Book Review: SPIN Selling

In the last decade, SPIN Selling has become one of the most prominent sales methodologies. Primarily, the methodology is developed by the Huthwaite Research company under the direction of and based on the research of psychologist, Neil Rackham.

From the outset the research has metered itself by requiring strict empirical evidence to prove or disprove theories as they are examined in real life situations.  This is a scientific view of sales behaviors from a group of scientists. There are no subjective opinions here, only hard facts and figures are used to back up statements and views.  Sample groups are often wide, diverse and for the most-part large enough to provide a credible read on the activity or behaviour being measured.

The 30,000ft view of the SPIN selling approach takes us through four defined stages during a single sales cycle. It suggests that the use of effective questioning can help us understand the prospects situation, identify problems they need to address, the impacts of the problems and the result of finally resolving them. This journey from introduction, through discovery to solution presentation and closing is dissected in much detail.

Alongside the scientific stats, there are also a wealth of case studies and anecdotes related to the challenges and trials experienced as the research progressed.  In addition, there are a number of common myths examined and dispelled around the whole sales process, from first impressions to closing techniques, there are some real eye-openers.

Although I’m sure in-depth results and transcripts could be found, a great strength in the book is it’s ability to summarize findings for us in a concise and understandable manner. The whole system is described in around 200 pages, I would suggest anyone working in sales would benefit immensely from investing a couple of days worth of reading the text.

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