SPIN Selling for the Personal Brander

spin.jpgBeing in a sales role throughout my career, I see sales guys everywhere I go.  I not only see them, but I feel them.  I see their tactics, their thought processes, and can easily deconstruct their motives.  It’s a somewhat strange talent.  Life for me changed after I took a sales training course at my time at DELL.  I joined Gold’s Gym shortly after and met this “personal trainer” using the same tactics I learned during training.  Learning sales tactics really helps you understand your true needs and desires vs. what someone who is just trying to sell you and overcome your objections. 

The other night I went to see Bee Movie with Jerry Seinfeld.  I ordered a large popcorn and a Diet Coke, but before I could pay, the guy behind the counter said, “Our popcorn is great, but it’s really salty.  If you get thirsty like me, you might want to get an extra-large soda as its only 25 cents more.”  Indeed I did.  I was amazed at how easily he convinced me.  If he had only said, “you can up-size it for a quarter”, I would probably have declined. 

This guy naturally used what Sales professionals call SPIN Selling.  

A lot of people view SPIN Selling as a more effective, helpful, and less cheesy way of selling a service or product.  Instead of “overcoming objections”, the SPIN Seller asks questions and tries to figure out the customers’ true problems, needs, and motivations. 

SPIN stands for: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need Payoff.  While the ideology was mostly designed for large sales cycles, it truly makes sense in every situation where you’re trying to effectively communicate, solve a problem, or sell an idea.  In more complex situations, SPIN works by drilling down and asking a lot of questions.  Applied to Personal Branding, you’ll be able to make clear, decisive points when communicating.  You’ll be able to offer more effective and helpful solutions to situations by solving them in this logical set of steps. 


Situation:  The situation piece of SPIN relies on finding out the true facts of an interaction.  It relies on finding out the customers’ goals and constraints in order for you as the influencer, to make a more informed suggestion. 

Problem:  The problem section of SPIN is used to find out what the person’s pains are.  When you’ve identified the main sources of pain and can understand the context or situation, you’re in a position to offer a true solution. 

Implication:  Implication is where you and the customer discuss what the costs associated with those problems are.  Questions asked typically are:  What would happen if these problems aren’t solved?  What happens if they are? 

Need Payoff:  This is where you offer your solution or services.  You position your advice based on the person’s unique situation which you are prepared to solve. 


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5 thoughts on “SPIN Selling for the Personal Brander

  1. A much more fun way to find out what a customer wants and try and fulfill it rather than trying to hit a quota….

    I read somewhere (should have kept it) where a banking person increased their sales by over 25% in one year by deciding to listen to what the client was trying to do and then suggesting products that fit rather than just talking products.

    Yup. Good way of building a relationship as well.


  2. Thanks for clearly explaining SPIN. As a small business owner, I to sell my services in order to get business. I’m a home stager, not a salesperson, but if I don’t sell, my business with die. Your tips are really helpful and I will start applying them immediately when I meet clients for the first time and on my web site. Cheers!


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