Product demonstrations and samples are a fantastic way to grab your customer’s attention and encourage hands-on interaction with the products being discussed. In fact, research has revealed that over a third of customers have bought a product after sampling it first during a product demonstration.*
An in-store demonstration is a method of promotion that involves an individual showcasing a product and its features in front of a live audience. This is often a lot more effective than merely offering standardised product literature, as even well written text cannot fully illustrate the benefits of a product.
Product demos are always popular with trade professionals, as they provide a realistic scenario in a pressure-free environment to show off the selling points of the products.
Top tips to make in-store demonstrations a pivotal part of your merchandising strategy are:
Be prepared. And know your product inside out. Make sure you have all equipment needed, and any additional literature to hand. It is also a good idea to be aware of frequently asked questions and rehearse answers so that you aren’t caught off-guard or flustered during the demonstration.
Know your audience. A good product demo stems from understanding the customer and tailoring the content to what they want to know. Try to find out what applications they will be using the product for and any requirements they have specifically.
Involve the customer. Try asking your audience questions to get them engaged. This will pique their interest and give them the opportunity to find out how the product can help them specifically. Additionally, don’t just show the product; let your customers try it out for themselves. Live demonstrations are meant to be interactive, so when someone asks a question about a particular feature, let them try it for themselves and walk them through the process.
Make it relatable. Weave in real-life customer anecdotes and references to make the narrative relatable. Drawing on personal experiences holds audience attention and makes it seem a more natural discussion.
Make a stand. If you sit during product demonstrations, it gives the impression of disinterest and laziness. Standing puts you in control and will be easier to maintain a customer’s interest. Moreover, if you are handing out marketing collateral relating to the product, do this at the end as it is difficult to hold the audience’s attention if they are reading product literature.
Practice makes perfect. Rehearse the demonstration until you feel completely comfortable with the product and content.
Product demonstrations are not just a marketing strategy or initiative to raise awareness of a product, but they are also pivotal in showing individual customers how the product can benefit them and their business. Ultimately, they are key to improving sales figures, enhancing brand awareness and increasing customer satisfaction.
Paul Lerigo is marketing director at Richard Burbidge.