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How to Ask Effective Sales Questions

The key to B2B selling is asking customers effective questions that uncover needs your offering addresses. The most popular methodology for this is Neil Rackham's rightly famous SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Needs Payoff) concept. The following video (from Ian Gilbert of the sales training firm ThirdCore) briefly explains SPIN, but then adds a secret technique that can make your questions far more effective.


  • Many sales professional jump to their solutions too quickly during the initial meetings.
  • Huthwaite's SPIN selling model is correct, but can encourage premature pitching.
  • Instead, focus on the effect and impact that the problem is having on the organization.
  • Failure to do so means not know whether the problem is a priority compared to other problems.
  • Example: the problem is "reduce costs" but the real reason is a need to invest elsewhere.
  • The Secret: Hold back before pitching until you've figured out the real buying motivator.
READERS: Are you using the SPIN technique? How is it working for you?
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