The book SPIN Selling was written by Neil Rackham and published in 1988 is a terrific book. The book emphasizes the importance of asking the right sales questions.

This book inspired me so much I eventually wrote my own book emphasizing sales questions, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers."

I'd like to use the word S.P.I.N. in a slightly different way. I'd like to use the word as an acronym.

Putting the right S.P.I.N. into your business especially during these turbulent times can change your attitude and improve your selling results.

Think of the word S.P.I.N. as four pieces to the selling puzzle.

S = Shrug it off

P = Preparation and practice

I = Initiative

N = New

Let's start with Shrug it off. Right now most of the world's news is negative. In the USA the real estate market is hurting, financial markets are in chaos, and just when you think gas prices can't go any higher - they go higher. Shrug it off.

That's right, dismiss the bad news or it will eventually consume and overwhelm you.

If the news gets you down, do something that picks you back up. If you're an entrepreneur or a professional sales representative you can't afford to be down and negative when you're working with your sales prospects and customers.

Change your routine. Exercise more. Read motivational books. Buy a book of quotations.

And stay away from negative people because it's amazing how contagious negativity can be.

Inject a little Preparation and Practice into every selling day. For example, when you're planning sales calls for the next day, you can prepare several questions in writing. While you're driving to the account practice them.

If you don't practice what you're going to say before you get to the account you end up practicing on your sales prospects and customers. Nothing could be worse!

=>> You can also prepare and practice specific parts of your planned sales call.

=>> You can prepare and practice how you will present the benefits of your products.

=>> You can prepare and practice how you'll deal with the price objection.

=>> You can prepare and practice how you'll ask for the next appointment.

=>> You can even prepare and practice how you will ask for the business.

You know before you get to see your sales prospect if you've prepared and practiced enough - and unfortunately so will your sales prospect.

My approach to S.P.I.N. selling includes "Initiative." The initiative I'm referring to is personal initiative. This word covers all aspects of professional selling. When times are tough it requires that you become tougher.

Doing things the way you've always done things will not differentiate you from your competition. Take the initiative to learn more about personal salesmanship and selling skills. Literally - hit the books. Visit article directories such as and look for the best articles to help you achieve greater selling success.

Take the initiative to pick up the telephone and schedule more appointments. Take the initiative to allocate more face-to-face time calling on sales prospects which represent new business opportunities for you.

Take the initiative to cross sell and up-sell whenever possible. Take the initiative to do everything imaginable to help your customers solve their problems.

And take the initiative on every sales call to exceed your sales prospect's and/or customer's expectations.

The final piece to S.P.I.N. selling is the word “New.” The two most popular words in the English language are "New" and "Free." You can skip the free, but focus on what's new.

How do you personally respond to the question, "What's new?"

=>> Do you have new products?

=>> Do you have new management?

=>> Do you have new technology?

=>> Do you have new ways to solve old problems?

=>> Do you have new programs?

=>> Do you have anything that's new?

Focus on what's new, not what's problematic. Get excited when you're talking about what's new to your sales prospects and customers. If you're excited, they'll become excited.

Develop a new attitude about everything. Sure the stock market is down. Novice investors are bailing out. Warren Buffett is licking his chops because of all the buying opportunities he sees.

The real estate market is down and everybody is thinking doom and gloom - except for the very shrewd investors who enjoy bottom fishing and buying properties at bargain basement prices.

It's not easy being positive when all the news is so negative. You have the ultimate control over your thoughts. So choose optimism over pessimism, positive over negative, sunny versus gloomy, and winning over losing.

You’ll be glad you did and so will your customers.

Growing your business, increasing your sales, and making more money is easy when you put the right S.P.I.N. on it.

PS - Checkout my 57 Sales Tips!

Author's Bio: 

Jim is a former U.S. army officer serving in Germany and was a Public Information Officer on a General’s Staff while serving in Vietnam.

He was also VP of Sales and Marketing for the Scientific Products Division of Baxter International.

Jim has been nominated to the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame four times.

Jim has been in business 20 years . . . has 509 corporate clients . . . 83.3% repeat business