Glossary of Sales Terms & Concepts
In this glossary I will frequently recommend the “best source” for the term. This recommendation is designed to help the reader to master the particular concept by giving the resource I believe has the best explanation of the concept.
Additionally, you will frequently find links that take you to site videos or additional materials on the subject term.
An advantage is how a feature of the product or service helps a human being.
Example: The x-compound in this car’s paint will help to prevent scratches.
Abenefit is a particular feature or advantage specifically requested by the prospect. (Presenting a Benefit Tips Video)
Example: John per your request for measurements to the thousandth of an inch our digital display will be a real benefit.
Closed ended question
A closed ended question is a question that asks for a specific piece of data. It doesn’t encourage the buyer or prospect to elaborate. Wikipedia
Example: What is the temperature tolerance needed for this unit?
A feature is ANY characteristic of the product from color, support and service, specifications, and even you and your company represent features of your product. (Best source: The SPIN Selling® Fieldbook, by Neil Rackham) Wikipedia
Example: 2 year warranty, red, rated #1 by the industry, you – the salesperson are all features
Impact questions are designed to investigate and reveal the true impact of a particular problem on the business or individual. Basically to shed light (truth) on problems. (Best source: The SPIN Selling® Fieldbook, by Neil Rackham)
Example: So what is the monthly financial impact of your work flow problem on the production floor.
A need is a real or perceived want or desire. Simply put a need is something someone wishes to have. It may be wanted for truly necessary reasons or due to a perception by the individual.
In selling there are two kinds of needs; Implied, and Explicit.
To be successful in sales you must clearly understand the difference between these two needs.
Need Pay-off question
Need Pay-off questions are designed to reveal the value of the problem’s solution. In other words what is the reward for removing the impact a problem imposes. (Best source: The SPIN Selling® Fieldbook, by Neil Rackham)
Example: How much money would the company save by solving this particular board quality problem?
Open ended questions
Open ended questions are questions that ask for the recipient’s opinion and or explanation. The purpose of an open-ended question is to get the other person to talk. Wikipedia
Example: Could you tell me about the process your company uses to purchase financial services?
A problem question is designed to discover obstacles, challenges, and no-optimum situations that may need attention. (Best source: The SPIN Selling® Fieldbook, by Neil Rackham)
Example: What is the biggest challenge you have in retaining customers?
Profit improvement proposal
Is a proposal document created by Mack Hanan in his Consultative Selling model. This document shows the buyer exactly how much value will be added, how soon, and how that value will be achieved. (Best source: Consultative Selling, by Mack Hanan)
A red flag is a trigger that brings management into a sales process when events that could be game changing. This could include changes in key decision makers, lack of response by key people in the buying process, involvement of new players or departments, and other such threats to the sale. (Best source: The New Strategic Selling)
Example: The person doing the evaluation of the product changes. Or, the VP you’ve been talking to changes positions or leaves the company.
A situation question is one that asks about the existing circumstances including what is being done, structures, program, costs and the like. It discovers what is going on or happening and how. (Best source: The SPIN Selling® Fieldbook, by Neil Rackham)
Example: How do you currently measure the effectiveness of your post production area?
Unique selling proposition
A unique selling proposition is a statement designed to position your product or service so as to have the prospect believe that they would be foolish to do business with anyone but you regardless of price. This statement must be unique to you or your company or it is not a UNIQUE selling proposition. (Best source: Monopolize Your Market Place, by Richard Hershaw)