Put on a Great Show

The saying presentation is everything started in the restaurant industry. Good food is important. But how it's presented distinguishes a great dining experience from being just another meal. Presenters at auto shows are well rehearsed and trained. They deliver top-notch product presentations to the crowds. If you take the same approach at your dealership you will see a consistent increase in demonstration

The saying “presentation is everything” started in the restaurant industry. Good food is important. But how it's presented distinguishes a great dining experience from being just another meal.

Presenters at auto shows are well rehearsed and trained. They deliver top-notch product presentations to the crowds. If you take the same approach at your dealership you will see a consistent increase in demonstration drives, sales and, of course, gross profit.

How to do it

After or during your contact questions and when you have chosen a vehicle to present, where do you start? A presentation should always start at the front because your end result has to be the customer sitting in the driver's seat.

Some trainers say start at the point of interest to the customer. This is ok, but you are giving the presentation control to the customer. Just remember, the point is to get the customer in the vehicle.

The only time you are selling a vehicle is during the vehicle presentation, so make it special. (Refer to the October ‘02 sales meeting column on understanding the customer.)

Determining what type of customer you have will affect the time you spend with them. Example: a visual person = less time, an auditory person = more time. The average presentation should be 10 to 15 minutes.

Your product knowledge is critical during your walk-around. Professionals know every detail of their products and the competition's. No one is perfect, but your credibility is at risk if the customer asks a question you can't answer.

If the customer does raise a point you are not familiar with, tell them, “That's an excellent question and I'll get the correct answer.” It is important that they are aware you are not avoiding it. Do not interrupt the flow of your presentation to look for the answer, unless, of course, it is of a critical concern that influences the selection.

At the end of the walk-around, with the customer sitting in the driver's seat, say to them, “Now, let me show you the vehicle properly. I'll be right back.”

Do not hesitate, just go and get a dealer plate and come back to the vehicle and put it on the car. Tell the customer; “If you could please sit in the passenger seat, I'll show you the vehicle properly.” (Refer to the August 2001 column on demo drives.)

Never ask the customer if they would like to go on a test drive.

This makes your odds 50/50. You want your demo's to be a 70/30 at the very least. The more demonstration drives you do, the more cars you'll sell.

Darin George is founder of the Automotive Sales College. He's at 1-888-681-7355 and [email protected]

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