What makes a good sales presentation? Many salespeople still have the idea that if they are able to dump everything they know about the product onto the customer, they have made a good presentation. If we have good product knowledge, are able to keep control of the conversation, and give them every possible bit of information we'll get the sale... right? Wrong.
We used to coach salespeople on a highly structured 6 position walk around presentation. We even specified where you start so you finish ready for a smooth transition to the demonstration drive. Sure, we cautioned against being that product knowledge expert who consistently talks his/her way out of the sale. They take a shotgun approach to the presentation hoping that something they throw against the wall will stick. The problem was: if the feature doesn't matter to the client then they don't value it and won't pay for it - wasted breath!
If we don't know what the customer's problems or needs are, how the heck are we going to show them that our product and its features meets those needs? If we are doing all the talking how are we going to know if they even care about anti-lock brakes, towing capacity, or 15 cup-holders?
That part has not changed. What has changed is the amount of self-serve knowledge the customer gets online before they ever meet you. Does this mean that the product presentation is now unnecessary? Not remotely. It means now we have to be more focused than ever on knowing the customer and taking a very personal approach to what we show them. With so much research ahead of the visit we must understand that the presentation and demonstration is now a “validation” of the selection they made at home.
All of this points to the fact that our job validating their choice is easier if we do a better job in the consultation. If you want to know what to focus your presentation on - ask them! “That model is a great choice – what makes you feel it fits your needs best?” "What's most important that your next vehicle do really well?" "What does this vehicle have to do better than your last one?" "How does your current vehicle no longer meet your needs?" "There are many things about the vehicle you just can’t experience online. What would you like me to show you first?"
Now we can present with a focus on them and validate how the vehicle fits their needs. Using fewer, well chosen words gives you a better chance of being successful. Where to start? How about with what they said was most important in their next vehicle! If that’s fitting 4 sets of golf clubs, start with the cargo area!
How does the client feel about being asked lots of good questions about their needs? It feels like you are serious about making sure they are confident in their choice. It feels like it is all about them, not all about you, and that sure is easier to say yes to!