Demos for dollars

Want to sell more? Do more demos. I call it "Show and Sell" demos.

Want to sell more? Do more demos. The more products you demonstrate, the more products you'll sell. I call it "Show and Sell" demos. A few years ago, my wife, Beth, and I saw a very effective demo at a local hardware store. The demonstrator filled a large glass with water. Then he added a scoop...

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The biggest mistake I've seen salespeople make doing a demo is just jumping into a cookie-cutter presentation. That's more like reciting a script than selling. You might as well play a video. What makes a one-on-one demo better is that you can customize your demo to the prospect, saving time and increasing your effectiveness.

If you're presenting one-on-one or to a small group of techs start by asking a few questions to determine how you'll customize your demo. Following are a few questions off the top of my head. If you think of others, email me at

1. Have you ever used this type of equipment before?
Is this their first unit or are they replacing an existing one? If it's a replacement or they've used someone else's unit ask what brand and/or model. If they know the equipment, you can often shorten your demo time. If they already have a smoke machine for instance, don't waste time showing them how it makes smoke. Instead, point out the benefits of this model over their previous one. However, if this is a first-time user, focus on basics and look for buying signs before you get too deep into a long demo.

2. What things do you want to know about this machine?
Once you know what they're interested in, you can make sure you cover it and not waste time showing features that don't matter. Of course, there are some areas you want to cover in every demo, like exclusive features the competition doesn't have. But other than that, sell to their need. Demo what matters to the customer.

3. Do you think you'll be buying one of these in a month or so?

If they don't expect to buy it soon, give your Reader's Digest-condensed version of a demo. Hit a few key points and hand them a piece of literature. Chances are if they aren't buying for a few months, you'll need to do another demo when they're ready to buy. Save your time.

Once you've given a demo, ask for the sale. And follow-up if they don't buy. As I've said before, big ticket items are a big decision for your average tech. Keep asking for the sale until you get it, or they buy from someone else.

Use these techniques and I think you'll see how demos can be a powerful selling tactic.

After all, seeing is believing.

Phil Sasso is the president of Sasso Marketing, an aftermarket advertising and public relations agency. He is also a speaker, trainer and consultant. Get his free marketing tips at

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