Best Book for Successful Selling

Dr. Rick Farr, with whom I teach a business course at Utah Valley State College, gave a great lecture two weeks ago on sales. He has been a highly successful salesman in his career. I just ordered the book that he said is the best book written on successful selling: SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. This approach claims that asking the right questions is more important in the selling process than anything else. The SPIN Model is this:

The seller uses Situation Questions to establish a context, leading to Problem Questions, so that the buyer reveals Implied Needs, which are developed by Implication Questions . . . which make the buyer feel the problem more clearly and acutely leading to Need-Payoff Questions, so that the buyer states Explicit Needs, allowing the seller to state benefits, which are strongly related to sales success.

According to the research in the book, the close rate is far higher for salespeople that use the question approach and then try to close a sale once, than those aggressive salespeople that use multiple closing tactics during their presentation and focus primarily on the close. Rick enjoys sales and enjoys meeting people. I’m sure that part of the enjoyment comes from the interesting and satisfying results that come from asking questions and really seeking to understand someone’s needs and solve their problems. Hopefully, after reading the book, I’ll be more conscious of asking questions rather than just saying what I want to say — not only in sales situations but also in teaching and lecturing.

One thought on “Best Book for Successful Selling

  1. I read Spin Selling annually. IMO, there is no doubt that it is the best book on selling ever written. One thing though – the process in SPIN is for complex sales. The authors found that the old close em and move on approach does work in less complex sales where minimal information is needed. In fact, asking too many questions in a simple sale is counterproductive.

    The follow up book – Major Account Selling, is very good too. it takes the SPIN approach and relates how to apply it to selling complex products into large companies with multiple decision makers, etc.

Leave a Reply


More Posts Logo Design

Some of you know that my partners and I are launching a new company that aims to help a billion or more people soar with

Cold Showers Can Benefit Your Health

I hated what I read in the Harvard Business Review last Friday: Cold showers have health benefits. I’ve always ignored people who advocate taking cold

People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You” Someday I’ll write a book about I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung

The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

To listen to this podcast, click HERE. Announcer: Welcome to the Team Coaching Zone podcast. Join your host Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s leading organizational

My Favorite Artist

Artists, poets, and prophets can help us make sense of the craziness that we experience in the world. My favorite artist is Regina Spektor. When

The Coach You Need

When you need a helping hand in life or at work you might decide to hire a coach. There are many amazing executive, career, leadership,

Beware of Taking Advice

Next Friday I get to deliver a keynote at Phoenix’s biggest startup event. But beware of taking advice from me–or anyone else. Startup events are

An Entrepreneurial Superpower

One of my entrepreneurial superpowers is asking questions at scale. Before I started Ancestry I went to libraries and conferences and asked questions. I learned

Paul hopes to bring the strengths message to all 50 states and to 50 countries by 2025.
Contact him so he can help you spark a strengths movement in your area, company, or industry.