Imagine you’re shopping for a motorcycle and visit two dealerships. At the first dealership, the salesperson tells you all about the impressive engineering that went into the motorcycle he’s trying to sell you. When you visit the second dealership, the salesperson reaches over to his desk and places an aluminum work of art into your hand. He points out how short the piston’s skirt is—kind of like a pancake fastened to a connecting rod—and how the closest copy in the auto industry would be on a Formula One car; yet here it is in your hand, and it’s part of the motorcycle that you’ve just decided to buy.
We’ve always heard that “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” and the facts say that salespeople who involve their customers, rather than just “telling” them something, will sell more motorcycles. Yet we also know that today half the time (46% to be specific) U.S. motorcycle salespeople use no visual aids at all in their sales efforts.
It doesn’t have to be a piston in a customer’s hand either. Do your salespeople use photocopies of magazine articles? Play videos of the customer’s desired motorcycle in action? Encourage the customer to sit on the bike and adjust the mirrors? Point-out some interesting and unusual product design details?
The most successful motorcycle dealerships find ways to stand out from the crowd and build a relationship with their customers. Using visual aids is a great way for salespeople to make their product—and the shopper’s visit to their dealership—memorable, which is a first step to gaining them as a customer.