When your sales need a boost, SPIN selling questions will put you on the path to success.

You know a relationship is the key to successful sales. You also know your job is to solve problems for your customers. That’s why they buy from you. The hard part is figuring out how to build those relationships quickly. This is why SPIN selling questions are so effective.

Maybe you’ve heard of SPIN selling. Questions based on SPIN are designed to help you get to know your customer, their needs, and build a relationship with them. Better yet, the SPIN outline ultimately gets your prospective customer to sell to themselves, in a manner of speaking.

That may sound a bit tricky, but with practice, these techniques become more natural. You’ll find they get to the heart of what good salesmanship is about – fulfilling your customers’ needs.

What are the SPIN selling questions?

There are four categories of questions in SPIN selling:

  • Situation questions
  • Problem questions
  • Implication questions
  • Need-Payoff questions

Situation questions

As the name implies, situation questions help you understand the situation or problem your customer is facing. Here are some examples of questions for an insurance agent:

  • What insurance company do you use now?
  • Have you been with them for a while?

These questions are the get-to-know-you stage of a conversation. Keep it natural and pay attention to both what your customer says and doesn’t say. There is a lot of information in what isn’t said sometimes. Situation questions probe the territory for facts, but more than that, they can get your client thinking about the second of the SPIN selling questions.


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Problem questions

Problem questions get to the heart of the sale without mentioning your product or service. These questions provide you with the exact pain point your client is facing. Here are two examples:

  • Do you feel as if you pay too much for your current insurance?
  • Have you ever had difficulty filing a claim?

Your job as a salesperson is to solve problems for your client or customer. That job is a whole lot easier when you can elicit the problem directly from the source.

Implication questions

You’ve teased out the problem. Your customer is aware of the problem, but what does it mean to them? Your job here is to turn the problem into something that needs attention. Try these two questions:

  • Could you pay down another bill if your insurance rates weren’t so high?
  • Would a simpler claims process help you worry less about taking care of your car?

The implication question may be hypothetical (such as the first question) or factual (like the second question). The key is to bring the problem into hyper-focus and make it clear how much it can impact other areas of the customer’s life.

Need-payoff questions

The need-payoff questions work to resolve the problem. Like the first three SPIN selling questions, the need-payoff questions allow the customer to describe their solution. The salesperson is simply a facilitator. Here are two options for you:

  • What would it mean to you if your insurance bill was 10% lower?
  • How could you benefit if your insurance company handled your claim with just one phone call?

The need-payoff is your opportunity to share with them how your product or service can meet their needs and make their life better.

How to use spin selling questions

Spin selling questions turn into a natural part of your dialogue once you know the premise. The idea is to get your customer to do most of the talking, but it’s still a conversation. Stay flexible and don’t push questions at the expense of the conversational flow.

Remember, selling is about asking questions and leading your customer to the solution. The sale isn’t about your product or service; it’s about solving problems.


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Want to develop your sales skills with less work? Simplify your sales process now. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software and turn prospects into customers in no time!


Do you have experience with SPIN selling questions? What tips would you add to this? Share with our readers in the comments!