09 Mar Understanding your customers current issues is the key to business wins…
Understanding is key to business wins. All businesses rely on repeat and future sales for growth and survival. During difficult and nervous trading times even our most experienced team members may lose confidence when it comes to their sales conversations with prospective customers.
Using a proven framework of questions like the SPIN questioning framework can bypass this uncertainty and give confidence to you and your team.
Using this framework of 4 types of question will help you prepare for sales meetings and give you the confidence to ask the right questions and move forward on your business wins.
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 really ensure you understand your customer’s issues.
The first and perhaps easiest questions to ask are the Situation Questions. These are information-gathering questions.
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, your customer may have expected you to have done some research in advance and asking too many of them 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.
Situation and Problem questions build a foundation for you to move on to the next questions in the SPIN framework, so it is vital you get them right and create business wins.