9 Tips for Better In-Store Product Demonstrations This Festive Season

During the holidays, practically every shop has in-store product demonstrators showing and selling fitness equipment, household appliances, electronics, toys and other consumer items. Manufacturers understand that customers need to see and test out a product before they spend money on it, particularly when they’re buying a gift for a loved one. Effective product demonstrations are used to increase sales, build brand awareness and improve the customer experience.

Overall, product specialists with store demo jobs should always be ready to display and use the product. The area should be clean, uncluttered and well-stocked. The demonstrator’s appearance should be professional and they should have thorough knowledge of both the item and the company. Lastly, the product should be fully operational and the presentation should be rehearsed.

While there are a host of general guidelines to follow for in-store demos, read on for nine detailed tips for conducting effective product demonstrations this festive season!

1. Demonstrators should never sit down

Demonstrators should never sit down, especially during the demo, even at the end of a long day. Sitting down on the job tells the customer that you’re not interested in the product. Why would a customer want to purchase an item that even the demonstrator is bored with? Presenters look much more confident and in control if they stand, which makes it easier to hold the customer’s attention.

2. Timing is everything

Wait until the end of the demo to hand out brochures. Otherwise, the customer will be reading the brochure during the presentation instead of paying attention to what you’re saying and doing.

3. Be prepared but let the customer lead the demonstration

Odds are that you’ll have a script to follow, but think of it more as a loose outline. Let the customer lead the demonstration. Have a conversation with the customer instead of just talking at them. Ask questions that will lead to a conversation, such as, “How would you use this product on a daily basis?” Listen to what they say and then respond accordingly instead of repeating verbatim what the script says.

4. Get the customer involved

Ask the customer to get involved. Showing the customer how something works isn’t nearly as effective as letting them experience it for themselves. Have the customer hold the item, press its buttons and go through the full experience of the product. Walk them through the process, but don’t do it for them. You don’t want to just tell the customer that a product is great, you want to actually show them how great it is.

5. Showcase the simplicity of the product

Hold an in-store demo, not a training session. The idea is to make the product look as easy and uncomplicated as possible. Show them the basic, most useful functions. They can discover the bells and whistles later on.

6. Vary your demonstrations

Vary your demonstrations. Not every single one has to be the same. Don’t be afraid to use personal examples and to drop in short narratives that will make the presentation more interesting. This is a great way to connect with people who are on the fence about making a purchase. They’ll be willing to watch the presentation again if it’s different from the first one.

7. Know how to handle objections and questions

Make sure that you know how to handle objections and questions from the customer. Have you noticed that you get the same questions over and over? Come up with standard responses to use so that you always feel prepared.

8. Find out customer wants

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. For example, if the customer wants the product in a different color, but it doesn’t come in that color, find out why they want that particular customization. Maybe the color of the item will clash with the style of their home. Getting to the root of a customer’s question can help the company to develop more personalized products.

9. Be honest

When you truly don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, don’t pretend that you do. Be honest with them. Let them know that you don’t know the answer, but that you will find out and get back to them. Then actually followup with them with the right answer! Or, direct them to where an answer can be found, like on the FAQ page of the website or in the brochure.

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