So the last time we chatted about this whole sales stuff we looked at the greeting and the qualifying. Before we move on I am going to emphasize the importance of qualifying and it’s twin brother rapport building. These are arguably the most important parts of the process as you need the information you gather here to proceed to the demo or presentation. So once you have the products that you are going to present to your client narrowed down to 2 options proceed to the demo/presentation.
Just like qualifying, the demo serves more then one purpose. It serves to connect the needs and wants of your client to the features and benefits of your product. The rapport building continues on in these part as you are listening, watching and responding to your clients reaction to your presentation. You are also looking for buying signals, the non-verbal signs that you are moving in the right direction.
Connecting the dots between needs and wants and features and benefits, is the whole reason you asked lots of good questions in the qualifying stage and narrowed things down to two options. Now you need to prove to your client that your product meets or exceeds their expectations. One of the side effects of doing this is that your gaining trust as you do this as you are proving to them that you where listening. You need to not just show what your product does but how it relates to their needs and how it benefits them. Sometimes you might hear this referred to as FAB, features, advantages and benefits. What does it do, why is it better and how does it make my life better/easier. This is important to remember, when was the last time you went shopping for something and the sales person regurgitated a mile long list of all the technical features of product XYZ. Think about it for a second. Chances are you didn’t buy it because you left there wondering what the hell all those acronyms where, what they did and not having a clue if that’s what you needed. Here’s a quick example; this Harman Kardon home theater receiver has Dolby Digital HD, DTS, DTS-ES, Logic 7, Dolby Digital II, Dolby Digital IIx, Dolby Digital IIz, EX and Plus, HDMI switching, upconversion, 7.1 and 11 DSP modes. Any idea what half that stuff is? Nope, didn’t think so, you like most people need someone to explain these things to them and tell them what the advantage and benefit of those things. Here is the other thing, during your qualifying you would have figured out that there are two or three hot buttons, things that are non-negotiable’s as far as FAB’s go. You need to make sure that you cover those in your presentation and you need to tie them back to the customer. Remember you said that the most important thing that your new home theater receiver have was HDMI switching and upconversion. Well this receiver has 5 HDMI inputs that are capable of handling any high definition or 3D video sources and will also convert any non-HD signals to be HDMI compatible. This means you only need one video cable going to your TV and you will only need to use one video input on your TV making the system much easier to use for all of the people in the house. See, now HDMI and upconversion make some sense and you can see why you might need it, FAB.
Another very important part of any demo is finding a way to involve your client. Get them in the car, truck, boat, Ranger, get on the ATV, motorcycle, get in the home theater grab the remote etc. Why is this important? The mental cost of ownership. When someone is buying a boat and they sit in it, they start thinking about all the good times they are going to have in that boat, the smell of the lake, the wind in their face, the feeling of speed, the laughter of their kids because they managed to throw little Johnny off the tube and he went flying in the air. That’s the mental cost of ownership, trust me there is a lot more information about this that we could talk about but I think you get the quick picture.
Lastly, the non-verbal signals that your presentation is hitting the right buttons and that your moving in the direction you want to be. This can also mean though that you pick up on something that doesn’t seem right, you need to look for this as well and when you notice it, stop. Stop and ask the question, come right out and ask if you missed something or maybe they didn’t understand it and you need to explain it again in a different way. It’s important to pick up on these things now so they aren’t barriers later on in the process. It also helps your customer understand that you are listening to them and trying to fulfill their needs. This is a tough skill to learn, it takes constant practice and refinement. Practice with your spouse, your kids, your friends, your co-workers.