Spin Selling – Neil Rackham


Spin Selling

I never stopped to think about how important learning selling was until I studied a few entrepreneurial books emphasizing the importance of incorporating selling and marketing with a bit of effective management. Recognizing the importance, I set out to read Spin Selling. The book was a 12 year study and over one million dollars in research to study the effects of what makes a top seller vs. average good.

Someone totally new to the idea of what selling was and the importances of it, here were some top key concepts taken away:

1. 4 Stages

There are 4 main stages of selling: Preliminaries – Investigating – Demonstrating Capability – Obtaining Commitment. The importance is placed on the investigating stage of finding something out from the customer that will allow you to sell more efficiently by uncovering what their needs are.
Reading about this stage couldn’t help me but think how getting good at this stage could also improve your relationships in this dating area.


Selling comes down to recognizing your role as a problem solver. With the use of questions being a more powerful from of persuading then any other verbal behavior, sales employ asking the right questions at the right time. It puts the seller in the position of allowing you to answer the questions of what can I solve for this customer?

SPIN is set of questions you ask in the Investigating stage:
Situational Questions
Problem Questions
Implication Questions
Need-Payoff Questions

3. Size Does Matter

There’s a huge difference in approaches between smaller sales and large sales. Small sales employ a healthy use of pressure to enforce a positive expectancy in their favor. Large sales were defined more as entering a relationship where careful planning is required. Taking time before going in and planning the right questions was recommended.
Smaller sales = Smaller Needs using Situational and Problems questions
Larger Sales = Bigger Needs using Implication and Need-Payoff questions.

4. Value Anyone?

Finding the need-building value before, offering a solution; Uncover, Understand and Develop needs. What problems is your customer suffering from? How is it affecting their performance? By starting off with a basic need, being able to turn that need into a want, is the basis of successful business. Without solving a problem, there’s no business to be had.

Needs + Value = Solution.

5. The Customer is Your Salesman

Allow the customer to feel positive about the purchase by having them focus on the solution and having them explain the benefits of your services to you. Having the customer’s attention shift from the problems that were uncovered through investigating, to a solution and action they can take makes your solution more acceptable. A lot of the selling in larger purchases usually goes on while you’re not there.

Selling is an amazing science that I always thought was for the typical “sleazy used-car salesman.” I see it’s such a unique and valuable skill to have and it’s honestly cheating yourself if you at least not even aware of what it is and how effective it could be if used in a productive manner. There will definitely be more selling books that I read dealing with selling after this one, even though this one probably summarizes it all up the best.

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