Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sales Tip of the Month

It’s On the Water Demonstration Time!

You have a customer on the phone or standing in front of you and they want to go for an on-water demonstration ride. You are excited, your heart is pounding, you just know this is going to be a sale. So, you pull out the boat, test all the systems, check to see all safety gear is present, fuel up, check the weather and confirm the appointment time. After all this preparation and a wonderful ride on the water, you return to the dock to hear the customer say, “Thanks, that was great!  We’ll go home to think about it and let you know.” 

There are some very simple ways to increase the likelihood a customer will end their on-water demonstration with a 'Yes' decision to own the boat. Here are a few steps to increase your success:

Step 1: 
LifeontheWaterDetermine your customer's Emotional Motive (EM). Essentially, this means to understand what is emotionally most important to your customer in making this purchase. For example, let’s say you discovered your customer’s EM is to have a family picnic on the water. They envision this as occurring while anchored in a quiet cove where they want most to hear the gentle lapping of the water against the hull while spending quality time with their children. Mr. Customer has mentioned they most enjoy listening to light jazz during these moments. Mrs. Customer shared the family’s enjoyment of drinking tangerine sodas during their picnics.

Step 2:
Build the EM into your demonstration ride. Prior to beginning the on-water demonstration, ask the decision maker(s), in this case Mr. and Mrs. Customer, what they would most like to see from their on-water experience. Be specific here. In this example, Mr. Customer and Mrs. Customer had two specific needs; Mr. Customer has stated he wants to see if he can talk with his wife while cruising at 25 mph, while Mrs. Customer wants to know if she can see the horizon when the boat is coming onto plane. From this information, the joy/demonstration ride has specific parameters of which both parties are looking to see.

Step 3:
Qualify the demonstration results. You could ask your customers prior to the demonstration ride the following question, “Mr. and Mrs. Customer, I’d like to confirm the two specific items you are looking to see today from our on-water adventure. First, Mrs. Customer would you like to check to see that your visibility upon take off allows you see the water over the bow. (She nods in acceptance.) Mr. Customer your focus is to see if you and Mrs. Customer can talk while cruising on the water at 25 mph. Is this correct? (He agrees.) If both of these parameters meet your approval, is this the new boat you would like to own?” If they say yes – go to the water. If they say, no – discover what other factors may have been overlooked before going to the water.

Note: It is recommended to have discussed the pricing parameters, options and model availability prior to the demonstration ride. Heading to the water in a boat of which they have not consented to on price could result in disappointment for both the customer and salesperson.

Step 4:
Woman BowEnjoy the ride! After verifying the sound level and planing ability of the boat are good, you could add high emotional involvement to the experience with EM. Here is how to bring higher EM into the event. Simply drop into a quiet cove, turn on the music they said they enjoy and offer them a couple of tangerine sodas. While floating quietly in the cove, ask them an ownership/closing question. “Mrs. Customer, how was your visibility during the boat's launch? (She acknowledges it was good.) Mr. Customer, was your conversation with Mrs. Customer as enjoyable as you imagined while cruising?” (He agrees.) Well, most importantly how does the final test (the float in the cove test) meet your expectations of enjoying time on the water with your children?” 

Water demonstrations can be quite fun. Building in items such as their favorite song, beverage, food and EM are strong ways to grow the emotional excitement of ownership. Conducting a demonstration ride with this level of understanding greatly increases the likelihood of ownership.

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Written by Glenn Roller, founder of The Glenn Roller Institute, with more than 35 years of retail boat sales experience and teaching, Glenn Roller has authored several books defining, for the first time, the seven levels of understanding in the sales process.  For live support call 877-884-4862.

More Sales Tips from Glenn Roller:
Using Emotional Motive to Sell
Selling at a Boat Show (Part I)
Selling at a Boat Show (Part II)
Selling After a Boat Show
Selling in a Tough Economy (I)
Selling in a Tough Economy (II)