Giving a Great "Walk Around" Sales Presentation
Salespeople should know that a walk around isn't just a presentation, it is a chance to discover the customer's needs and turn your product or services features into a benefit for that customer.
Learning good selling techniques takes practice and learning how to give a "walk around" sales presentation is essential to the sales process.
An excellent walk around presentation is not a canned presentation. It has been said, "A good walk around presentation doesn't work because it's canned; it got canned because it works." That's what a walk around should be - not canned, but planned. Salespeople need to know where they are going all the time. Hopefully they can help guide the customer down the Road to the Sale.
Before we can attempt a presentation we must understand what a "feature" is and what a "benefit" is. A feature is what something is - a benefit is what something does. Let's use automobile sales as an example. So let's look at some car sales techniques. A "walk around" occurs when a salesperson pulls a vehicle out of the line of cars in front of the dealership. The salesperson opens the doors, the trunk, and the hood. They turn on the car and get the A/C running in the summertime (or the heater in the winter time). They take the customer and tell them about the vehicle as they walk around it.
The aerodynamic styling of a vehicle is a feature; great gas mileage and a quiet ride are the resulting benefits. A lot of salespeople are good at reciting features, but not at explaining why the customer needs them - and this is for two reasons. One is they don't know enough about the car and the other is they did a poor job qualifying the customer's needs. Ask questions of your customer. Ask what they want from their next vehicle and listen to what is said.
How can a salesperson enthusiastically talk about the double steel cargo box if they don't know what the customer is going to use the vehicle for? They can't.
In a typical selling situation a salesperson might say something like, "Yes sir, this car has everything you're looking for: a fuel efficient engine and a hands-free Bluetooth communications system. It also has ABS brakes, limited slip rear axle, and terrain management." Sounds all well and good, right? Wrong. There is nothing your salesperson has told this customer that 1,500 other salespeople and brochures and Internet research haven't already told him.
So the customer looks at the salesperson like a deer in the headlights. He doesn't know what he is what he is supposed to say, except what he is probably thinking, "I can see all of these options, Mr. Salesperson. Tell me something I don't know." You see, when the salesperson recites his or her cornucopia of knowledge, it isn't a question so it doesn't really move the sale forward. He is just repeating what the customer told him he wanted.
The customer's only response is, "Yes, Mr. Salesperson, I can see it has everything I asked for. How much is it?" Or worse yet, the customer may say nothing. The worst thing that can enter a walk around presentation is silence. When there is silence, there is pressure and in the selling process, we want no pressure. As I mentioned many times, the only common ground a customer has is the price. When you stop talking, the only thing they can say is how much... or goodbye.
To do an excellent walk around, salespeople need to remember the thing the customer wants to know more than anything, "What will it do for me?" Until you tell customer that answer, then he is probably isn't listening.
Back to the walk around - how long did it take me to recite the options above, 30 seconds? What do I do now? I am out of things to say. Obviously there are lots of options and I could probably go on for a while, but even if I could memorize them all on every model, the customer will be yawning. Why? Because he wants to know what it will do for him. If salespeople are just going to recite options, they would be better off to hand the customer a brochure and send him on his way. The brochure is better than a salesperson will ever be at features. They break down the passenger compartment to cubic inches for heaven's sake! When it comes right down to it, does the customer even care that there is 28 inches of legroom? No. But he will be interested to know that, "Because of the transverse mounted engine, Mr. Customer, when you and your family take that trip to Colorado this summer you can really stretch out your legs!" That is how you sell legroom. Note: Without asking good questions, how could you make the above statement? But here's the good news: you can make that statement even more powerful in two ways - by moving the sale forward and by asking for the order.
There are many ways to move the sale forward, but here are a few. These are simple phrases that keep the customer following you:
"Let me show you this feature on your new Ford Explorer."
"Let me show you this,"
"Let me show you one more thing,"
"Great, follow me."
Ask for the order, it is quite simple, for example:
"That's a feature I'm sure you'd like, isn't it?" The customer says, "Yeah!" The salesperson says, "Great, follow me," or "Great, now let me show you one more thing."
The above question is one which you should already know the answer. Use it with a feature the customer wants, for example, seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, etc. A customer just won't say no to seat belts.
During the sale you are always closing -- in sales terminology that means you are always asking the customer for the order. For example, a very successful salesman in a 20-minute presentation will ask the customer in several different ways, in more than a dozen times if they want to buy the vehicle.
Some of the best closing techniques to use during a sale are called tie downs. Some call them trial closes. A tie down is simply a question at the end of a statement that demands a response. Instead of saying, "Those airbags are a wonderful feature." In the eyes of a customer, this is just an opinion. But, if I added, "Aren't they?" to the end of that statement, it forces the customer to respond, hopefully in a positive way.
Or, "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating, how would you rate this vehicle so far? What would it take to make that number a 10?"
However, sometimes a customer may say something that implies that they don't like the vehicle. For example, "Oh, that looks like something else that will break."
One way to handle these "objections" is to address the issue with the "Feel, Felt, Found" response. For example, you might respond by saying, "I can see why you might feel that. A lot of people have felt the same way, but once you've found out the engineering behind, you'll see how beneficial this can be for you."
These few tips will build the foundation for a confident walk around presentation.
- Learn your product inside and out, research what's being said about your product on the internet.
- Get to know your customer's needs in the initial greeting and qualification.
- Present with confidence and tie the features back to their needs.
- Help make their needs become their wants.
- Remember to refer to competitive brands and create value.
- Take full advantage of your product expertise when doing a walk around presentation and SELL yourself and your product.
And remember, selling is a process of listening to customer needs, finding solutions to their needs, building value you in your product or service, and giving them an opportunity to buy that product or service that serves their needs!
Vincent Hennigan listens to dozens of vehicle owners every week to hear what works and what doesn't work with their vehicle technologies. He listens to customers to understand their technology needs and looks for ways to tie vehicle technology into a benefit for the customer. Visit his weblog at http://www.fordtechlane.com to check for more helpful articles. Leave a question at firstname.lastname@example.org
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