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SPIN NEEDS ANALYSIS DIALOGUE =====================================

SPIN Questioning Techniques Worksheets, Illustrations and Examples Practice and Prepare For Your Influential Dialogues!!

Dr. David Allbright

SELLING ROLE PLAY SCORESHEET Roleplay # _____ Semester/Year ____________ Classtime ________ Video # _____ Salesperson(s)____________________________________________________________________________ Buyer(s)_________________________________________________________________________________ Points 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 5 2 APPROACH Professional introduction. (Your name, title, name of co, last meeting, etc.) Enthusiasm, rapport, eye contact, handshake, sit when invited, good posture. Thank customer for meeting, ask to proceed, wait for customer to say OK. NEEDS ANALYSIS (SPIN Questioning) Appropriate SITUATION analysis (Tip: Are questions relevant to your product?) Effective PROBLEM/POSSIBILITY questions -- (Tip: Don't put words in customer's mouth!!) Effective IMPLICATION questions -- client described "surface-level" IMPLICIT needs Effective NEEDS-PAYOFF follow up -- client described "deeper" EXPLICIT needs Logical, BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS question ("If I could show you a way to...") Smooth transition into presentation. (Ask permission to proceed, wait for OK) Group # _____ Grade __________ Grade __________

PRESENTATION 8 Effective opening paragraph(s) that addresses BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS In particular, describes HOW problem(s) are solved and DISCUSSES BENEFITS that customer will receive (i.e., NOT just a discussion of FEATURES of the product or service) 4 Does not ramble too long... paused after each major benefit to do a TRIAL CLOSE. (Asked customer How does that sound to you? See how this will meet your need for. . .?) (TIP: Get customer to tell you positive stories... get little yesses... get closer to BIG YES later.) 3 After each major point, ensures customer agreement / understanding before moving on to another point. 3 Effective use of testimonials and/or relevant visual aids. Buyer could see easily. 2 Got prospect to meaningfully participate. (i.e. reading, touching, trying, pointing). 2 Good eye contact and posture, effective rate of speech, no verbal pauses / grammar. OBJECTIONS 4 Effective use of follow-up questions to clarify and better understand customer's concerns. 4 EMPATHIZED with the prospect. (I can see why you would feel that way. . .) 5 Paused after addressing EACH MAJOR OBJECTION and did a TRIAL CLOSE. (Asked customer How does that sound to you? Are we in agreement on this issue? Would that be acceptable to you?) 3 Responses to objections were appropriate, informative and helpful to the buyer. 3 Did not interrupt the prospect or argue with them. (Maintain positive attitude.) 3 Took a moment to seek customer agreement / understanding before moving on to another point. SUMMARY AND CLOSING 2 Smooth transition to formal closing... Appropriate timing... Did not feel forced. 5 SUMMARY addressed basis for doing business... (Summarize customers problems / desires... and briefly recap how product / service solves problems, meets needs and provides BENEFITS!!!.) 5 CONFIDENT ASSUMPTIVE CLOSE - Immediately after summary... Tried to close the deal now! Did NOT ask "How does that sound?" Instead, assumed customer was ready to make a commitment. For example, could say "I have brought a contract. We could get started today toward... (insert BENEFITS here)." 3 NEXT STEPS clearly communicated. (Ensure all parties have clear agreement and firm commitment regarding next steps each person is responsible to complete. Who is responsible to do what on which date?) OVERALL IMPRESSION 5 Professionalism (Enthusiastic, appropriately dressed, respectful, friendly, etc.) 5 Preparation (Appropriate presentation depth / length / coverage. PRACTICE!!!) 100 Problem/Possibility Surface Needs / Positive Outcomes Deeper Needs / Ultimate Outcomes

BASIS.... If I could show you a way to:

Obtain PERTINENT information regarding the client's current situation. Should be relevant to the product/service you are offering.

Uncover Customer Needs and Desires Establish Basis for Doing Business

Problem / Possibility
Ask questions that require the client to begin describing their problems, difficulties, dissatisfactions with their current situation. Get client to share visions for possible positive changes. ASK: "Are you satisfied with"

Envisioning Change
Clients describe IN THEIR OWN WORDS their current world. Help clients identify current problems and also envision possibilities for positive changes. DO NOT SELL PRODUCT! DO NOT OFFER SOLUTIONS YET!

Ask customer to describe the impact that the current PROBLEM is having on their company, on their department, or on them! Also, have client describe THEIR VISION of POSITIVE RESULTS of possible changes. ASK: "What effect would (insert problem or possible change here) have on your business?"

Implicit Need
Clients describe NEGATIVE results of not solving problems... and/or describe POSITIVE OUTCOMES from possible changes. DO NOT SELL PRODUCT! DO NOT OFFER SOLUTIONS YET!

Need - Payoff
Seek to build importance of each IMPLICIT NEED within the mind of the customer... Ask customer to envision DEEPER BENEFITS to be received from solving the problem or from receiving an envisioned change. ASK: "What effect would (insert IMPLICIT NEED, solved problem, or possible positive outcome here) have on you personally?"

Explicit Need
Client describes true wishes and wants Deeper desires and personal benefits... Ultimate rewards from a possible change. DO NOT SELL PRODUCT! DO NOT OFFER SOLUTIONS YET!

Your clients have stated what THEY feel is a problem, what THEY feel is important enough to change, and what positive results and benefits THEY believe would result from embarking on a path of change. Now, use the client's own words to create a BASIS QUESTION in the following format: ASK: "IF I COULD SHOW YOU A WAY TO (solve problem A or begin positive change B)
and therefore (help you obtain implicit need C) and therefore (help you obtain the explicit need D that you desire)then...


Basis for Relationship


Example: Radio Ad Salesman Questioning the Manager of a Small Insurance Company

OK: What type(s) of advertising do you currently use? Better: Do you currently use radio advertising?

Vague: Are you satisfied with your current advertising? Better: Are you satisfied with the number of people that have responded to your advertising? Are the people who have responded to your current ad the kind of people you were trying to reach? Are you happy with the look (sound) of your current ads?


What don't you like... Tell me more about... Explain how... Could you define... Help me understand how... Please clarify for me...

Our current ads only seem to bring in young clients.


What kind of clients would you like to get?


We would also like to attract older clients in a higher income bracket. Mature, high income clients.



Vague: What effect would improving ad response rates have on your business? Better: If your advertising could bring in more clients that are older with higher incomes, what effect would that have on your business?

We would have a higher status in the market. (What the heck does higher status mean?)


Tell me more about... Explain how... Could you define... Help me understand... Please clarify for me...

I mean that our company's image would match up better with the upscale image that mature buyers prefer.

Vague: How would that effect your firm? Better: What impact would having an upscale image in the minds of mature, high income clients have on your company?



More money. Better profits.

Can charge higher prices. What would these things Reduce number of claims. mean for your company? Have fewer defaults.

What effect would these outcomes have on you personally? What could you do with the extra money?


My boss would recognize my talent. We could open another branch office. I could buy a new boat.

MKTG 261: Contemporary Selling - Dr. David Allbright SPIN Questioning Dialogue -- XEROX Script 1 (Page 1 of 2) SELLING SCENARIO: Seller... XEROX salesperson selling color copiers. Features... high-quality color, 2-sided copies, 40 pages/min, 99 percent uptime, 4-hr onsite repair, easy repair request process Buyer... ADMAN Advertising Agency. Needs / benefits... quickly create presentations for customers, avoid down time, avoid aggravation and time wasted calling for repairmen, waiting for repairs, stop having to go to other locations to print copies, avoid having a frustrated boss, more time to do other things (find out what they would like to be doing instead). SELLER: SITUATION Q:) Is the color accuracy of the prints from your current copying equipment important to your operations? BUYER: A:) No, the color quality is fine... it is not an issue. SELLER: SITUATION Q:) From which companies do you currently purchase / lease color copying equipment? BUYER: A:) We currently have two units from Ricoh and one Samsung. SELLER: PROBLEM-POSSIBILITY Q:) Do you ever experience any downtime with your color copying units? BUYER: A:) I would say we experience some downtime. Perhaps a couple of times a month we have a machine quit on us. SELLER: PROBLEM-POSSIBILITY Q:) Are you satisfied with the process that you have to go through to request repairs? BUYER: A:) Well, it is kind of a pain... We have to call an 877 number, we are put on hold for a long time... usually some call center in India... then, we often have to wait a few hours for a repair person to call us back to schedule a visit. SELLER: IMPLICATION Q:) How does it impact your day when you have to make phone calls to the repair hot-line? BUYER: A:) I have to stop doing my work to make the calls. I can't leave my desk when I am on hold. I only have one line. My boss gets upset when she can't reach me. SELLER: PROBLEM-POSSIBILITY Q:) What is the average response time between first reporting the copier problem to when the repair person finally arrives? BUYER: A:) Hmm. Let me think... I would say usually next day... sometimes two days until we see the repair person in our office. SELLER: IMPLICATION Q:) What is the impact on your office when the copy machine is down for two days, waiting for a repairman to show up? BUYER: A:) It is a terrible inconvenience... When the copy machines are down, we can't make our customer presentations quickly here in the office. I have to leave the building and drive to a Kinko's. Or, I have to call a courier or a clerk to come do it.

SPIN Questioning Dialogue -- XEROX Script 1 (Page 2 of 2) SELLER: IMPLICATION Q:) What happens when your boss can't reach you because you are on hold or away from your desk? BUYER: A:) My boss tends to hover around and "micromanage" when she is anxious about the preparation of a presentation. A:) And, it is worse if she can't reach me... she often comes down here to check on things... SELLER: IMPLICATION Q:) What effect does that "hovering" have on you personally? BUYER: A:) I have to stop what I am doing to answer a bunch of questions and give status updates rather than just do my job. SELLER: NEEDS PAYOFF Q:) What could you do with your time INSTEAD of holding on a phone to request repairs, call couriers, drive to Kinko's? BUYER: A:) I could get things done faster without hassle. A:) I could feel less stressed without the boss's micromanaging. A:) And, I could get out of here quicker... perhaps I could work less overtime. SELLER: NEEDS PAYOFF Q:) What could you do with less overtime?" BUYER: A:) I could have more opportunities to play golf with my kid in the evenings. SELLER: BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS Q:) If I could show you a way to... help you avoid the aggravating process of being placed on hold and waiting for repair persons... help you avoid having to leave your desk to do outside copy errands... reduce the anxiety of your boss for not being able to reach you... give you more time to get your work done... have less overtime... and help you get more chances to leave earlier so you can play golf with junior... then, would we have a basis for doing business? BUYER: A:) Maybe... I would need to hear more details. SELLER: OBTAIN BUYER PERMISSION TO PROCEED Q:) Could you spare a few minutes to allow me explain how I can help make this happen for you?.... BUYER: A:) OK, but I have another meeting in 15 minutes. SELLER: BEGIN FORMAL SALES PRESENTATION NOW! I believe that XEROX can offer you a copier service maintenance program which will bring you IMMEDIATE BENEFITS. For example, your current problems of having to spend time dealing with color copier downtime, being placed on hold when calling for repairs, having your phone tied up, and having your boss annoyed because you are not available will be a thing of the past. You may never have to leave your office to make color copies again. Our XEROX onsite repair capabilities are the best in the business. We have a 4-hr onsite repair guarantee. Your phone call will go direct to our local dispatcher who will call our repair person for you. We will call you to keep you informed of when the repair person will arrive. Less of your time will be wasted being placed on hold and waiting for service. Your phone will not be tied up... you will not have to leave... you will be available to your boss. You will have more time to get your work done... hopefully leading to less overtime... and perhaps you will have more of a chance to play golf in the evenings with junior... HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU? ONE BIG THING STATEMENTS = Opening paragraphs must focus on "basis for doing business!" First, summarize problem to be solved. Then, briefly describe "features" (or "how" you can fix problem). Then, outline BENEFITS to be received from achieving change + describe ultimate positive outcomes!

WORKSHEET to prepare for "SPIN" Needs Analysis DIALOGUE

SALESPERSON ASKS: ...CLIENT RESPONSE Situation Question (relevant to problem/possibility - ultimately relevant toward later discussion of your value offer)

...Client Describes Relevant Situation

Problem-Possibility (Are you satisfied with...? If it were possible, what situation would you desire instead?)

...Client Describes Problem / Desire for Change / Better Situation

Implication Question (What effect would **** have on...? What could be the result of solving.... or of changing...?)

...Client's "SURFACE" desires... Implicit Needs

(NEGATIVE results from not solving problem or, POSITIVE outcomes from possible change)

Need - Payoff Question (What effect would **** have on...? How could you personally benefit from...?)

...Client's "DEEPER" desires... Explicit Needs

(Deepest anxieties from not solving problem or, ULTIMATE BENEFIT from possible change)

Basis for Relationship Question: IF I COULD SHOW YOU A WAY TO...

(solve problem ____________________________________________________________________________), and/or... work toward achieving (change __________________________________________________________), and therefore... help you obtain (implicit need ____________________________________________________________), which could... help you obtain (explicit need _______________________________________________________________________), ...THEN, WOULD WE HAVE A BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS?

Instructions for Preparing SPIN Questioning Dialogue Worksheet (Page 1 of 4)

LEARNING GOALS: ========================= Conceive and outline important portions of a shared dialog likely to occur between the sales team and a buying team. Practice "needs analysis" approaches within simulated professional selling scenarios. Apply SPIN Questioning Theory to the creation of effective customer NEEDS ANALYSIS DIALOGUES. Practice creating questions that help identify customer problems and possible solutions. Practice effective patterns of selling dialogue more likely to identify important customer concerns and clarify a customer's level of motivation for change.

EXERCISE: ========================= Design a series of relevant and focused questions that center on CUSTOMER NEEDS ANALYSIS. Also, speculate on probable answers likely to offered by the buyer(s). Focus on creating a LOGICAL FLOW throughout the entire sales dialogue! Show a clear connection from one beginning SITUATION question -- through to a particular answer -- further connected to a follow-up PROBLEM question and answer -- further connected to a particular subsequent IMPLICATION question and answer --- which then is tied to a NEEDS PAYOFF question. Later, continue the logical flow of the earlier dialogue to create a BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS question. Students are required to use the format exactly as given... "If I could show you a way to.... (see attached instructions which describe how to finish this sentence)... then, would we have a basis for doing business?" Finally, create a specific "ONE BIG THING" discussion that will provide an effective FOCUS for the start of a formal selling presentation. This exercise helps understand the importance of FOCUSING early moments of a sales dialogue upon ULTIMATE BENEFITS and DESIRED OUTCOMES that are MOST IMPORTANT TO THE PROSPECTIVE BUYER.

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Instructions for Preparing SPIN Questioning Dialogue Worksheet (Page 2 of 4)

SITUATION QUESTIONS Devise questions that get the dialogue going in a FOCUSED direction toward talking about SOMETHING YOUR SELLING GROUP MAY BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT! Ask questions that obtain relevant information that will later lead to follow-up questions focused on relevant customer Problems and/or Possibilities for positive change (i.e., problems and changes that your selling group may be able to serve).

ANSWERS Think up expected customer answers to above "situation" questions. Use follow-up questions to clarify and focus on obtaining relevant information that later contributes to a more direct discussion of a customer Problem / Desire for Change.

PROBLEM-POSSIBILITY QUESTIONS Continue the dialogue... build upon previous "situation" question / answer groupings... follow up each particular "situation" question / answer grouping with another question to help customers uncover a problem / possibility for positive change. Devise "follow up" questions that might uncover key customer problems, hopes, fears that are RELVANT to product or service you are providing. In other words, ask questions that get the customer talking about problems / hopes that your company can address. Examples Are you satisfied with (insert a possible problematic / worrisome or lacking situation here)? Would you like to see improvements in (insert a possible problematic / worrisome or lacking situation here)? Also, try to follow up / further clarify with questions such as Tell us more... what would you like to see instead?

ANSWERS Enter here... likely answers that a buyer may give in response to each problem / possibility question. (i.e., customer describes actual problems / possibilities / dissatisfactions / fears / anxieties / experiences / opportunities / desired improvements / desire for change / vision of possible future).

WAIT!! DO NOT SELL YET!!! Furthermore, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL/OUTLINE your solutions within YOUR NEXT QUESTIONS! Instead, ask follow up "IMPLICATION" questions that can help customers envision for themselves PROBABLE POSITIVE OUTCOMES that may result from fixing a problem / pursuing a possible change. The following questions are what separate HIGH PERFORMING selling approaches from less effective approaches.

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Instructions for Preparing SPIN Questioning Dialogue Worksheet (Page 3 of 4)

IMPLICATION QUESTIONS -- (Try to uncover less-intense, "surface" needs -- i.e., IMPLICIT NEED) Do not attempt to sell or offer solutions yet... Instead, build upon EACH previous "problem" question / answer grouping... Create follow up questions that help the customer envision either the IMPLICATIONS / POSITIVE RESULTS of fixing a problem or pursuing a desired change... or the NEGATIVE RESULTS of NOT fixing a problem or taking time to pursue a desired change. Examples... What would happen if.... (you had a way to fix problem A)? What effect would... (having an opportunity for positive change B)... have on your company?... on your department?

ANSWERS Likely customer answers here... If you have devised insightful and focused questions, then you can help customer to express more clearly his/her DESIRES for fixing a problem -- and ideally help them express MOTIVATIONS and REASONS for pursuing a change. Even better, the customer may begin to envision and describe POSITIVE OUTCOMES / BENEFITS that could result from taking the risk of spending time, money and reputation toward actually addressing a possible problem, dissatisfaction or vision of a better future situation. At this juncture, the dialogue focus of both the salesperson and the customer should be on determining / clarifying the LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE that the customer places on the particular problem/change that currently is under discussion. REMINDER: WAIT!! DO NOT SELL YET!!! Furthermore, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL/OUTLINE your solutions within YOUR NEXT QUESTIONS! Instead, try to go further to help the customer clearly envision how having their surface problems solved and surface needs met may result in the customer receiving even DEEPER NEEDS and OTHER POSITIVE OUTCOMES. The following questions help uncover the DEEPER MOTIVATIONS that may lead to deeper customer COMMITMENT.

NEED-PAYOFF QUESTIONS -- (Try to uncover more intense, "deeper needs" -- i.e., EXPLICIT NEED) Build upon and extend each previous "implication" question / answer grouping... Provide follow up "implication" style questions that help the customer envision even DEEPER and MORE INTENSELY DESIRED "EXPLICT" NEEDS. Examples What impact could... (addressing "Problem A" / opportunity for change B / improvements in C / positive outcome D)... have on YOUR COMPANY? Why might... (addressing "Problem A" / opportunity for change B / improvements in C / positive outcome D)... be important for YOU PERSONALLY? (These type of questions help customer envision DEEPER NEEDS and MOTIVATIONS and helps customer clearly link how previously outlined "surface" improvements, needs and outcomes would lead to deeper BENEFITS for the buyer's COMPANY or perhaps also may lead to specific PERSONAL BENEFITS to improve the buyer's own life).

ANSWERS Customer likely to express deeper, more intense, more important, or higher priority needs.

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Instructions for Preparing SPIN Questioning Dialogue Worksheet (Page 4 of 4)

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL IN YOUR QUESTION!!! -- DO NOT OFFER THE SOLUTION IN YOUR QUESTION!!! Wait until the "ONE BIG THING" section to begin to sell your actual product / service / solution to the customer. At this point, you first should merely attempt to clearly establish a BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS.... Ask about customer's LEVEL OF MOTIVATION for addressing a problem/change and obtaining selected OUTCOMES. BASIS QUESTION Using the preceding questioning format helps you focus on creating a strong, logical basis for doing business as follows: A) identify a problem to be fixed or, an opportunity for positive change to be pursued LINKED TO.... B) the "surface-level" implied benefits the customer would receive from addressing the problem, LINKED TO... C) other "deeper" explicit needs -- meaningful BENEFITS for COMPANY and/or perhaps PERSONAL benefits. Thus, the previous SPIN questioning dialogue should have helped clarify the LEVEL OF MOTIVATION a buyer may have to make a COMMITMENT toward establishing a professional relationship! Now is the time to use a specific type of question designed to test whether or not you have established a sufficient "BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS." In this class, YOU ARE REQUIRED to use the following QUESTION FORMAT in order to signal you are making a formal attempt to establish a clear "BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS": IF I (WE) COULD SHOW YOU A WAY TO (insert the problem to be fixed or the improvement/changes desired) and therefore... (insert buyer's "surface" IMPLIED need, benefits, improved situation outcome here) ...which could also... (insert "deeper" desires - EXPLICIT need here) ...THEN, WOULD WE HAVE A BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS? DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL IN YOUR QUESTION!!! -- DO NOT DESCRIBE HOW YOU WILL SOLVE PROBLEM Wait until the "ONE BIG THING" section to begin to sell your actual product / service / solution to the customer. Wait until the "ONE BIG THING" section to begin to describe HOW your product will "fix" the customer's problem.

OBTAIN BUYER PERMISSION TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING your buyer's affirmative response to the BASIS question, ask politely for permission to proceed with your formal sales presentation. Enter your example here....

ONE BIG THING = FOCUS OF ATTENTION ( Begin Sales Presentation NOW ! ) NOW IS THE TIME TO START SELLING SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS / PATHWAYS TO POSITIVE CHANGE... Create a paragraph or two that you intend to use during the start of your formal sales presentation. The opening paragraphs of the sales presentation are the most important moments of the sales presentation. Grab the buyer's attention! FOCUS your attention on what MATTERS MOST to the customer! Address the "one big thing" in the mind of buyer... in other words, focus your talk on your customer's single most important problem or desire for change. Be sure that focus of opening paragraphs match-up exactly with the previously stated "BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS." First, BRIEFLY describe HOW you will solve the customer's most important problem and how you will help them achieve desired positive outcomes! But, don't go into too much detail... give just enough to help them see your role in helping them... Strive to go beyond the FEATURES of how your product or service works... strive to QUICKLY LINK to BENEFITS that the buyer previously indicated are most important to them! Try to make every paragraph a nice "story" about how the buyer's situation will improve! Then, immediately ask a TRIAL CLOSE such as... "HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU?" Keep things simple. DO NOT talk about too many features, solutions and benefits in the opening "one big thing" section... Focus first on the one or two problems / desired benefits / ultimate outcomes that are most important for the customer. In other words, focus your opening talk on what you and customer just agreed was the "basis for doing business!" DELAY talking about other additional features and benefits until later in the sales presentation.

Example of SPIN Needs Analysis Dialogue -- XEROX Script 2 (Page 1 of 5) SELLING SCENARIO: Seller... XEROX salesperson selling color copiers. Features... high-quality color, 2-sided copies, 40 pages/min, 99 percent uptime, 4-hr onsite repair, easy repair request process Buyer... Manager of ADMAN Advertising Agency. Needs / benefits... Need to quickly create color advertising samples to present during discussions with prospective clients. Need to have highest quality consistent color in ad samples to make professional impression with possible clients. Want to avoid having advertising print samples with wrong color. Want to avoid client anxiety over poor color on printed samples leading to lost contracts. Want to increase sales and profits. Want to obtain profit sharing check. Want to purchase a boat. SELLER: SITUATION QUESTION Q:) Do you currently have any color copying equipment in your building? Note: This question is relevant toward starting a dialogue to investigate a possible need for color copying. BUYER: ANSWER A:) Yes, we currently have color copying equipment. We have a hefty demand for copying color pages here. This is a vague response with little useful information that you can reference later in the dialogue. For example, what exactly does the buyer mean by "hefty demand?" So, the seller needs to ask additional follow-up clarification questions such as: SELLER: CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS Q:) Approximately how many color copiers do you have in the building (within your company)? Q:) Approximately how many color pages does your group (your company) print per month? Notice that these two questions are more specific and relevant toward future discussion of the page volume printing capacity of XEROX copiers. They also set up a future discussion of whether ADMAN might need multiple copiers! BUYER: ANSWER A:) We have one color copier - made by Ricoh. We print approximately 5000 color pages per month. SELLER: ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION QUESTION Q:) What types of color copying projects are most important to your group? Why are they important? This question is relevant toward identifying some of the key activities and work processes within the ADMAN company where the firm might use or need color copiers. BUYER: ANSWER A:) Most of our color copies are for marketing fliers, internal charts or presentation overheads. However, I would say the most important color pages that we print are the SAMPLE ADVERTISEMENTS that we create to sell our services to our prospective clients. These color print samples must be of the highest quality in order to make the proper impression upon our clients. SELLER: PROBLEM-POSSIBILITY QUESTION Q:) Are you satisfied... with the current quality of the color output from your Ricoh equipment? Note: Again, this is an extremely vague question... the word "quality" provides little useful information... quality of what? A vague question usually leads to an equally vague answer such as the following: BUYER: ANSWER A:) Yes, the color seems OK most of the time. Oops... now, the dialogue is stuck! If everything is "OK most of the time," then why should the ADMAN managers want to make any changes?

Example of SPIN Needs Analysis Dialogue -- XEROX Script 2 (Page 2 of 5)

Change involves worry and risk... and usually requires time and money... People need a motivating reason to spend time and money and take on more worry and risk. So, we need questions that help the ADMAN management focus specifically on motivational reasons to consider a change... The seller should ask clarifying questions to identify factors ADMAN may consider to be problematic or worthy of change: SELLER: PROBLEM CLARIFICATION QUESTION Q:) Is the color output usually the correct shade and hue that you expect? BUYER: ANSWER A:) No. Every once in a while, the color calibration is somewhat off. Sometimes blues look too greenish! Great news! Now your professional selling dialogue is focused more clearly on identifying more specific information. Ideally, your SPIN questions have allowed you to identify a possible "problem" or "dissatisfaction" that may be RELEVANT to a VALUE OFFERING that you will present LATER during your formal sales presentation. In this example, if your copier has a superior way of controlling the correct shade and hue of color output, then, you are beginning to discuss and clarify customer problems and desired outcomes that your product can actually address! However, you need to RESIST starting to try to SELL your solution to the problem at this moment! (i.e., Don't say how great your copiers are yet!!) Instead, ask additional follow up "IMPLICATION" questions... and have the customer further explain his/her situation! Implication questions are important because they can help customers envision for themselves the possible NEGATIVE IMPACTS that can occur when the current situation is not addressed or corrected. Implication questions also can help customers focus on the possible BENEFITS and POSITIVE OUTCOMES that they could receive from taking a risk and spending time and money toward fixing a problem or pursuing a change.

SELLER: IMPLICATION QUESTION -- (Identify less-intense, "surface" needs -- i.e., IMPLICIT NEED) Q:) What effect does it have on your group when the color calibration is not correct? (e.g., If blues look too green?) BUYER: ANSWER A:) Usually nothing much... But, sometimes during our advertising sales presentations, prospective clients can become nervous or upset when they do not see the correct colors of their products / and corporate logos in the sample ads. Note: This is a good start... but, the dialogue is still too vague and unclear. For example, what exactly does your prospective client mean when they say their own customers may become "nervous or upset" by incorrect colors? SELLER: CLARIFY IMPLICATIONS Q:) What can happen if some of your customers notice color discrepancies in your printed advertising samples during your sales presentations? BUYER: ANSWER A:) If customers become concerned about our ability to control color details in our presentations, then, they may become nervous about allowing us to handle their advertising campaigns. Bottom line - we sometimes can lose business if bad color can be seen in our advertising campaign samples.

Example of SPIN Needs Analysis Dialogue -- XEROX Script 2 (Page 3 of 5)

Great job! Your follow-up "implication" question has encouraged your prospective client to envision some of the possible NEGATIVE IMPACTS that can result from ignoring the current "problem" of incorrect color output. However, you still need to RESIST STARTING TO SELL your solution to the problem at this moment! (i.e., Do not yet begin to describe the fantastic consistent color output of your copiers!!) Instead... Ask more "implication" questions to help your client identify DEEPER BENEFITS and DESIRED OUTCOMES that they could receive from taking a risk and spending time and money toward fixing a problem or pursuing a change.

SELLER: IMPLICATION QUESTION FOLLOW-UP Q:) Sounds like your company has lost sales in the past due to an incorrect color presentation. Can you perhaps estimate the dollar amount of advertising contracts ADMAN may have lost in the past year due to color issues? BUYER: ANSWER A:) Well, I can remember one incident very clearly. That one lost client represented a $100,000 contract. There was another occasion when bad color in a presentation became an issue. But, I don't believe that was the only reason we lost that client.

SELLER: NEED-PAYOFF QUESTION -- (Identify more intense, "deeper" needs -- i.e., EXPLICIT NEED) Q:) What happened when ADMAN lost that $100K contract due to color concerns? BUYER: ANSWER A:) When we lose prospective clients, it obviously hurts our sales figures. Lost sales usually reduces our company profits.

SELLER: NEED-PAYOFF QUESTION -- (Keep drilling deeper, identify motivating personal needs) Q:) How could that impact you personally? Note: Do not use VAGUE wording!! Tip... avoid the use of vague words like "it", "this", and "that." Be more specific! SPECIFICALLY describe the subject of your question. For example, a better wording for the preceding question would be:

SELLER: ALTERNATIVE QUESTION -- LESS VAGUE -- MORE SPECIFIC Q:) When ADMAN company sales and profits are lower, are you personally affected? BUYER: ANSWER A:) If our company loses sales then, we may lose profits... which may reduce my profit sharing check.

SELLER: NEED-PAYOFF QUESTION -- (Keep drilling deeper, identify motivating EXPLICIT NEEDS) Q:) What would you do with a bigger profit sharing check?" BUYER: ANSWER A:) I was hoping to buy a nice speed boat this year. But, if the profit sharing check is small... it will have to be a small canoe.

Example of SPIN Needs Analysis Dialogue -- XEROX Script 2 (Page 4 of 5)

Again... Be patient... DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL your product / service. WAIT to sell your solutions later during the opening paragraphs of your formal selling presentation. At this point, you should first take a moment to clearly establish whether you have a "BASIS FOR DOING BUSINESS." The following is a classic example of a "Basis for Doing Business" question that can help determine your client's level of interest and motivation toward addressing a problem and pursuing a possible change. Ideally, your "Basis" question also will quickly outline the important BENEFITS and POSITIVE OUTCOMES that your client desires. The "Basis" question provides an opportunity to "check in" with your client to discover whether your SPIN Needs Analysis questions have identified issues and benefits that are motivating enough to entice the client to grant you a few minutes to begin your formal sales presentation. Also, notice that a specific format should be used for the "Basis" question... The question should always begin with the phrase "If I could show you a way"... followed by a summary of the client's problem, a desired change, the surface benefits to be received from the change, and the most motivational desired outcomes the client might achieve... finally ending with the phrase... "then, would we have a basis for doing business?"

SELLER: BASIS QUESTION = Clarify and agree upon "Basis for Doing Business" Q:) If I could show you a way to... fix the inconsistent color quality in your color copies... reduce the number of times that customers complain about poor color during your advertising presentations... thereby avoiding lost contracts... and increasing your chances of getting that profit sharing check that could get you that big boat instead of a little canoe... then, would we have a basis for doing business? BUYER: ANSWER A:) That sounds promising... I would be willing to hear what you have to say.

SELLER: OBTAIN BUYER PERMISSION TO PROCEED Q:) Could you spare a few minutes to allow me explain how we could make this happen for you? BUYER: ANSWER A:) Sure. Go ahead.

Notice that an important advantage of using the SPIN Needs Analysis questioning approach is that the prospective client actually INVITES you to give them your sales presentation!! In particular, by incorporating the client's own words, and their own stories about their problems, desired changes and positive outcomes into the "Basis for Doing Business" question, the client is truly interested in what you have to say and is motivated to give you a few minutes to talk. And, notice that you have NOT DONE ANY SELLING YET!!! You have resisted the urge to talk about your own copier. Well, all your patience may soon be rewarded... Now is the time to begin your formal selling presentation. Your client is interested and will give your their full attention -- (IF you stay focused on the promised "BASIS" topics).

Example of SPIN Needs Analysis Dialogue -- XEROX Script 2 (Page 5 of 5)

The opening one-to-two paragraphs of your formal sales presentation need to FOCUS ENTIRELY on the key issues outlined in the "Basis for Doing Business" question! Remember, your "Basis" question summarized the primary reasons that the client is motivated to listen to you. So, BEGIN TALKING ONLY ABOUT THOSE TOPICS! -- DO NOT STRAY TO OTHER TOPICS! Be aware that a client may allow you only few minutes to talk before they interrupt you with their questions and concerns. So, your opening one-or-two paragraphs must center on the topics that are most important and motivating to your client!... ...or else, the client may lose interest and "cut you off" before you get an opportunity to present your best material. Begin by addressing the client's "biggest" problem and outline the suggested solutions and changes that you promised to talk about just a couple of minutes ago in your "Basis" question. But, do not spend too much time on the details... (you can give details later in the sales presentation). Instead, end your opening paragraphs by quickly outlining the BENEFITS and DESIRED OUTCOMES that the client would expect to receive from your suggested solutions and changes.

SELLER: BEGIN FORMAL SALES PRESENTATION -- OPENING "ONE BIG THING" STATEMENTS Earlier, you described how ADMAN experienced an occasional problem with incorrect color output from your Ricoh copier. In particular, you said that "blues often look too green" in your print advertising samples. And, you mentioned that on one occasion, the color problem was so severe that you lost a $100,000 contract. Well, we at XEROX have developed a brand new copying system that will address your color quality concerns. Our new ZX50 model has a color calibration sensor that will greatly reduce color variations. This new copier will ensure you get the correct color shades and hues you desire in your printed materials. Later... if you wish, I can explain the technical details of how the ZX50 accomplishes this impressive consistent color. But first, let me explain how the new ZX50 can BENEFIT your company and yourself. We are confident that the ZX50 will provide more consistent and correct color than your present RICOH. By achieving a more consistent color quality in ADMAN's advertising samples -- your prospective clients will always see the correct color during your advertising sales presentations. In turn, your clients will feel secure about ADMAN's ability to control complex color details in its advertising campaigns. We understand that one client's anxiety over poor color may have caused you to lose one contract worth $100,000. Well, our new ZX50 color copier can help ADMAN avoid losing other future contracts due to poor color problems. In sum, the XEROX - ZX50 will consistently provide the highest quality color in your advertising samples -- which could ensure that ADMAN always makes a professional impression on its prospective clients. A professional impression will help "close the deal," and therefore, help increase your total advertising sales and company profits. Hopefully, that would increase your chances of getting a profit sharing check that will allow you to get the bigger boat you want this year... HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU? Notice the focus is on SOLVING the client's IMPORTANT PROBLEMS... which lead to BENEFITS. It is NOT a long presentation of FEATURES. For example, the XEROX salesperson did not mention any of the following features of the ZX50 copier: 2-sided copying, 40 pages/minute, 99 percent uptime, 4-hr onsite repair, or an easy repair request process.

FINAL REVIEW OF SELLERS "ONE BIG THING" OPENING PARAGRAPHS: Seller begins by clearly and quickly providing: 1) A summary of the one "biggest" problem faced by the client. (Or, a description of the "biggest" desired change.) then, the Seller must quickly describe: 2) How your product / service SOLVES the client's problem. (Or, how your offer helps ACHIEVE a desired change.) 3) HOW THE CLIENT WILL BENEFIT when the problem is addressed and/or when the change is achieved. finally, the Seller should end the opening paragraphs with a short review of: 4) The MOST IMPORTANT and MOST MOTIVATIONAL POSITIVE OUTCOMES that the client will receive. and then, offer their first "Trial Close" of the sales presentation -- HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU?