Heating up Your Demonstrations

Aug. 31, 2004
A Good Demo Will Make a Difference in Your Sales

About the author: Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. He has authored several books including Financial Secrets of the Water Improvement Industry and numerous articles. Send comments to [email protected]. For a free demonstration video, newsletter and list of products, contact Carl at 800-941-0068; www.carldavidson.com; [email protected].

I am always amazed at the shortcuts many of us take in our demon-stration. “I used to do that but I stopped.” “We sell mostly replacements, so we don’t need to demo.” “We sell only to people with troubled water. So, believe me, they know they have a problem.” “My boss doesn’t demo and he sells lots of systems, so I don’t either.” “People don’t want the dog and pony show.” These are just few reasons I hear dealers give for failure to do a great demo. Lets take a look at the folly of each of them.

Why Bother?

Whether you know it or not, your customers buy the show, not the equipment. If you have trouble with price it is because you are selling $3,000 worth of equipment with a $300 show. Unless you have a demo that is so good the customer wants the system and wants it now, it is just not good enough.

The purpose of the demo is to get the customer to the boiling point of desire and to keep them there as you close. You will be most successful if you close when the customer has reached that point. Without a great demo, you are closing before you raise their desire to a level that will make them want your equipment no matter what the price.

Demo Temperature

Just how good is your demo? If you get them mildly interested, your demo is poor. If you get them to like it and to decide they may get it someday, you are barely warming them up. If you get them to decide they definitely want it if the price is right, you are getting there. But only if you make them want it and not care what it costs will you be truly successful.

You can do this by using all the classic parts of a demo like the hand washing, the glass washing, the soap savings proof and more. Involve all their senses and every member of the family. Appeal to their emotions, not their logic using things like the pet test, the black light, the butter on the microwave door and much more. Your demo should make them glad you came; amazed at what you showed; and determined to improve their water.

I Used To

Whenever you catch yourself saying you used to do a part of the demo and you stopped, you are short changing the customer. Cutting the demo never leads to success. Many salespeople cut demos shorter and shorter until they just do not go out and demo any longer.

We Sell Replacements

Some salespeople say they do not do a demo because they sell replacements. The logic is that the customer saw the demo 15 years ago and does not need to see it again. This is an obvious error for two reasons. First, the customer would not remember a demo from 15 years ago. Second, the conditioner they bought 15 years ago probably cost far less than the one you are selling today. When you tell them the price without raising their desire, the sticker shock will make them want to shop around before they commit.

We Sell Troubled Water

No matter how troubled their water is, they were drinking it when you got there and they can keep drinking it after you leave. Just because they have a great need, does not guarantee their desire is high enough to spend the money. Ask yourself if the reason you mostly sell to people with troubled water is that your demo is not good enough to sell to the larger population with normal water.

My Boss Doesn’t Do a Demo and He Sells

Owners can sell without a demo. The reason is that they usually do not do prospecting and only sell to people who have called in because they want equipment. Even then, most owners do not get them all. If you want to sell to people with little or no interest when you arrive, the demo is the tool that will get the job done.

People Don’t Want the Dog & Pony Show

Some salespeople tell me people today do not want to see demos. But, maybe they just do not want to see yours! Remember that you are performing for audiences that were raised on fast moving TV shows and million–dollar multimedia productions. Seeing a boring demo and sitting at the table as you flip the pages of your book is not going to keep the interest of today’s customer. They will want a full demo if you have made it interesting with audience involvement and special effects.

Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? And it is. That is why the good sales-people work hard at it every day. I can usually tell a great salesperson just by looking at their kit. They value the demo and keep their kit sparkling clean; all chemicals refilled and ready.

A great demo can add $50,000 to your earnings this year. Ask yourself how much time have you spent this month working on perfecting, practicing and rehearsing it? Many mediocre salespeople learned the demo 20 years ago and have not changed it since. I remind you again that you do not sell equipment, you sell the show. There is no business like show business but it can be a disappointing profession for those who are ill prepared.

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About the Author

Carl Davidson

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