Monday, June 01, 2009

The Value Of Consistency

Most people in our industry hate to practice their presentations before their peers. Yet, practice builds skills, as long as the person practices good “word tracks.” In a race or in a sports game, our muscles react to stress exactly as we have trained them to react. When we prepare for a sports event we train, we exercise, we change our diets, and we focus on the particular skill set we need to succeed. That is exactly what we are doing for our business when we practice our presentation with a peer or record it and then play it back, listening as a customer would listen.

When we are under pressure we react exactly as we have conditioned ourselves. Doesn’t it make sense to “skill up” during the quiet times at work?

Identify weaknesses: The sales producer should keep an objection log. This could be as simple as index cards. On one side write what the specific objection was, leaving the other side available to write word tracks for addressing the customer’s objection.

People often ask me why pen and paper, why not type it in a computer? The answer is simple: Our memory has a connection between the eyes and the fingertips. When we use our hands to write something we are creating a stronger memory of those words than gliding over a keyboard.

Search for word tracks: Ask vendors and past educators—seek input on the word tracks that are being used successfully. Be mindful when you place your own personality into the word tracks, because often the change of one word changes the meaning of the entire sentence. Think before you speak. What is the desired mental picture you are creating with your words? Will those words create a path to a sale?

The presentation is not about you. Keep in mind the presentation is not about you, it is not about how you think, how you buy, or how you respond to advertisements. It should be about the customer, how they think, addressing what is important to them, and providing them with solutions to their needs. How to change a presentation? The first step is to write out your presentation. Then talk it through. Read the script you created out loud. Evaluate how it sounds from a customer’s point of view. Record the presentation if possible and then play it back. Make adjustments and read the presentation again and again until it feels right. Practice the new word track 21 times.

When you have a consistent presentation, you already know what you are going to say. That confidence will allow you to focus on the customer. Making those additional sales requires every effort and full focus upon the customer who is present in front of you.

Dealer Marketing Magazine, June 2009, P. 34