Perfecting the Vehicle Presentation

businesswoman presenting a car

The saying “Presentation is Everything” must have started in the restaurant industry. Good food is important, but how it’s presented distinguishes a great dining experience from being just another meal.

The presenters at the major auto shows are well rehearsed and trained so they can deliver top-notch product presentations to the crowds. Manufacturers want and need these presentations to be outstanding. If you take the same approach at your dealership, you will see a consistent increase in demonstration drives, sales, and overall gross profit.

After or during your contact questions and when you have chosen a vehicle to present, where do you start your vehicle presentation?

A vehicle presentation should always start at the front of the vehicle, because your end result has to be the customer sitting in the driver’s seat. I’ve heard others say suggest starting at the point of interest to the customer. This is OK, but remember you are giving the customer control of your presentation. The bottom line is you have to get the customer into the driver’s seat.

Determining what type of customer you have will affect the time you spend with them. Visual person = less time; Auditory person = more time; Kinesthetic person = both, depending on your initial rapport established.

The average presentation should be 10 minutes. Your product knowledge is critical during your walk around. Professionals know every detail of their product and the competition’s.

No one is perfect, but your credibility is at risk if the customer asks a question you can’t answer. Be sure to acknowledge when the customer raises a point you are not familiar with. Say something like, “This is an excellent question and would it be OK if I find out the correct answer for you a bit later?”

It is important not to avoid the question; write it down and answer it later.

Do not interrupt the flow of your presentation to look for the answer unless it is of critical concern that influences the selection.

Six Position Vehicle Walk Around

1. Explain the front of vehicle, styling and aerodynamics of the vehicle.

2. Explain everything about the engine.

3. Explain the passenger side of the vehicle and open doors.

4. Explain the trunk and rear of the vehicle.

5. Open driver’s side door and go over the interior features.

6. Seat the customer in driver’s seat and explain gauges etc.

what to point out when selling a car

When you can, you should always show a vehicle feature and explain any benefits that are related to it.

At the end of the walk around, with the customer sitting in the driver’s seat say to them: “Let me show you the vehicle properly. I’ll be right back.”

Do not hesitate; just go and get a dealer plate and come back to the vehicle and put it on the car. When you are back to the vehicle ask/tell the customer: “Mr. Customer, for safety reasons could you please sit in the passenger seat while I drive the vehicle out of the dealership?

Never ask the customer if they would like to go on a test drive, because if you do; statistics show you have a 50/50 chance of actual going on the test drive. If you just assume the demo drive your chances climb to a 70/30 that you will be going on the demonstration drive. More demonstration drives, always results in more sales.

It’s all about presentation. Your goal of a vehicle presentation is to get the customer to the next step, the demo drive. The proper amount of professional quality time spent during your vehicle presentation, combined with your contact question and a demo drive, will separate the great sales people from the average.

Darin George is the founder of the Automotive Sales College. For information on recruiting new sales staff and in dealership sales training, contact Darin by email at ASC company websites: and

Darin George


  1. Avatar
    Danny Ibarra October 17, 2015

    Do you have any advice or articles in presenting pre-own vehicles? I just starting working for a pre-own high end luxury/exotics/classics/custom jeeps dealer & I been having difficult time with walk-arounds. I understand I must have product knowledge on what I’m selling. It’s just so much information to know at the moment. I need help on how to overcome objections & when you dealing with customers that have more knowledge then you on the vehicle your selling them. Thanks.

    • Avatar
      Mike December 29, 2015

      I’m in exactly the same boat as Danny! Thanks for asking this question. I hope to get some help with this as this is probably my last large obstacle to overcome. I’ve been selling pre-owned vehicles for about 4 months now. I’m doing ok for the type of dealership I work for, but I don’t want to be ok. I want to be great! Any tips or websites we could go look at would be great!


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