Implication Questions – Spin Selling

Author avatar wrote on 22/08/2018

Implication Questions – Spin Selling

Implication Questions discuss the effects of the problem, and develop the seriousness of the problem to increase the buyer’s motivation to change. They are best used before talking about solutions.


Implication Questions are the most powerful sales questions and unlike Problem Questioning skills the skill in using Implication Questions doesn’t automatically improve with experience. New salespeople being inexperienced often do not see a clear link between the buyers problem and their solution. As salespeople become more experienced they can more readily see the link between problems and solutions. This leads to another problem. Experienced salespeople seeing this problem/solution link often jump in quickly to offer solutions before the buyer is ready.


In contrast the most successful salespeople held back and discussed the effects of these problems before talking about product or solutions. Questions about the effects of the consequences of the buyer’s problem are called Implication Questions. They are the most powerful of all sales questions because they help the buyer see that the problem is serious enough to justify making a change.


An example of implication question: 

“Could the higher return rate of your products give your competitors an advantage in the marketplace?”


Implication questions are powerful because they induce pain. They build the consequences of the buyers problem and in so doing make the buyer more anxious for a solution that will take the pain away and stop after all people buy when the pain of the problem is greater than the cost of the solution.


In Spin Selling terms these questions are so effective because they take Implied Needs and develop them into Explicit Needs. Implication Questions are harder to plan for than Problem and Situation Questions and to use them you must have a certain amount of business knowledge and be very aware of the problems your product solves. The SPIN Selling Fieldbook goes into how to plan these questions, how to vary the questions that you ask and how to link your questions.


The idea behind doing this is to make your questions sound fluid and natural rather than an interrogation. Furthermore, the book states that you should “ask Implication Questions as much to understand as to persuade”. This is similar to the 5th habit from “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” (by Steven Covey) which says “Seek first to understand then to be Understood”.




Summary by Greg Woodly

You can get or read more about the book( SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham) here

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