SAN FRANCISCO - Some of the basic tenets of the Integrity Selling program, as taught by Jim Hinshaw of Sales Improvement Professionals are: approach, interview, demonstrate, validate, negotiate, and close.

According to Hinshaw, who presented the material at the Nordyne Annual Distributor meeting in San Francisco, a salesperson should dedicate time to all of the basic tenets. The total time for the call may vary, but the proportion spent in each major portion of the call should be consistent.

For example, the approach should take a minimal amount of time, while the interview should take a relatively large part of the call. That is the time when information about a customer's needs is revealed.

Hinshaw said, "Don't shortchange this part of the call. Less time is generally required in the negotiate and close stages because these should be more automatic, providing that the other parts of the sales process were handled effectively."

The four general character types encountered in selling situations are doers, talkers, controllers, and supporters. In the normal two-day Integrity Selling class, Hinshaw hones in on the fine points of each character type and how to best develop relationships that carry the sales call forward. During the Nordyne meeting with Tappan, Frigidaire, and Westinghouse distributors present, Hinshaw crammed the two-day program into one afternoon.

First Impressions

"Do you know how important first impressions really are?" asked Hinshaw. "Eleven key decisions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone."

Other key sales strategies re-viewed during the program included a discussion of questioning techniques. Many salespeople believe that asking effective open and closed questions are sufficient during a sales call. Hinshaw explained a four-question technique, referred to as SPIN selling: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff questions are the crux of this technique. Each type of question requires careful thought and planning before going on the sales call.

Hinshaw has been providing training for Nordyne customers for the last four years. In his opinion, the Integrity Selling program, which was recently adopted by Nordyne, is the best sales training tool he has been involved with during his more than 20 years in the HVAC industry.

Jim Hinshaw is president of Sales Improvement Professionals, Inc. He can be reached at

Publication date: 12/05/2005