What is ‘SPIN Selling’, and Why is it so Effective?

What is ‘SPIN Selling’, and Why is it so Effective?
By Dylan Webster

By Dylan Webster

When buying fitness memberships or personal training packages, prospects want to feel that they are heard. They want to believe the fitness professional addresses their wants and needs and that there is a real solution available for them to reach their fitness goals.


Consultative selling is a sales method that does just this!


Consultative selling is an approach that focuses on building value and trust with the prospective buyer. To do this, fitness professionals must establish a healthy relationship and balance education with questioning to understand their prospect’s requirements before presenting a solution. By pre-framing the conversation with “I do not want to fit a square peg into a round hole”, the fitness professional is communicating to their prospect that they are taking a solution-based approach.


‘SPIN Selling’ is a sales strategy coined by Neil Rackham back in 1988. In his book (which has the same title), Rackham argues that salespeople should abandon traditional sales techniques in order to build value as a trusted advisor. He uses the acronym SPIN to label the types of questions that play a unique role in leading the buyer and seller down a path towards a win-win transaction using this consultative method. Rackham’s research also displayed that high-performing salespeople ask purposeful questions in a strategic order.


Situational Questions
  • Develop an understanding of the prospect and their precise situation.
  • “You must not have always wanted to lose 25 pounds. Tell me about how you got here.”


Problem Questions
  • Aid the seller in understanding the problems that exist because of the current situation.
  • Bring the buyer into an awareness that the problems in their life need to be solved.
  • Gently and firmly drive the sale forward.
  • “How do these extra 25 pounds affect your day-to-day life?”


Implication Questions
  • Create urgency by identifying pain points.
  • Show the causes and effects of inaction.
  • “If you do not lose these 25 pounds, what health issues could you become more susceptible to?”


Need/Payoff Questions
  • Help the buyer understand that they have the ability to change.
  • Help the buyer understand they need to change. • Lead the buyer to determine their own solution.
  • Help the buyer discover how the proposed solution will solve their problems.
  • “If you were to do HIIT 4 times per week with a coach guiding you through the workouts and offering nutrition guidance, do you think you would lose the weight?”


Remember*** SPIN selling is not a checklist of questions. Instead, it provides the seller with a structure for asking ordered questions. Just as in any consultative sales method, fitness professionals should merge these strategic questions into a natural conversation.



Dylan Webster is the Managing Director of the Fitness Sales Academy and the author of: Fitness Sales: Logic | Sweat | Emotion. Dylan is motivated to change the way members and guests are exposed to fitness by upgrading the sales skills of fitness professionals. Dylan leverages his extensive knowledge of fitness, social psychology, and human behavior, to coach others to unlock their full potential.

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