Online Sales

Spin Selling: What It Is and How to Apply It

By Oier Gil, on 20 April 2022

Brands must innovate to increase sales and stand out from the competition. One of the most widely used methods to achieve this is called spin selling.

In this article, we'll explain exactly what the SPIN method consists of and how it can be applied to increase sales.

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What Is the SPIN Method?

The SPIN method (Situation, Problem, Implication and Need pay off) emerged in 1990 when Rank Xerox proposed asking consumers a series of key questions so that sales reps could find more sales opportunities. In other words, the SPIN method is a sales technique in which the most important thing is to listen to the customer in order to provide a solution to his or her problem.

  • Situation: questions are asked to customers based on situations in their daily lives 
  • Problem: when a problem is detected, the subsequent questions should be focused on it in order to understand it in a deeper way 
  • Implication: questions will be asked that help the seller understand how the problem affects the customer's day-to-day life
  • Need pay off: the questions asked and the conversation itself should naturally lead to the conclusion that the brand's product or service is the best option to solve the problem

The whole process itself is based on asking questions to get to know the customer better and getting them to understand how your product or service could eliminate their day-to-day problems.

 

What Is the SPIN Method For?

The SPIN method has proven to be very effective in sales since it gets information from customers about their problems, concerns, needs, and limitations. This leads to being able to present your product or service as the solution.

The most important thing is that the customer does not feel obliged to buy after seeking a consultation, so the seller must be very agile in this part.

In sales consultations, two types of customer needs can be identified: implicit needs, which are not stated and must be determined through the comments or problems that are expressed; or explicit needs, which is when everything is explained and it is very clear what product or service the customer needs. It is in the first case where the SPIN method has proven to have very good results, especially when the salesperson knows the type and order of questions to ask.

 

Advantages of the SPIN Method

  • You can understand the customer's pain point and locate the root of the problem, which leads to proposing a better solution and a much more personalized response.
  • It is much easier to make the customer see that the company's product or service is the best option to solve their problem or meet their need.
  • Because the conversation is not based on a forced script, the relationship between the customer and the brand is much more natural, which will make the consumer trust the brand more. 
  • It increases sales since it creates a need to solve the problems in an urgent manner.

In order for a company to benefit from the SPIN method, it is important that it is applied correctly since it is not a matter of simply asking questions, but of following a strategy through them. 

 

 

Disadvantages of the SPIN Method

  • It is necessary to invest a lot of time to really understand the needs of each customer
  • It is focused on selling products or services that already exist and not creating new ones based on the needs or problems presented by the customer
  • It cannot be automated

Despite these disadvantages, when properly applied, the SPIN method can bring numerous benefits to a company.

 

How to Apply the SPIN Method

 

1. Analyze the Brand in Relation to Customers

Before offering solutions to customers' problems, it is important to analyze where the brand is in relation to them. So you should find the aspects that can be improved on as a company. For example, tools that can optimize tasks to achieve an objective.

If some tasks can be optimized, that time can be dedicated to sales using the SPIN method.

 

2. Team Training

Once the problems within the company have been solved, the next step is to train the team so that they know the brand's products or services very well. The customer will be offered a solution to a problem, so sales reps must know them well to be able to determine which option is best for them.

 

3. Detect Customer Problems

The next step will be to define the questions to ask customers to discover the problem they have.

The first questions should be those that determine the user's situation. For example, if the objective is to sell sunglasses, you should first find out if they use glasses on a regular basis and what type of glasses they wear. The following questions can be focused on the problem, so you should find out if they are happy with the model they are currently using, what difficulties they encounter in their day-to-day life with the product they are using, etc. 

 

4. Get Involved and Offer a Solution to the Problem.

Once the problem has been detected, the next step is to solve it. At this point (continuing with the previous example), you can ask the customer if they feel discomfort despite wearing sunglasses. If this is the case, a possible solution can be proposed as a question. For example, asking if he/she needs glasses with different lenses.

It is important to be very clear about what the problem is, how serious it is and how quickly it can be solved. A solution must always be offered that fully meets the customer's needs.

As you can see, the SPIN method does not aim to sell for the sake of selling, since the objective is for the customer to be completely satisfied and not have the problem again.

 

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Oier Gil

Social Media and Inbound Marketing Strategist at Cyberclick