If you’re a producer or retailer of goods, then much of your work will ultimately be spent trying to get information into the minds of people who might become your customers. This information should consist of things like: what your product is; why your customers might like to buy your product; and how they might go about doing so. Let’s examine some of the benefits of conducting a product demonstration, while considering how we might get the best out of the exercise. Ideally, you might hire a dedicated field marketing agency to perform the task on your company’s behalf.
The primary purpose of any product demonstration should be to generate interest in the product. In this respect, a demonstration is functionally identical to an advertisement. It should, therefore, be as eye-catching as possible to the people whose custom you seek to attract. This might mean making it loud and eye-catching – though certain demographics will respond differently to different stimuli.
Once you’ve boosted the level of interest in your product, you should note a proportional increase in the number of customers who ultimately decide to make a purchase. Of course, the other functions of your demonstration will also help to ensure that the proportion of interested people to actual conversions is as healthy as possible.
As well as convincing the audience of a product’s merits, it’s also worth giving them an idea of what it might be like to own the product in question. That’s why car salespeople are so keen to get would-be customers into the driver’s seat of the car. Free trials of a service can be effective for exactly this reason – if a customer already knows the positive impact a product or service might have on their life, they’ll be more inclined to part with money to make it a permanent part of their lives.
A product demonstration shouldn’t just consist of a lecture espousing the product’s merits; it should also actually demonstrate the product in action, and thereby prove that it’s capable of all the things you say it is. Ideally, a product demonstration might consist of nothing other than demonstration, without any commentary whatsoever – but most products will benefit from a little description here and there, to fill in gaps which can’t be closed right then and there. For example, you might make claims about how long a battery might last, or the length of a guarantee.
This is a necessary component of a product demonstration, particularly in the modern era where customers have learned to be wary of extraordinary claims. Ideally, you might even get an audience member (or potential customer) to come up and experience the product for them. This is why food samples are especially effective – no amount of information you could convey verbally will ever compete with an actual taste of what’s on offer.
Potential customers aren’t just blank slates – they come packed with preconceived notions and misinformation which they might have picked up elsewhere and this will have to be dispelled if the demonstration is to be effective. If possible, try to identify what these notions might be with a question and answer session at the end of each demonstration. If any questions come up again and again, then try and incorporate them into future demonstrations.
How Can I Get The Best From A Demonstration?
In order to ensure that your demonstration performs all of these functions well, you’ll want to polish it to the point that it gives the best possible impression of your company and your product. This means cutting out superfluous information, scripting heavily and rehearsing extensively. You’ll want to test the demonstration on a dummy crowd before testing it on the public for the first time. Accomplished salespeople and demonstrators only become so after experience and practice dealing with the public – who might take the demonstration in a direction you didn’t anticipate with questions (or even heckles).
Generally speaking, a simple demonstration is preferable to a complex one – as the latter might give the impression that the product is more hassle than it’s worth. Try to cut out repetition, and tighten the demonstration to the point that unnecessary talking is minimised – the less information you need to convey verbally, the more at-ease you’ll be.
While it’s worth training your staff to perform a demonstration in-house, for most small and medium-sized business the benefits of outsourcing are significant. Product demonstration, after all, is a highly-specialised skill for which you’ll want highly-trained personnel with a large experience to draw upon. A specialist product demonstration agency will be able to provide exactly such personnel.