Avoid The "Feature-Dump" Presentation

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Dave Anderson - Also by this author

At your next meeting, talk about one of the greatest sales sins: the “feature-dump” presentation. This is when a salesperson seems to suffer under the delusion that if they babble on long enough about their product’s features they can somehow bore their prospect into buying. Keep the following points in mind to avoid the feature-dump and improve your presentations:
  1. People buy benefits not anti-lock brakes; they buy the safety and peace of mind that comes with them. Features tell; benefits sell.

  2. When you present the features a prospect is interested in, you raise the value of your product/service. But when you talk about features; a prospect is disinterested or indifferent towards, you raise the price of the product/service.

  3. In order to present professionally, you must thoroughly investigate for wants and needs. This means you’ll need to ask more questions and listen to the answers in order to customize a presentation that fits a particular customer rather than trying to fit the customer into your canned, panned presentation. Customizing your presentations in this manner will increase your sales over night and differentiate you from the hordes of sales amateurs who haven’t figured out that they’re their own worst enemy.

Years ago when I was selling Jeeps, I attended a high-quality, two-day Jeep product knowledge workshop. Once I returned to the dealership, I was anxious to show off my newly acquired knowledge and make a killing selling Jeeps. To make a long story short, after returning from Jeep school, I didn’t sell a Jeep for three weeks! Why? I was so excited about sharing everything I had learned about Jeeps with my prospects that I proceeded to “feature-dump” on every Jeep prospect for nearly a month until I slowed down enough to figure out that my big mouth was killing my paycheck.

Think about your own presentations for a moment: Do you spend enough time determining exactly what the prospect is “hot” about? Do you then have the discipline to present selectively based on the findings of your investigation? Do you just rattle off a list of features, or are you skilled at converting features into benefits? The answers to these questions will go a long way in determining the quality of your career and income. Apply the techniques in this article with your very next prospect. Like anything else worthwhile, skillful presentations don’t just come to you in a dream one night. You must pay the price for practice. But don’t worry; the prize is worth the price.

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