Stages of a Sales Call
Not necessarily always a sequence and the importance of each stage may vary
4 Preliminaries are warm-up events that occur before selling begins including introduction social contact etc. Investigating involves uncovering background information needs or a better understanding of your customer through questions Demonstrating Capability involves showing the customer that you have a worthwhile contribution to helping them solve their problem and can be done through presentation demonstration or simply benefit-related discussion Obtaining Commitment involves advancing the selling process toward the final decisionnot necessarily an order 5 A Focus on Investigating The more questions a salesperson asks all else equal the more successful the interaction is likely to be Open vs. Closed Probes show no real relationship with success So what makes the difference Questions in successful calls tend to follow a sequence called SPIN 6 SPIN Selling S Situation Questions data-gathering background information important but can bore or irritate buyer if overused ex Can you tell me about your companys expansion plans P Problem Question explore problems difficulties or dissatisfactions in areas where the sellers product can help (foundation) ex Are you concerned that these frequent breakdowns will harm productivity Knowing how to ask good Situation and Problem questions can be enough for small or one-time sales 7 SPIN Selling I Implication Questions Explore the consequences of a customers problem Important because they help the customer understand a problems seriousness or urgency ex If breakdowns hurt productivity what effect would it have on your expansion plans N Need-payoff Questions Put the customer in a position to tell you how your product could benefit them ex If we could reduce breakdowns by 80 percent at no additional cost how would that help you 8 SPIN Selling S Situation Questions P Problem Questions I Implication Questions N Need-payoff Questions These are the types of questions we use during the Investigating stage of the sales call. Dont necessarily follow a particular order 9 Using Situation Questions
Questions about the buyer (individually)
Whats your position Objectives
Do you make the purchasing decisions
...about the business
What is your total annual sales
Has it been growing shrinking or stable
about the current situation
What kind of equipment do you have now
How long have you had it
10 Problem Questions
Probe for problems difficulties or dissatisfactions. Invites customer to state Implied Needs
ex Are you satisfied with your current alarm system
ex Does your current alarm give off a lot of false alarms
More strongly linked to success than situation questions
Link is especially strong in small sales
Link is not strong in large sales
Problem Questions are raw material in large sales on which rest of sale will be built
11 Using Implication Questions
Assume the role of Problem Solver
Make a list of problem areas prior to call
Ask yourself what problems arise and what related difficulties this problem might lead to (write them down)
For each difficulty write down the questions that it suggests
Plan your call around these problems/implications /questions
12 Need-Payoff Questions
Focus on the value or usefulness of a proposed solution
Get the customer to tell you the benefitscreates ownership
Focus customer on solution rather than problem
Considered by customers to be positive constructive helpful
Need-Payoff questions reduce objections. Why
13 Using Need-Payoff Questions Do not ask too soon Do not ask questions you cannot answer Examples Why is that important How would that help Would it be useful if 14 ClosingThe Sales Gurus Obsession
For decades conventional wisdom among sales trainers and sales managers was that CLOSING was the most important skill in selling
Many continue to hold the view that the strongest salespeople are the strongest closers
15 What is Closing
A behavior used by the seller which implies or invites a commitment so that the buyers next statement accepts or denies the commitment. (Rackham p. 21)
Hundreds of Closing techniques have been developed over the years treated by many as some kind of magic elixir able to cast a temporary spell over the buyer.
You havent done your job if you quit without asking for the order at least five times.
16 Examples of Closes
Now if I can just verify your address
Would you like that in white or almond
Im afraid if you dont buy now Joes customer is going to get it.
This sale ends today so if we dont get this order in today
Salesperson fills in an invoice/order form prior to buyer making a decision
17 Do Closing Techniques Work
It depends but as a rule NO--not the way they are traditionally taught at least!
Closing techniques are generally perceived by buyers--especially in large sales--as insulting gimmicks
Theory Conventional wisdom relevant for small sales only since it is easier to say yes when pressured than to argue over matters relatively small
18 BP Senior Buyer
Its not the closing itself I object to its the arrogant assumption that I am stupid enough to be manipulated into buying through the use of tricks. Whenever a standard closing technique is used on me it reduces the respect between us--it destroys the professional business relationship.
By forcing the customer into a decision closing techniques speed the sales transaction
Closing techniques may increase chances of making a sale with low-priced products but reduce it with expensive products.
Because sometimes they work--that is they are rewarded.
20 So What Should We Do
Should We Ever Close Of course.
Learn to set the right objective and obtain the right commitment
21 Gaining Commitment A Plan
Give attention to Investigating and Demonstrating Capability
Check that key concerns are covered
Propose a commitment
my objective is not to close a sale but to open a relationship.
22 How Needs Develop
Satisfied with current situation its almost perfect
Become aware of minor imperfections Im a little dissatisfied
Evolve into clear problems or dissatisfactions Ive got a problem
Finally become wants desires intentions to act I need to change immediately
23 Implicit and Explicit Needs
Customer statements of problem difficulty or dissatisfaction
ex I get a lot of calls on an average day and some of my clients complain that the line is always busy.
Customer statements of wants or desires
ex We need a way to make sure that when a customer calls in they dont hear a busy signal.
24 Implicit and Explicit Needs (cont.)
Implied needs are buying signals in small sales but not in large.
In large sales the question of value dominates thinking Is this problem serious enough to justify the expense of the solution
Only when the answer is yes does it become an explicit need.
25 Buying Signals
Defined statements made by customers that indicate a readiness to buy or to move ahead.
Inexperienced salespeople often mistake implied needs for explicit needs and buying signals
The purpose of questions in the larger sale is to uncover Implied Needs and to develop them into Explicit Needs.
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