Why do I need SPIN training when I can just read the book?

Why do I need SPIN training when I can just read the book?

It’s a question we hear frequently from people who have read the book and one we regularly help our clients to address. There are a few factors that dictate the answer here but ultimately, it comes down to this – how interested are you in taking this research backed sales methodology and fully incorporating the SPIN strategy into your personal sales efforts or business operations.

As behaviour change experts, we know that skills development is long lasting and habit forming when certain conditions exist. We recognise these conditions include four major elements:                                                                          
  • Knowledge
  • Practice
  • Application
  • Feedback

Now, the acquiring knowledge piece can be gained from a book. But how do you know if you have truly understood the concepts, so that when it comes to applying what you’ve learned, you are confident in applying the right skills in the right way?

When reading a book, there is no way to truly check our understanding is correct, but the SPIN learning journey incorporates digital with collaborative learning so participants can learn with, and from each other.  In both our face to face and virtual classrooms, Huthwaite skilled trainers and the participants can ask questions as and when they appear, to achieve a unified understanding.

Once the concepts are fully understood, that's when we can start to apply that knowledge in anger. It can be daunting to think that we are trying out something new in a live sale. What if we get it wrong? What if it causes us to lose the sale? How do we know exactly what caused us to lose a particular sale? Our participants tell us that being able to practice in a safe environment is invaluable to building their abilities and their confidence to apply new skills to actual customer conversations.

That’s where participative classroom (virtual and face to face) interactions come into their own. Roleplay scenarios are one example of how to practise safely - participants break out into pairs or small groups to focus on a specified concept. They practice applying the skills with each other and give feedback, which equips them with further knowledge and capability for their next practice session. Growing skills incrementally in this way helps to produce a level of proficiency which inspires the confidence to apply new skills live with clients and prospects.

Being able to measure progress in skills and process are both vital to maintaining and further developing our proficiency and results in the workplace. Examples of how we can do this include tools to document our process and therefore, progress in the sale.  They can also be used to document our continued use of the effective behaviours we have developed so that they become habitual. To help further ensure the right habits are embedded, we can use digital resources to reaffirm and refresh our skills, building them up gradually so they become habits and eventually, second nature.

Read the 5 reasons why most people need to go 'beyond the book' from our Head of Learning Innovation, Robin Hoyle

But ultimately, one, if not THE most powerful tool in the sales person’s repertoire is their confidence. There is little that impresses potential customers more than the calm, assured demeanour of a genuinely confident sales person. A confident seller develops trust, provides reassurance and enhances their own and their company’s reputation as well as the customer’s experience. Confidence enables the sales person to explore the customer’s needs and offer ideas in the most persuasive manner possible. Confidence cannot be learned, it has to be gained, and there is no better way of gaining it than by being fluent in a sales methodology that works. By all means read the book – but investing in high quality sales training can only be a wise move for any individual or organisation.

"Learning is experience. Everything else is just information." ―Albert Einstein

About the Author
Kay Jepson

Written by Kay Jepson

Kay is a Sales Enablement Executive with the Huthwaite Group of Companies. A specialist in the training industry she is a content junkie, dedicated to engaging prospects, customers and stakeholders across all channels to win business and build lifetime value. Tenacious and creative, Kay is passionate about customer experience and developing optimization strategies that embrace measurable digital analysis to deliver tangible results. She is at the forefront of a new dynamic Huthwaite brand connecting to a new generation of sales professionals worldwide.