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Better understand your customer’s current issues with a proven framework

All businesses rely on repeat and future sales for growth and survival.  During difficult and unsettled trading times, even our most experienced team members may lose confidence when it comes to their sales conversations with prospective customers.

Using a proven structure such as the SPIN questioning framework can minimise this uncertainty and boost the confidence of you and your team.

This framework of 4 types of question will help you prepare for sales meetings and give you the confidence to ask the right questions.

The SPIN framework questions are as follows:

  • Situation questions
  • Problem questions
  • Implication questions
  • Needs/Payoff questions

These questions need to be asked in sequence to ensure that you truly understand your customer’s issues.

The first, and perhaps easiest, questions to ask are the Situation Questions. These are for information gathering.

Situation Questions uncover the facts and insights into your customer’s current situation. Good examples are:

‘Which tools do you currently use?’ and ‘How often are you training your team?’

NB. Beware of asking too many situational questions, as your customer may have expected you to have done some research in advance; asking too many may lead to impatience.

Once you have established your customer’s current situation, you can begin to ask Problem Questions to uncover your customer’s current problems, issues, difficulties and dissatisfactions.

Good examples are:

‘Does this process ever fail?’ and ‘When and where do bottlenecks happen?’

These questions aim to identify the pain the customer is currently experiencing (sad questions). Sometimes these questions can be awkward to ask as customers are often reluctant to admit they are struggling – however, they are directly linked to sales success.

The responses you get from Situation and Problem questions build a foundation that leads you to the next questions in the SPIN framework, so it is vital you get them right.

Click here for more information on the SPIN framework and the importance of Situation and Problem questions to your sales success.

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