SPIN Selling Questions - Make Your Prospect Eager To Buy

This article SPIN selling review, is the fourth and final article in the four part series on Neil Rackam's book Spin Selling. In the book Neil outlines what questions to ask, and when, to move prospects all the way through the buying process. If you ask the wrong questions at the wrong stage the interaction will often stall and you will not get the sale. On the other hand if you ask the right questions at the right time, you will often find the prospect quickly becomes eagerly interested in your product and excited to buy. The final type of question to ask is all about outlining what the payoff will be if the need that has been highlighted is filled.

If you have not yet read the first article in this series on the SPIN Selling System. I would recommend you start with that article. It is titled The 4 Spin Selling Questions.


The Order Of Questions in the SPIN Selling System

1. Situation Questions

2. Problem Questions

3. Implication Questions

4. Need-Payoff Questions


SPIN Selling Summary

Spin Selling Summary

Need-Payoff Questions

Need-Payoff questions are questions in the sales process that ask ask about the value, importance or usefulness of the solutions. This step will have a large influence on how much the prospect is willing pay. If you can show that there is a very high probability of a high payout by purchasing the product or service, the prospect will be willing to pay a lot for your product or service.


Need-Payoff Question Examples:

Examples of need-payoff questions would be (I will use examples related to my customer who provides office coffee).

1. How much time could you save if you used a coffee service company that looked after your ordering for you?

2. Would it be useful to have a coffee machine that brewed a cup of coffee in 15 seconds instead of 2 minutes?

3. If you could decrease the number of missed prospect calls from sales staff waiting in line for coffee, how many additional sales do you think you could make in a year?

4. Could the single cup brewing system we are suggestion also reduce waste as no stale coffee would need to be poured down the drain?

5. Would you receive positive recognition from your management by going to a a coffee system that is environmentally friendly?

If you do have problems with your office coffee just give me a call at (519) 880-8675. One of my customers that I represent provides office coffee and does an outstanding job.


Rationale For Need-Payoff Questions:

Need-payoff questions also do three important things.

1. They stir up positive emotions because they are helpful, constructive and focus on a solution.

2. They reduce objections because they cause buyers to explain how your product or service will help, and in doing so, convince themselves of the value of your product or service.

3. They move the discussion forward towards action and commitment.


Additional Questions To Extend Value:

After asking the initial need-payoff questions it is often benefical to ask additional questions to extend the perceived value like

1. Is there any other way this would help you?

2. Besides saving costs, would the service also enhance your image?

3. What other benefits would you see coming from a solution?


Keys To Keep In Mind When Asking Need-Payoff QuestionsTo get sales training for your or your staff click here.

When asking need-payoff questions you will also want to ask question that make the buyer actively specify payoffs. The way to do this is to ask pointed questions in how the solution could benefit them. So instead of asking "would that be useful to to" ask "what would that enable you to do that you can't do now". Another way to approach this is to ask "would that be useful to to" and then follow-up that question with "what would that enable you to do that you can't do now". Why you want to do this is that when buyers tell you the specific payoffs they will receive from a solution they will be more committed to your solution, feel more ownership for the decision and feel compelled to take immediate action.

Another key is that you will want to ask need-payoff questions before describing your solution. You want to do this so that the buyer is eager to listen to your about your solution. If you have not set the groundwork for why they need your solution the prospect will lose interest. As always when asking questions you will want to stay away from sensitive areas. As with all questions these areas are touchy company politics, personal topics and recent buyer decisions.

If you can do a good job of asking need-payoff questions you will be rewarded in three ways. First, the buyers attention will be on how the solution will help, not on product details. This can be very helpful especially when your product or service does not have all the features the buyer may have initial thought they wanted. Secondly, the buyer will explain the benefits of your product to you the seller. I think anyone can see the power in this so I see no need to elaborate further and thirdly, the buyer's enthusiasm and confidence in your solution are increased tremendously. Any time you have an enthusiastic prospect it makes it almost impossible NOT to close the sale.

Spin selling is all about asking questions instead of making statements. One final tip from the book that I found incredibly useful is how to take your unique selling proposition and turn it into a set of questions so that a prospect will see the value in your service.


SPIN Selling Questions Example:

Here is an example again using Gold Roast.

Unique Selling Proposition (or strength about your product/service you want to communicate = Great customer service

Identify Question - what would be the benefits of having great service for your office coffee service?

Clarify Question - is customer service important to keep your staff happy?

Extend Question - could great customer service also mean it would save you time?


Overall Book Summary:

Overall reviewing this book was very helpful. I think the main thing I realized is that in my sales calls I make too many statements and don't ask enough questions. Going forward I am definitely going to be working to ask more questions when attempting to close a sale. If you want to get a copy of this book and read it in more detail I am sure you can get it for not much on amazon.com.


To get sales training for your or your staff click here.


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My name is . I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. Feel free to connect with me on Google+ or if you are just interested in getting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Sales Insights" button.


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I hope this article SPIN selling review was informative and useful. Thanks for reading.