Don’t Deprive Your Customer of a Great Presentation

Because prospective customers now arrive at the dealership having done a great deal of research on the vehicle(s) at the top of their consideration lists, many salespeople are tempted to skim over the vehicle presentation (thinking that the prospect already knows everything he needs to know about the vehicle). This is seldom, if ever, true. Get that thought out of your head right now! Besides, people love to be entertained and people love a story, a show, and a great showman. So, why would you disappoint them with a mediocre effort? Don’t deny them the pleasure of being able to say “Wow, that makes so much sense and it feels like the right direction for me”.

Despite what research has been done, people want to be convinced that this is the right decision for them. They also need to justify the decision to themselves (and other members of their family or group of friends). People want to sell themselves on the merits of your product so they can feel like they are making the decision to buy (and not being sold). Give them the ammunition by including these critical components to build your Million Dollar Presentation:

  1. Stories & Content. You can rattle off ten pages of vehicle specifications but that’s not a presentation, it’s simply a walk through the equipment on the vehicle. You need to prepare about a dozen short stories related to the features and benefits of the vehicle.  These can be stories about how they worked for you or a customer in a particular situation, why the manufacturer included the feature and how it demonstrates the brand philosophy, or facts about the vehicle that are not normally included in the manufacturer’s publications. And, if you have been selling cars for any period of time, you have had customers ask you questions that seemed to come out of left field. Make sure you have answers to those questions and include the topics in your presentation.
  2. Make it Modular. Adapting the presentation to your audience is a fundamental principle of a successful presentation. You already know that a ten minute discussion of the continuously variable valve timing system of this vehicle may enthral your engineer client but it is not likely to engage a mother of two toddlers more concerned about safety. To tailor the presentation, work on building both short and in-depth presentations on the following topics: Safety systems, crash avoidance technologies, fuel saving technologies (what, why, how), styling and design language, driver and passenger ergonomics, engine/transmission, awards by writers and industry experts (with verbatim quotes) as well as the type of vehicle and its intended uses.
  3. Resonate with Great Visuals. Some of your visuals are right in front of you in the showroom but you can create additional powerful visuals in the prospect’s mind by pointing at and demonstrating features on the vehicle. Even body language and bold hand gestures to convey a message can be very effective. One of our top sales team members has a presentation done at the engine compartment where he waves his hands over the engine while he talks about the 14,128 parts that make up this sophisticated piece of technology and the comprehensive warranty that covers all these parts and is included with the vehicle purchase.
  4. Practice Your Presentation Delivery. You truly are in “show business” if you are selling cars and that requires that you have a script (including stage directions) that you will repeat each time. When you take your prospect around the vehicle, where do you stop and what do you say? I recommend starting at the trunk (where you can ask about what “stuff” tends to be kept here) and then proceed counter-clockwise arriving at the driver’s door and sitting the customer in the car for the final portion of your presentation. In a showroom, your presentation must be carefully planned but informally delivered.  It has to be natural and flowing and adaptable. This part of the sales process (like every part of the sales process) is a great opportunity to plant seeds and test commitment that will help close the sale at the end of the process. And, have a colleague shoot your presentation on your smartphone so you can review it.

Don’t deny your customers the opportunity to experience a great presentation that appeals to their particular hot buttons and decision making processes (whether emotional or rational). For example, consider the Mazda (Miata) MX-5 2-seater sports car. There is absolutely no practical reason to own a 2-seat sports car but they are sold regularly and most often it is the customer justifying the purchase based on the belief that they have “earned it”, deserve it, have worked hard to afford it, not to mention the way it will make them feel, i.e., young, care free, and invigorated. In the same way, the purpose of your great presentation is to get your prospect excited about owning the product and how it is the perfect solution to their problem or issues (or simply the answer to their secret desires).

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