Is Your In-Home Demo Working Hard Enough?

Jan. 19, 2010

About the author: Carl Davidson is director of Sales and Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training, recruiting and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. A free demonstration video and list of products and topics is available at 800.941.0068. Send comments on this article to him at [email protected];

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The quality of your demo has never been more important. Times are tough and people with money, new homeowners and all potential customers are more rare than they have been in a long time. That means the importance of doing a great demo has never been higher. We cannot afford to do a mediocre demo in any home. Let’s take a look at your demo and see if it has what it takes to make it in today’s market.

What Is the Purpose of the Demo?

Here is a simple question to ponder. Why do we do a demo? Is the demo designed to:

A) Be used as an excuse to get us in the door so we can sell them our stuff?
B) Show them how much we know about water?
C) Raise their interest to the boiling point so they want to buy as much as we want to sell?

I hope you chose answer C. That is the only reason we are there. If we can get them to want to buy as much as we want to sell, closing is no problem and price is no problem. If you are facing trouble with “We can’t afford it,” or “That’s too much,” or “We’ll get it in a month,” the problem may lie in your demo.

If you chose answer B, remember the phrase, “You can feed your ego or you can feed your family, but you can’t do both.” The demo is not the place to impress. It’s not about us; it’s all about them.

How Many Senses Are You Using?

Many salespeople just use facts to sell. The problem is that people buy for emotional reasons and their senses stir their emotions, not their brains. If your demo is a lecture on water, hardness and how your equipment works, you could be doing a lot better. Take a look at your last demo and ask yourself if you did things that used their sight (like the black light), their smell (like the initial smelling of their water and conditioned water), their taste (like the powerful taste test we recommend) and their touch (like washing their hands with conditioned water).

People do not fall in love with their heads; they fall in love because of these senses, so your demo should incorporate all the senses if you want to make them fall in love with your equipment.

Are You Taking Shortcuts?

Have you taken shortcuts with your demo? Many of us do. Check to see if you have the parts that make them want to buy, because doing a demo without these is asking for failure or price objections. Do you:

  • Bring reverse osmosis water for them to taste and see?
  • Wash their hands?
  • Do a well-explained TDS test?
  • Do a taste test?
  • Get them to calculate savings they believe?

How Are The Numbers?

Helping customers calculate how much they will be saving with your equipment has never been more important because saving money hasn’t been such a consumer mantra since the Great Depression.

You will do much better if you have the couple calculate the numbers. If you tell them a number, they may not believe it; but if they come up with the number, they will believe it. The days of saying, “the government estimates you spend” or “an average family spends” are over. They have to calculate the number and believe they will save money to make closing the sale easy and profitable. The savings you show should be enough or almost enough to pay for the equipment. If you do not show savings in that area, you may need to work on this aspect of the demo.

Working Retail Hours

The final question I want to ask: what hours do you work? If you work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, you are asking to fail. Your customers are not interested enough before the demo to take a day off to see it. To get all decision-makers present, you need to be available evenings and Saturdays. No matter how good your demo is, you could increase your sales dramatically by working evenings and Saturdays and taking other time off.

I hope this demo checkup has been helpful. The demo is our best tool in getting sales. Keep yours sharp and ready to work when the customer is ready to see it.

About the Author

Carl Davidson

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