Event Blog: Sales Workshop with Huthwaite International

Huthwaite International conducted a sales workshop delivered by David Freedman, Director of Sales. Huthwaite International specialises in a unique approach to sales and negotiation training which involves altering the behaviour of an individual or team. During the session, the focus was on how the seller could adopt and translate the SPIN® model and the Buying Cycle to become more effective at the sales process.

Any interaction with a client is an opportunity to engage in sales, and true value is realised when you connect your solution to a client’s need. When identifying the buyer’s need, asking the right questions in a structured format encourages engagement and skilful active listening allows the client to make use of more of the available airtime than most unskilled sellers usually allow them. The SPIN® model can help structure the line of questioning into four distinct categories:

  • Situation questions – for fact finding,
  • Problem questions – to identify points of dissatisfaction or difficulty,
  • Implication questions – for analysing the consequences of dissatisfaction or difficulty,
  • Need-Payoff questions – focuses the client’s attention on the solution and its benefits.

This model sits within a fundamental framework called The Buying Cycle; this analyses the psychology of complex buying behaviour. There are six points in the cycle:

  • Changes over time,
  • Recognition of Needs,
  • Evaluation of Options,
  • Resolution of Concerns,
  • Decision,
  • Implementation.

All too often, the first client interaction occurs only at the third point in the cycle, ‘Evaluation of Options’, however this is typically too late in the process as sales conversations will probably have already commenced with other firms. To be successful, it is necessary to target ‘Changes Over Time’, to effectively influence clients early on and ultimately their buying decision. Using the SPIN® model information can be gathered in a structured manner throughout all phases of the Buying Cycle. The main negotiations as to terms will of course take place during later ‘Evaluation of Options’ and ‘Resolution of Concerns’ phases, but the work you do in building value for your solution during the earlier phases will strengthen your position at that point.

These frameworks – rooted as they are in highly practical observational research of the behaviours employed by successful sellers – can be applied in numerous situations as they represent the fundamental steps to successful sales and engagement and can be built on throughout your career.

Jack Miller, Vendigital