SPIN technique is a sequence of questions not predefined questions to be quoted verbatim, but types of questions to be asked in a particular order. During a sales call, a salesperson opens with situation questions, progresses to problem questions, and so on. Each type of question fulfills a crucial function in the sales process, all building towards the need-payoff questions, which close the deal.
Types of Questions:
Situation questions help reps learn more about each prospect’s current state. They’re asked during the opening stage of a sale.
Problem questions probe prospects’ frustrations and pain points. These types of questions are asked during the investigating stage.
Implication questions give prospects a chance to voice their frustrations with the problems they mentioned in the previous stage. These questions are asked when sales agents are ready to demonstrate the value of their product or service and how it can solve those problems.
Need-payoff questions ask buyers how important or urgent it is for them to solve their problem and what the benefits would be. This is a closing tactic used in the final phase of the sale.
Reps should use the opening to build rapport and trust. This can be done through casual conversation asking questions like “What did you do this weekend?” and “How’s the weather?” and then seamlessly transitioning into situation questions. A strong opening should give the buyer breathing room to get to know you and your business without reps immediately jumping into a hard sell.
Once you have a general idea of their situation, transition into the investigation phase. Use this time to probe deeper into their business to understand challenges and opportunities. As always, avoid jumping to conclusions or making assumptions instead, guide the buyer self-diagnose their own problems.
Next, it’s time to introduce your product. Rackham explains that there are three ways to do this: Speaking to either features, advantages, and benefits.
- Features are what your product can do. For example, a feature of a car is its horsepower.
- Advantages are how your product is used in this case, the advantage of using a car over walking is speed and comfort.
- Benefits are the outcomes you receive because of the stated features and advantages. For our car example, a dealership might say, “Because of the horsepower of this car, you can reach your destination faster while still enjoying a comfortable ride.”
Finally, it’s time to obtain commitment. Here, ask for a specific next step such as another call with additional stakeholders, a proof of concept, or something else. Remember that your buyer may balk at saying yes to whatever you ask them for so be prepared to handle objections or follow up as necessary.