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SPIN Selling
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Customer Reviews:

  • More relevant than ever
    SPIN Selling was first written in 1988. I first read it this year. It is as relevant today as the day it was written. You would think that by now every salesperson out there would know that SPIN works, but apparently there are a lot of people in sales who aren't interested in improving their skills.

    I've practiced the principles, and they work. I, like many sales people, are very used to giving information. A typical sales call often involves giving details about your product or service until your prospect's eyes glaze over (not your intent, of course). What SPIN is really about is creating interest. Its about using questions to softly lead the prospect to a conclusion using their own thought process, rather than just telling them.

    What surprises me it that it is so difficult. Don't be one of those salespeople who reads every sales book out there but doesn't practice any of the ideas! I guarantee if you practice these questioning techniques, you will improve your sales....more info
  • Everyone in B2B sales should read it!
    I have read quite a few books by various authors; however, these books were mainly targeted at consumer sales.
    B2B selling is totally different and Neil Rackham reveals that......more info
  • pretty good
    it took a little while to get here and it was a slightly different book than what I had expected, but it was still what I needed...more info
  • Provides a template for closing bigger sales
    As a sales and marketing trainer and coach for professionals, I discovered Neil Rackham's book while looking for a simple way of explaining the techniques that distinguish larger, more complicated sales from small quick sales.

    This book provided exactly what I was looking for. SPIN is an easy way to remember to ask more questions--and more meaningful questions--and the discussion of how to raise the level of need from "implicit" to "explicit" and then sell to the "explicit" need was a brilliant way of explaining what the best professionals I've worked with have learned to do.

    In my own book,The High Diving Board: How to Overcome Your Fears and Live Your Dreams, I used a simple 10-step template like this to help people overcome the fears that keep them from doing what they need to do to be successful.

    Rackham supports his template with hard research, but anyone who watches top professionals sell their services can instantly recognize the accuracy of what he presents....more info
  • If you want to sell.....
    ...this may help. It is one of a few books to use as a resource....more info
  • A classic and one of the very best
    SPIN is a classic, one of the books that revolutionized professional selling. It amazes me to read some of the negative reviews of this book posted here. Some of this I attribute to lack of knowledge of the history of our "profession," which bears few hallmarks of being a profession yet. Can you get a four year college degree in SELLING, the one thing every business must do well to survive, let alone prosper? Except for programs at a small handful of universities around the country, the answer is NO. Do we have peer-reviewed journals in our profession? NO. Do we have accepted standards and professional certification? NO.

    What Neil Rackham, a behavioral researcher, did for selling was huge. He applied the techniques of research and analysis to our profession. Until then, no one could say definitively that "always be closing" was bad advice. But in business to business selling, in high-tech selling to educated professionals, the "ABC's of selling" is only one of many pieces of bad information that passed for "wisdom" before Rackham showed them up for what they were. Such sales tactics are the reason salespeople have been saddled with negative stereotypes.

    Some reviewers condemn Rackham by saying that companies cited, such as Kodak, IBM, and Xerox have suffered business reversals since this book came out. Sorry folks, but good salespeople using good selling techniques will not, alone, save your company. MANY companies that were at the top of their industries in the 1970s and 1980s are either out of business or have suffered serious reversals in the years since. That is a different issue altogether, and if you are looking for explanations try STRATEGY books like "Good to Great" by Jim Collins or "Strategy" by Michael Porter. Someone on this site said that IBM's loss of computer business to other PC makers was evidence of the failure of SPIN...totally ridiculous. IBM passed on the operating system that became DOS, which in turn became the engine fueling MicroSoft's ascent to the heights. In hardware manufacturing IBM ignored lots of evidence that a paradigm shift was underway and PCs were becoming commodity items.

    The negative reviewers are looking for a silver bullet in many cases: SPIN will not transform you into a president's club winner by reading it. It is how you apply and practice it that will enable your success. Becoming expert in the use of this simple framework requires work and thought. What Rackham showed us is that the WORDS we use are important, along with HOW WE USE THEM. We must understand THEIR goals and focus on being part of THEIR success if we are to be successful in a sustainable, long-term partnership. Also that we must not be manipulative or treat other people (aka "customers" or "prospects") in ways we would not want to be treated ourselves. The acronym "SPIN" was coined before Washington politicians gave the word the negatie connotation it now has.

    SPIN is not the only good refenence book for salespeople, but it is a landmark book, the result of research that has not, to my knowlege, been replicated since. It should be a held in great esteem by any sales professional. Rackham's concept of an "Advance" as an objective way to measure the progress of a sales call is, alone, worth the price of this book.

    By the way, I have been in sales for 30 years, as a salesperson, sales manager, and director of training for a Fortune 500 company. I still have a lot to learn. But one thing I do know: there is tremendous value in this book for any salesperson with an open mind and the desire to continue growing, learning and improving as a sales professional. ...more info
  • Great book backed up with research
    This is a great book that focuses on the key aspects of large sales. It is backed up by research and has easy to follow guides to put the skills into practice....more info
  • Must read book even if you're not in sales, or going into sales!
    Essentially all business organizations have some sort of selling division. As a recent MBA grad, even though I never plan on going into sales, this book provided priceless techniques on sales, understanding the customer, and even general tips on being a good leader/manager and influencing people. Though it's over 20 years old, Rackham's research and methodology still holds true today! Must read for ANYONE working in any business-related environment!...more info
  • Great book backed up with research
    This is a great book that focuses on the key aspects of large sales. It is backed up by research and has easy to follow guides to put the skills into practice....more info
  • "Perfect for Big Ticket Sales!"
    Neil really "nailed it" (for those of us who do "big ticket" selling). He figured out (and explains) that there's a big difference in a one-call close for a low to moderately priced item/service vs. the more serious thought process that goes into selling (and/or buying!) something that is a significant/major expenditure.

    In my series of books/audios/videos/newsletters/seminars ("The Closers"), you'll see that I totally agree with Neil's approach . . . especially from "The Closers-Part 2" on.

    "Spin Selling" is in my personal library; it should be in yours,too!

    Note: You may have noticed that all of my book reviews carry "5 Star" ratings (*****). But that's not the sign of a "soft reviewer." I only review books to which I can honestly give a "5 Star" rating. You may assume, therefore, that any sales training/self-improvement book without my "5 Star" rating is either something less than "5 Star," or I simply haven't gotten to it yet . . . and there are certainly plenty of those! ...more info
  • SPIN Selling
    This book is relevant for all b2b sales professionals who sell offerings requiring long selling cycles and multiple customer interactions....more info
  • Audio CD is worthless. Purchase at your own risk.
    This Audio CD was alluring because it claimed experimental research in sales technique. I don't know about the book but DO NOT purchase the CD.

    Firstly, the narrator speaks in monotone. It is extremely difficult to be excited about the material when it is conveyed with such boredom.

    Secondly, there is a lot of uneccessary redundancy with how the material is presented. The first disc is wasted on exclaiming why this book is so good. This is very annoying. We already purchased the audio CD so get to the point!

    Finally, the most vexing issue of all is that the CD is not partitioned into tracks. Basically, disc one encompasses all chapters into one 60-min disc. Same with the others. This is a real pain since you can't merely reverse to the previous track to relisten to subjects. This is an extreme annoyance when you're holding back the seek button, and you have to hold it back for a while since the subjects are long and drawn-out, your finger slips and the track goes back to the beginning. Then you have to hold the seek button forward for a long time to get to where you want to. Imagine this while you're commuting to work! This may sound stupid to some but believe me, it is an absolute nuisance. The publishers took no consideration into its listeners when adapting the book to CD.

    Basically, I want to save your time and money on this product. The audio CD needs much improvement to present the material in a clear and straight-forward manner. The publishers carelessly dumped the contents from the book on to however many CDs it took them. Poorly done. I am absolutely dissapointed with what could've been a descent product. Stay away from this Audio CD.

    ...more info
  • Spin Selling Review
    I am account manager for an ERP Consulting company. This book really opened my eyes for the first time to the different styles of selling. Neil does an excellent job of exposing flawed selling styles and techniques in major account sales: such as using high pressure sales, using closing technigues, giving advantages and not direct benefits, and not solving problems for the client. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking to learn how to do sales well; specifically in major sales.
    Carlos Ekkert
    ...more info
  • Excellent Book for those utilizing a Consultative Sales Process and needing to close Major Accounts
    An excellent book on the consultative sales process and large accounts sales which actually includes verifiable data and test results to back up the strategies taught in this book. I highly recommended SPIN Selling for any salesperson, particularly those dealing with large $ deals, c-level executives, and sales processes that are more detailed....more info
  • Great Book
    Great book, This reviews the First part of the sales process which they call SPIN!
    Keep in mind this process mainly works for selling larger priced items, lower priced items (which can fall under impulse buys) are not governed by this buying process. When selling Lower priced item one can use psychological selling or old school selling tricks (see Influence of Persuasion).
    Again, This is one major school of thought for selling, and if your a professional sales person and not familiar with it, your making a big mistake!

    Brian Glassman
    Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from Purdue
    Innovation Management
    Amazon Book Review
    See my other Sales Book Reviews by clicking "see my reviews" at the top!
    ...more info
  • Exellent Book
    Like i mention in a previous review, i have the opportunity to meet Neil, and the principles and techniques he explain in this books are essential for everyone involved in selling, great book.

    If you like this one, I really recomend Major Account Selling (From Neil Also)...more info
  • SPIN selling is a classic
    Being involved in complex sales processes for years, I found the SPIN concept elegant and very effective at the same time. It is one of the best books written in the area of major sales. Absolutely a classic!...more info
  • Logical and Effective
    This technique creates an emotional bonding process between buyer and seller. By the end of the conversation, the seller looks like a great savior throwing a life line to a sinking buyer in a stormy sea. Really, it's quite effective. The only thing more effective would be to drug your buyer before the meeting. I am working on that book....more info
  • S-P-I-N is an acronym for Outselling Your Competition
    Being a Sales Executive with a Major Fortune 500 company, I have found the S-P-I-N selling methods promulgated by Neil Rackham to be invaluable. Prior to reading, I expected something different based on the title of the book alone.

    As Rackham explains: S stands for SITUATION, P is for PROBLEM, I is for IMPLICATION and N stands for NEEDS-PAYOFF. With that said, Neil outlines strategies, techniques and questions that will help an average sales person become more potent when it comes to outselling your competition.

    This book is a must read for those engaged in major (big ticket, multiple system) sales who want to WIN!...more info
  • Not the Be-All or End-All in selling, but a good read.......
    I didn't buy Spin Selling, but I did browse it at our local book store. Spin Selling is not new. I have used some of the techniques in spin (Tom Hopkins, top sales trainer in America for over 30 years offers a similiar spin only calls it NEADS and Brian Tracy calls it IADA) and I agree with the consultative, solution based style of selling. However, I disagree with this author in saying that your presentation should eliminate all possible objections and that objections are bad.

    Neil Rackham offers a soft-selling approach that is refreshing. Probably appeals to the new and amateur type of sales personality. A good read, not the be all or end all or the magic bullet that some try to make it out to be. Also strongly recommend Brian Tracy and Tom Hopkins as well as other books on selling....more info
  • Sales Dawgs------READ THIS BOOK
    There are literally 1000's of sales books out there, but this is like no other. Its not so much a 'how to' book, but more like 'The Millionaire Next Door' for sales. Here is what the top producers do, here are the facts, do whatever you want, we don't care. Not fancy closes, secret words to put in your presentation, nothing like that. It truly is like no other sales book and I have listened to the audio version 3 times since I bought it and have picked up something new everytime....more info
  • An Execellent Book on Sales Process for Large Corporate Sales
    In large complex sales, all deals are different when looking at specifics. The right thing to say or do will be different with each opportunity you encounter. However, if you look at a higher level (the forest rather than the trees), across these opportunities a pattern will emerge, pointing the way to a successful sales process that will markedly improve your performance.

    That's what Neil Rackam has done in his book Spin Selling. Spin Selling is not an agonizingly perscriptive book on what to say or do. Considering the variability encountered when engaging each prospect or customer, that would be of little value. The value of this book is in describing the bigger picture. Neil takes a refreshingly different approach by describing a (high level) process that research has shown to be successful in larger sales. No doubt about it, the SPIN process will improve you chance of winning, but only if used in conjunction with your own knowledge and instinct (Neil says this much in the book). The SPIN process is meant to be melded with the specific best practices of your business, industry, etc. When these best practices are modeled using the SPIN methodology, great things happen.

    Plan your sales calls around this methodology. But as Neil points out, don't be dogmatic with it. While SPIN is a process that has been scientifically shown to be successful, use SPIN to guide your instinct, not replace it....more info
  • Must read for Sales Professionals
    A great book on Sales. Really enjoyed the insight on "Implied Need" & "Explicit Need." A methodical approach. I thought this book was a breath of fresh air compared to other books on selling. I highly recommend. ...more info
  • How to Find the Hot Issues that Mattered Most to Your Customers
    If Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets is the comprehensive guide to selling intangible, complex solutions, then SPIN Selling is the comprehensive guide to asking customers questions to find our what mattered to them most.

    SPIN Selling is definitely NOT the first book that guides sales people in the art of asking questions, but it's definitely the one that puts it in the most elegant way.

    That said, it will be a mistake to assume that SPIN Selling is the cure-all for asking customers. The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say "Yes" in 8 Minutes or Less! will be a good companion to better understand the human psyche....more info
  • Absolutely a must read for any sales pro!
    Read it. Read it again. Read it a third time. Much of the information (minus the constant put down of other sales training books within the work, reason for the 4 and not a 5) is incredible. Easy to read. Simple to implement. As a long time sales professional I have read many sales oriented books over my career. This is definitely on top of the "technology type" oriented books. I am in automotive sales and sometimes the principles do not transfer very well. This book is okay for my business. Along with this book, I would prefer any car salesperson (pro or green-pea) buy "Cars and People: How to Put The Two Together" before they work on my lot....more info
  • Worth a second (or third) reading...
    EVERYONE who sells or studies sales knows about SPIN questioning.

    There can be a problem when an idea or term is ubiquitous: it becomes almost generic or commonplace. Everyone who has had a sales class -- at least mine -- can list the words that comprise the acronym. But it is valuable to return to the original source for insights.

    It was a pleasure to recently re-read SPIN Selling. Rackman does a fine job of summarizing the results of a massive sales research effort. Anyone who has been a salesperson or has taught professional selling must be amused by his anecdote on p. 25 about a salesperson who diligently followed the closing procedure that he had been taught: (see if you can identify each type of close attempted!)


    Salesperson: So, Mr. Robinson, you can see that our product is clearly best for you -- if you just sign here.

    Mr. R: Just a minute -- I don't see... I haven't decided.

    Salesperson: But Mr. Robinson, I've shown you how we can improve the efficiency of your office and save you trouble and also money -- so if you can decide when you'd like delivery...

    Mr. R: I'll do no such thing. I'm not making a decision this week.

    Salesperson: But as I've explained, this model is in great demand. I can let you have one now, but if you wait for next week, there could be a several month delay.

    Mr. R: That's risk that I will have to take...

    Salesperson: Would you prefer a month's trial installation, or would be better for your budget to buy outright?

    Mr. R: I'm going to throw you out of my office. Tell me, would you and your friends in the corner prefer to go of your own accord, or would you like me to call security.


    There are good stories and insights on every page. It is fascinating to understand how SPIN questions evolved.

    This book should be on the shelf of every student of sales.
    ...more info
  • Best Sales Book I've Ever Read
    I've read over 200 books on sales and marketing in my career and SPIN Selling is without question one of the best out there. No tactics, techniques or processes (those never work) like other sales books. Excellent for relationship selling. I am seeing the author Neil Rackham in one of his very rare live appearances in December of 08 ( and highly recommend that everyone reading this gets tickets to see a true sales giant....more info