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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong but rather dated classic
Originally published at the end of the Eighties, SPIN Selling details a questioning technique that prompts prospects to identify and explore the severity of business problems, and then understand how your solution would resolve their issues.

In contrast to the aggressive and combatitive approaches before it, SPIN Selling turned the sales call into a...
Published on 27 April 2006 by Edward Mclean

versus
12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated
in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...
For those few professional sales people who have yet to attend a structured sales training course I would certainly concur that SPIN selling is one of the better methodologies out there, for those of you who have been on multiple week long courses, I urge you to look at the date when this book was first published...
Published on 9 Jan 2006 by lepoisson2


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong but rather dated classic, 27 April 2006
By 
Edward Mclean (Oxford) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: SPIN-selling (Paperback)
Originally published at the end of the Eighties, SPIN Selling details a questioning technique that prompts prospects to identify and explore the severity of business problems, and then understand how your solution would resolve their issues.

In contrast to the aggressive and combatitive approaches before it, SPIN Selling turned the sales call into a constructive experience for the prospect and greatly lowered the number of objections received by sales people. It was so effective that it became widely recognised as the Grandfather of all modern sales techniques.

This book can genuinely claim to be a classic sales text, though it is fair to say that newer methodologies, based on SPIN, have been developed that augment and extend the core of the SPIN model. For example, some newer methodologies offer an end-to-end guide to selling (e.g. how to generate and manage opportunities, understanding the prospect company structure, precall planning, predicting successful close probability, etc), all of which are extremely useful, but absent in "SPIN Selling". Furthermore, the business environment has change significantly since the publication of this book and therefore, some of the techniques suggested in this title require "tweaking" in order to be useful today.

If you are already familiar with consultative/solution selling techniques, then you will find little helpful content in "SPIN Selling" (as what you have already read/been trained in, will probably have stemmed from SPIN in the first place!) If you do not currently employ a question-based, problem solving approach to selling, then this book will unquestionably up your sales. However, a title like "New Solution Selling" (by Keith M Eades) would provide you with a similar approach that is better suited to the temperament of today's buyers, plus you would benefit significantly from a more complete methodology to guide your sales activities.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique research into major sales success, 27 July 2003
By 
C. M. Perkins (Stirling, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SPIN-selling (Paperback)
What made this book unique for me, amongst dozens of other sales books in my collection, is that this is researched based - what Neil Rackham recommends has been proven to work by thousands of other salespeople.
For a psychologist, Rackham sounds like a pretty good salesperson himself, drawing on personal examples of how he has sold clients on research projects. However, the book presents the SPIN model as developed from observing thousands of sales calls in action. The results are convincing - success in major sales comes from following this model.
The SPIN techniques, which centre around a questioning model, go against a lot of coventional sales wisdom, but Rackham can demonstrate how and why his approach works. The book begins by differentiating large and small sales, which most other sales books and training programmes do not, then goes on to explain the research.
This leads to an explanation of the techniques and a great final chapter on 'Turning Theory into Practice'. In one sense, all you need to know from the research is that success largely depends on asking questions that uncover four areas: Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-payoff. But the book is worth so much more for everything else it contains.
For example, if you're in major sales, would you like to know the impact different methods of opening the call can have on the outcome? Or how about how your success rate will be affected by the number of times you ask for the order? What about how to sell benefits and overcome objections?
This all sounds like standard stuff, but the results the research came up with throw up surprising answers to all these questions. If you're in major sales and haven't read this book, there's a very good chance that you were trained in techniques that are actually HINDERING your ability to maximise your sales.
For that reason alone, buy this book and make sure you're not throwing away commission every time you make a call.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a Sales Training expert for SPIN Selling, 18 Feb 2006
This review is from: SPIN-selling (Paperback)
SPIN Selling was based on research done by Neil Rackham on thousands of salespeople in several countries over an extensive period of time. The results of the research provided an insight into how the best salespeople operate. Like the discovery of NLP in the 1970's then SPIN techniques were already being used in the field, they just hadn't been broken down and named so they weren't being taught as such.

Even before SPIN most salespeople knew that they ought to ask questions and listen more ("Two ears, one mouth"!) but many perhaps did not know where to go with their questions to get the most effective results. Rackham for example explains how after speaking with many decision makers he discovered that simple Situation based questions can turn a decision maker off as they feel that they are educating the salesperson. Previously most salespeople may well have believed that these were building rapport!

In the SPIN methodology Rackham outlines how the salesperson should progress from Situation questions to Problem questions to Implication questions to Needs questions. This method is well explained and easily executable by someone with reasonable intelligence and a commitment to practising the techniques. The material will need tailoring for the individual and the industry however this would be expected with any methodology aimed at salespeople in general. Purchasing the SPIN Selling Fieldbook at the same time is worthwhile and will certainly help you to do this as it gets you to create your own questions and is full of tests and checks to ensure that you really have understoood the concepts and can apply them.

SPIN Selling is in my opinion a MUST READ for salespeople as the vast majority of sales systems in the marketplace today span off from SPIN (despite what some of them might say!). If you haven't got your own copy of SPIN then you should get one and read it.

Footnote: Some peoople deride SPIN saying that it is now outdated and has been improved upon. I disagree. True there are other options out there including my own "Ingham Sales System" and these systems are all slightly different with different structuring and key points however... I would still recommend all salespeople to read SPIN. If there were "must-read" texts for salespeople this book would still be in my top 10.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for those interested in larger sales, 19 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Spin Selling (Audio CD)
This work is just simply fantastic. The research that has been done by Huthwaite is second to none. If you are interested in larger sales this work explains a great deal and also helps put structure and reason behind the process for winning large scale sales. A fantastic work that has changed the way I approach selling. Highly recommended
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you a sales over-achiever??, 10 Jan 2002
By 
M. W. Fuller (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spin Selling (Audio CD)
I have attended numerous sales courses and read every book under the sun covering basic sales skills to more complex sales strategy. Rackham and co are the first, in my opinion, to approach the topic from the psychology of the buyer and not primarily the seller. What "pain" does the exec feel, not what product or features should I sell. I moved from selling basic individual life insurance products in SA to major IT solutions all over Europe, Middle East and Africa within 18months. Regardless of what you are selling, where and to whom - this book keeps you focused on what is important i.e. the business drivers of the individual/s and not the organisation alone.
If you are not an over-achiever YET, then buy this book. Simple!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Salesperson view of SPIN selling books., 2 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Spin Selling (Audio CD)
If you are in B2B selling of any description then this book will help. It is based on research and facts rather than adages and stories. The book explains how correct questioning can help you understand where you are in a sales cycle and how to drill down and define those elusive customer requirements. Once you have read the SPIN selling book I would also recommend the SPIN Selling Field Book - the follow up exercises in it will consolidate what you have read. Like all worthwhile achievements it takes a little practice so the exercises help you refine before you introduce this style with your real prospects/customers. Easy reading, interesting and useful. I also believes it complements the Strategic Selling and Conceptual Selling best sellers that encourage professional selling. Take the time to read these books!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystifies the black art of big ticket selling., 21 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: SPIN-selling (Paperback)
SPIN Selling is THE text that any serious salesman needs to have. You can forget all of those boring courses that your company sends you on each year and self-learn instead. The book is different in that it takes you from first principles and immediately challenges them! In attempting to understand what makes you sell successfully Neil Rackham and his Huthwaite Research team have given us a clear insight into the challenges that they faced in trying to understand this subject. The book progressively takes us through the theory and then gives insight on how to overcome the practical challenges of applying it. Once you have read the book you will realise that some people are BORN great salesman, but with practice we mere mortals can start making some serious sales !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't close sales- You'll open relationships !, 4 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Spin Selling (Hardcover)
Iv'e studied plenty of sales books, my favourites being Tom Hopkins and Zig Zigler. There is no better book for success in the larger sale than Spin Selling. All credit to Neil Rackham and his team, years of exhaustive research have resulted in a PROVEN technique that is the best way to help your customers make decisions that are good for them. These customers will want to talk to you again and again as it will be good business sense. He has proved closes can be damaging in the larger sale and if you want to succeed in sales and make life easier, treat yourself to this book. My favourite quote in the book is from a conversation with a collegue who shared his views on closes- "Iv'e never been a believer in closing, my objective is not to close a sale but to open a relationship!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Text for Anyone involved in High-Value, Long Sales-Cycle Selling, 5 May 2008
By 
R. Streeter (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spin Selling (Hardcover)
Dating from the 1980s, Rackham's book can be considered as a classic for anyone involved in high-end, sophisticated deals that require long sales-cycles. It is dated, and I'm sure that there more current variants out there, but is still very applicable to today and serves as a good refresher of some of the core skills needed in major account selling.

Rackham spent a substantial ammount of time carrying out research, identifying what made a difference to the outcome of the sales process and what failed or made no difference. The book is full of examples.

He identifies as crucial the need for both Implication Questions, identifying the consequences of problems to increase the value perception of the vendor by the customer, and Need-Payoff Questions, focussing on the value of a solution to those problems.

Getting the customer to move from implicit to explicit needs is also well brought out in the book, again with the impact being shown through detailed research. Through explicit needs can the saleperson go on to demonstrate how their product can benefit the customer... and make the customer see that value.

This a a book for the key account salesperson involved in complex deals with sophisticated customers and one that I highly recommend. It is an easy, and fairly quick, read and can be pulled off the shelf and dipped into every now and then as a refresher.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone in sales or sales management, 13 Jun 2001
This review is from: SPIN-selling (Paperback)
As a sales trainer myself, if you are only going to read one book read this one. Based on solid scientific evidence Rackham dismisses many of the myths and legends of selling. If you have not read this book you might behave more like the stereotypical, "I" cantered, pushy and obnoxious salesperson, than you thought!
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SPIN-selling
SPIN-selling by Neil Rackham (Paperback - 23 Nov 1995)
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