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Presentation Overload

What makes a good sales presentation? Many salespeople get 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 have often heard the statement "Products are just solutions to peoples' problems." Think about other products. When you go to the hardware store for a 3/8 inch drill bit you don't really want the drill bit you want the 3/8 inch holes! We don't want insurance we want peace of mind. We don't want the hamburger we want to get rid of our hunger.

How does this apply to our presentations? Well 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? Sales managers often complain about the product knowledge expert who consistently talks his/her way out of the sale. They take a shotgun approach to the presentation hoping that something that they throw against the wall will stick. The problem is: if the feature doesn't matter to the client then they don't value it and won't pay for it - wasted breath!

The other equally effective way of talking your way past the sale is to load your presentation with a lot of car jargon. We get very comfortable in the industry with variable valve this and sequential multi port that but the average non-techie buyer (most people) don't know what you are talking about. A flood of technical terms and jargon are like another language.  Again, if they don't understand it, it can't have any value to them.

All of this points to the fact that our job is easier if we do a better job in the interview process. If you want to know what to focus your presentation on - ask them! "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?" "What kinds of things are most important to you in selecting your next vehicle?"

Focus on questions. In sales conversations the person asking the questions has the control. Why? The average person can speak at 125 –150 words per minute but can think at 500 – 600 words per minute. So while you are talking on and on they can listen and think of lots of other things: objections, criticism, doubts, fears, and difficulties. What happens when a sales professional asks a good open-ended question? It has an interesting psychological effect. It is not possible for the customer to answer without diverting their whole attention to the question. Not only do we maintain the control and flow of the sales process by asking good questions, we actually learn all about the client's needs, wants, and motivations. Now we can present with a focus on them and how the vehicle fits their needs. That's way less words and gives you a better chance of being successful.

How does the client feel about being asked lots of good questions about their needs? It feels like it is all about them not all about you and that sure is easier to say yes to!