Time to Present Your "Evidence Manual"
Part II - Making your "Evidence Manual" come alive!
Imagine this ... you get back from your demonstration drive. Your customer is excited about getting their new vehicle. Your manager sends you back with figures. As one might expect, the price or payment is too high. The customer makes you an offer and you're headed back to the sales desk. What happens while you’re gone?
Before you walk away, simply slide your Evidence Manual over to them and say, “Take a peak through this. I think you will find some things interesting.”
The Evidence Manual helps break the uncomfortable silence. In order for it to be effective, you have to give it to your customer and ask them to look through it.
With this in mind, we recommend that your Evidence Manual strategy is designed around a story. Let's provide some suggestions on how to make your Evidence Manual come alive.
Part One – All about YOU.
One of the goals of any sales process is to build trust. By including information about yourself in the Evidence Manual, customers will be able to see tangible reasons to trust in you.
Here are some suggestions you might include in this section:
• Letter to your customers about why you chose car sales
• Professional resume or CV
• Photocopy of your diploma and/or sales license
• Photos of your family, pets and outside hobbies
• Cards, letters, photos or thank you notes from happy customers
Some salespeople find that telling a value story using the Evidence Manual - and returning to it in more detail when concerns arise – provides them with the best of both options. It also provides a complete use of information while building rapport with your customer.
Jonathan Overton, (@urduecksalesguy) of Dueck Auto Group in British Columbia, relates a story:
"I head a heartfelt moment once a customer came back to buy another vehicle from me. I took out the Evidence Manual like routine, not thinking and after a moment he broke down in tears! At first, I was perplexed, but then I realized why!
His wife had written comments in my Evidence Manual years before, during their last purchase. She had recently passed from cancer. That's why he was there trading both of their vehicles for one.
I can tell you that many customers take the opportunity to look through my Evidence Manual - and want to know as much about me, the process, our company, and our customers."
Incidentally, Jonathan also heavily uses social media as evidence to tell his story. He has amassed over 95,000 Twitter followers (@urduecksalesguy) and has a significant following on:
Instagram (here you can see actual pages from his Evidence Manual): https://www.instagram.com/yourduecksalesguy/
Part Two – About your dealership.
Research indicates that customers will usually buy from someone they like and trust. That means building rapport should be a high priority on your list of things to include.
The dealership information could include:
• Letters from satisfied customers to the Dealer Principal or General Manager
• Community service memberships and awards
• News articles about community projects sponsored by the dealership and special events promotions
• History of the owner and the dealership
Part Three – About the Manufacturer/OEM
Collecting information about the company that supplies your products should be easy. There are numerous articles in magazines and newspapers every week. Here are some of the things you should look to include:
• JD Power SSI and CSI scores if you are above industry average
• Awards from automotive magazines or online companies
• OEM awards for quality, environmental issues or social awareness.
• Product innovations, research or unique safety designs
• Special warranty or other value-added items
Part Four – About the product
This is where you want to include information that is specific to your product lineup. These items include:
• Product specifications
• Competitive comparisons
• Product specific awards and reviews
Time to present your Evidence Manual
It’s not what you say ...
Once you have the information compiled, you’ll need to know how to present the information. Remember that it’s not what you say, but how you say it, that matters most to a customer. So here are a few guidelines for presenting your information:
Tip #1 – Highlight key points
While you may have included in depth articles and reviews, customers rarely will take the time to read all the information. And when you’re telling a story, you only want to point out the most important items. So before you insert the information into the plastic sleeves, take a yellow highlighter and go over the key items to make them stand out.
Tip #2 – Practice presenting your Evidence Manual
Storytelling is an art in itself. Trying to tell a story and flip pages at the same time takes practice. Don’t neglect it!
After you’ve practiced your presentation a few times, make changes to both the script and the layout to improve the flow. Next, practice on a team member and get their feedback. Eventually, you’ll have a presentation piece you can be proud of. But more importantly, you’ll have a tool that will help maximize your sales and your income.
Presentation Tip #3 – Keep it current
There’s nothing worse than outdated material to bore a customer; unless, of course, it presents a consistent pattern of success. So make sure you update your Evidence Manual on a regular basis.
Well, that’s it.
Now you know what it takes to build, organize and present a great value story using an Evidence Manual.