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What Is SPIN Selling - Methods And Techniques To Apply

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Hello! In this article, we will talk about SPIN selling.

Today you will learn:

  • What is the SPIN selling method;
  • How to work with SPIN sales;
  • Who is SPIN selling suitable for?

The concept of β€œSPIN sales”

Anyone who is in any way connected with sales is familiar with the process of selling a product.

It consists of five stages:

  • Search for a potential buyer, his attraction ;
  • Determining the needs of a potential consumer ;
  • Product demonstration;
  • Answers to customer objections and questions;
  • Making a purchase. This is a well-known technique, this is how most companies work. But it happens that a product appears on the market before there is a need for it.

Also, the process presented above is not suitable for products that are not related to mass consumption and daily demand. The need for such products is formed only after the needs of the first order have been satisfied.

Recall Maslow's pyramid, it perfectly displays those groups of goods, the need for which needs to be formed additionally.

According to this model, the satisfaction of needs occurs in stages in the following order:

  • Physical needs - food, water and everything without which a person cannot continue his life. They are satisfied first;
  • The need for security and protection is everything that makes a person's life safer;
  • The need to belong to a social group . Products that satisfy this need include all branded products. For example, the iPhone of the latest brand automatically classifies its user as a group of wealthy people who adhere to the latest trends;
  • The need for respect and recognition . This also includes a variety of brands, as well as all those products that are presented at the time of consumption to the public. For example, the Parker pen immediately gives its user a certain status in the eyes of others;
  • The need for self-expression . Products that satisfy this category of needs include everything that allows a person to stand out, to reveal the potential of the individual. These are a variety of goods for creativity, extraordinary accessories, clothes, interior design items and much more.

As a rule, the needs of the first three levels are formed in sufficient volume. Therefore, if you sell products that meet these needs, then it is enough for you to train your managers in the classic sales process.

But in the case of the sale of goods of the last two levels, you will have to resort to the use of SPIN sales.

SPIN selling is a term that first appeared in a book by Neil Rackham.

SPIN-selling is a technology for the sale of goods that involves the formation of needs, and not their identification.

SPIN Selling Methodology

Let's imagine that we opened our own store of unusual things. And it has stale goods that need to be sold in a short time. Let this product be a ring that changes color depending on the mood of its owner.

According to Maslow's pyramid, this product will satisfy a need of the fifth order, which means that a sufficient number of buyers are unlikely to come to us. So we need to create a need.

Let's consider two cases.

First case . A potential consumer comes to us. The manager approaches him and begins his presentation with the following phrase: "... You need this ring because....". What will he face? That's right, with the objections of the client, which the seller will not be able to suppress, because the visitor does not need this product.

Second case . The same visitor comes to us. The manager welcomes the visitor and asks him a series of questions that to some extent characterize the product (we will talk about them a little later).

After that, the client says the phrase: β€œYou know, I would buy my girlfriend something that would determine her mood. At least I'll know when she's out of sorts." Thus, the manager practically turned the ring into a product that satisfies the need for security. Joke, of course. But the seller really formed the need.

Thus, the technique of SPIN sales is to form the consumer's conviction that he needs this or that product. At the same time, the need itself should be voiced by the consumer, not the manager.

The task of the manager is to make the consumer realize that he has a certain need and it urgently needs to be satisfied.

Where can you use SPIN Selling?

We have already indicated that SPIN sales are suitable for products that satisfy the last two levels of needs in Maslow's pyramid, as well as for products that are market new.

But it is worth noting the fact that SPIN-selling is a rather expensive technique: staff training requires a lot of money and time. Therefore, its use is advisable when making large transactions or when selling expensive goods.

Thus, SPIN sales are suitable for:

  • Realization of goods by wholesale lots;
  • Realization of expensive goods;
  • In the event that you have a good salesperson in your team who does not need to be trained in the specifics of SPIN sales for a long time.

In fact, SPIN selling can be used in all markets and even in personal matters. For example, if you have an argument with your girlfriend about your fishing trip, just ask her a few questions that will lead her to the right decision for you and eliminate all objections.

The only obstacle to the use of SPIN sales is the difficulty of mastering the technique.

Types of SPIN Sales Questions

So we come to the most difficult stage of SPIN sales - drafting questions. They are the ones who create the need.

Questions should be formulated in such a way that they indicate the reason why the consumer needs this or that product. The consumer, in turn, in each of his answers himself recognizes his need for your product.

The need is formed using four types of questions. Each question is a stage in the formation of a need, so the manager must learn each of them.

Let's formulate a practical guide to writing questions for SPIN sales:

  • Situational questions - are needed in order to assess the situation, get to know the consumer, determine his interests. The purpose of this type of questions is to determine the preferences of the client, the purpose of the purchase. At the same time, the client must tell you about all this himself, that is, he must at this stage recognize his interest in your product.

Example. β€œDo you use a printer?”, β€œDo you often run out of cartridges in your printer?”, β€œHow many printers do you have in your office?”.

  • Problem Questions – Get the customer to recognize a problem that your product can solve. The customer should name the problem, not the manager.

Example. β€œDoes it happen that you do not have time to replace the cartridge on time?”, β€œAre you satisfied with the price of cartridges?”, β€œWho buys cartridges in your organization?”.

  • Extracting questions - we develop the problem. With this type of question, we should develop the problem, explain what can happen if the problem is not fixed. The client must understand that by solving it, he will receive a certain benefit. At the same time, the manager should not say that the product will solve the problem of the consumer. The consumer must say it himself.

Example. β€œIf you had cartridges delivered directly to the office, would you not have to interrupt your assistant from work?”.

  • Guiding questions are the final stage of SPIN sales. They should help the manager complete the deal. At this stage, the consumer should talk about all the benefits that he will receive from your product.

Example. β€œWould it be beneficial for you to deliver the cartridge directly to the office?”, β€œWhat exactly did you like the most?”.

The order of the questions must not be broken, and it is also impossible to skip any type of questions. The name of the technique we are studying will allow you not to get confused in the order of the questions.

SPIN is an acronym for:

S - situational, P - problematic, I - extracting, N - guiding questions.

Disadvantages of the SPIN Selling Technique

As we have already said, the main disadvantage of SPIN sales is the high cost of staff training. Not everyone is able to master the SPIN selling technique, so you will have to spend not only money, but also time.

Another specific feature of SPIN sales in Russia is the unwillingness of consumers to answer questions and conduct lengthy dialogues.

Spin sales are not always suitable for retail sales. When a product has an already good sales performance, it is better not to resort to SPIN sales.

In Russia, the SPIN sales technique is implemented by a very small number of companies, so it is very difficult to find managers who own this technology.

If you are still interested in the SPIN selling technique, then we advise you to read the book by its founder, Neil Rackham, Spin Selling.

Also useful to read will be Tom Snyder's book "To hell with the price!".

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