It's one thing to know the SPIN Selling model and what the SPIN acronym stands for it's another thing to actually formulate the questions and use the model.
Here's How to use SPIN Questions
You use a Situation Question to gather background and facts about where the buyer is at.
You do this to get the lay of the land so that you can set the stage to uncover the buyer’s problems.
It’s important to remember that everyone is busy these days and the last thing they need is for you (as a salesperson) to be wasting their time with unnecessary questions.
So, firstly, do your research before the call.
The internet is a great source of information about the company you are calling on.
Secondly, you need to focus on the key information that you need.
I was taught to use targeted questions.
Let me give you an example of targeted questioning.
Let’s look at an example of a real estate sales person and see the difference between targeted and un-targeted questions.
I have seen a real estate sales person ask questions like the following:
“Do you have a deposit?
How much does each of you earn a month?
What other loan commitments do you have to pay?
What are your average monthly expenses apart from the loans we just mentioned?”
Now, from the perspective of the real estate sales person what does he want to know?
He wants to know how much these people can afford to pay on a mortgage, right?
Well, he should ask that question and not all the others.
A targeted question would be:
“How much can you afford in monthly repayments on a house?”
The way you formulate targeted questions when you are planning is to look at each question you are going to ask and just ask yourself the question,
“What do I really want to know when I ask this question?”
and then examine whether the answer to this question gives you the information you want.
Examples of SPIN Situation Questions:
Sometimes you can just recap what you’ve found so far in your research and ask …Did I get that right?
Could you tell me about your company’s goals in the next 18th months?
The purpose of Problem Questions is to Reveal a buyer’s Implied Needs and clarify their difficulties or dissatisfactions. And at the same time gain a shared understanding of the problems.
Problem questions provide the raw materials you need to be able to build the rest of the sale.
Remember to uncover several problems before you start asking Implication Questions.
Do this in case one of the problems turns out to be a dead-end.
Is it hard to recruit skilled people
How difficult is it to process orders with your present system?
Have you ever looked into fixing this problem?
If yes, get the full scope of the problem, their attempted solution, and their budget, then skip to Need/payoff
It's also important to vary the sort of problem questions you ask.
Remember: Where, When, Who, How often and What happens if?
You can even ask about difficulties indirectly:
Implication questions ask about consequences of the problems.
And help you raise the seriousness of an issue to motivate the prospect to take action
They help transform problems into Explicit Needs
What could you accomplish with an extra 4 hours every week?
Would your customers be more loyal if you didn’t experience occasional delivery problems?
So, if you already know the implications of a problem, go ahead and state an implication.
Then, pass it back to them with an open-ended question that lets them add more feedback like:
A Needs-Payoff question asks about the value of a solution.
And value drives sales.
Be careful -- Need-Payoff questions can backfire.
If they’re too obvious, you might come across as condescending.
Try to reframe the solution in a way the buyer hasn’t previously considered.
For example, rather than asking,
Examples of SPIN Needs-Payoff Questions:
If you could easily see the variation in your monthly production costs, how would that help you reschedule for better cost efficiency ?
“How do you feel a more organised system would help you?”
The SPIN Selling Model is a very useful one and like any model it requires practice and planning to implement it well.
Use these questions and comments to help you plan your questions.
Practice them and then use them with your prospects.