Chicago Automobile Trade Association

NADA sales tip: recommending, presenting product to customers

November 16, 2010

The more you know about your product line, the better prepared you’ll be to make a recommendation. You need to know all of the features and benefits of each vehicle in order to determine which one best fits your customer’s needs.


Making a recommendation


When you make your recommendation, you should base it on priorities the customer has already identified for you. Using a low-key approach, explain to the customer how the recommended vehicle will satisfy the needs you have discussed.


Remember that your recommendation is not the final word. The customer may recognize other needs that this vehicle cannot meet. While the customer may not say anything outright, you may sense discomfort. Don’t panic. Simply ask if there is something you may have overlooked, and if so, what it is about the car that presents a problem. Then reassess the customer’s requirements and suggest an appropriate alternative. Ask the customer for permission to show the vehicle.


Product Presentation


Your product presentation is your opportunity to tell the customer about the features and benefits of the vehicle you’ve recommended. To give a good presentation, you must know the product thoroughly and be able to translate technical information into layman’s terms. Moreover, you must know the competition and be able to describe differences between your product and theirs.


To learn about your own product, study your manufacturer’s product materials. To learn about the competition, study automotive product publications. Pay close attention to performance ratings and make a point of knowing the areas where your vehicle excels. Consider visiting the competition yourself to learn firsthand what those vehicles’ strong points are.


Here are a few suggestions for your presentation:


1. Sell value and benefits. Show how well this vehicle meets your customer’s express needs. Explain fully any "hidden" design features that contribute to comfort, dependability or safety. Describe warranty coverage and any further benefits your dealership may provide.


2. Keep the customer involved. Encourage your customer to ask questions, comment, and react. Make him or her part of the process.


3. Be flexible. Keep adjusting your presentation to your customer. If a particular part of the presentation excites him or her, stay with it and elaborate. If the customer seems bored, move on or try to involve him or her more fully.


This article is excerpted from "A Dealer Guide to a Winning Sales System." The publication can be ordered online at or by calling the NADA at 800-252-NADA, 



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