Did You Know that Presentation Does Make a Difference?
Let me tell you how I spent my holiday vacation last year.
Shortly before Christmas, a distracted driver hit me at full speed on an off-ramp where I was stopped at the light and then he pushed me into another car. The biggest casualty was my much-loved Hyundai XG-350 sedan – it was totaled by my insurance company.
So, for my Christmas holiday, I had to look for a new car and what an adventure it became. I did my homework, checked Consumer Reports, studied consumer reviews, and came up with a short list and a final budget with money in the bank. My goal was to test-drive a couple of models to see what fit my lifestyle, budget and was fun to drive. And presentation -whether it was presenting themselves, their dealerships, or a particular car – became an important part of my buying decision.
My niece had been raving about her Honda CR-V, so I added it to the list and went to test drive it. I had a specific list of criteria for what I wanted in a car. I also asked to see a used Subaru, which I had found online with a great price and low mileage but the battery was dead. He did not offer to get it jumped, or suggest an alternative option that might fit my criteria. But he did ask me how many cars I was going to test drive. And was I really looking for a car or just wasting his time? I told him that I was not going to spend my time with him if this is how he presents himself to a prospect.” And I walked away. He lost my sale because he wasn’t interested in my business. His demeanor and lack of professionalism impacted my view of his sales presentation – or lack of.
Strike two came when I went to a Hyundai dealer to test drive a specific car I had found online. I made an appointment and couldn’t wait to test drive the Santa Fe SUV which was number one on my wish list. I loved the car. It was perfect then came the problem. It was over my budget by $3000. I asked if there were any incentives such as a loyal customer discount, cash discount, and more. His response to me was the following, “You look at a cheaper car. It is a lot of trouble for me to ask my manager to take his time to look up the price of each option and feature on that car and to then see where we could discount it.” I suggested he start the conversation by asking his manager….fifteen minutes later, I ran into him laughing with co-workers who were not his manager. I am not sure he ever asked so I walked out the door.
There was strike three and four – neither of those reps presented their cars, themselves, or their dealers in a positive way. They forgot the basics such as understand what your customer needs/wants – for me, it was heated seats – then match the customer to the product you have available. Putting all the pieces in place would mean a sale and a commission for someone.
Finally, I found a sales rep who wanted to find a car that fit my requirements. He asked the right questions and then offered options. When I thought one car had too many miles on it for the price, he offered to find an alternative. He insisted that I test drive a car even if it was the same model and style I had already driven. He asked the right questions and presented options that were thoughtful and on target. He got the sale on the last day of the year. I not only bought a car – a Ford Escape with enough technology to make this “geek” happy. One important fact – I also bought the trust factor he represented as the dealer, service team, and himself. Gotta go for a drive!