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July 22, 2011

The holy grail of selling - Product demonstration

Product demonstration:  The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I worked as a sales executive in Indian Communication Network Limited in the late eighties. Network as it was popularly make and marketed high quality typewriters. It was grilled into me that product demonstration is a very important aspect of selling a product.

As a salesman electronic typewriters and it was imperative that I demonstrate the electronic typewriter dramatically and effectively. Most of the products that the customers are thinking of buying are alien. There is lot of skepticism and fear. Skepticism that the product would not work and fear of ridicule that if a wrong purchase is made that they will become laughing stock. If a sales person is struggling with the product it leaves a very bad impression. The prospective customer would think “my god the trained sales himself is finding it so difficult to use the product, what would be my fate if I were to buy it?” The product demonstration must be so smooth that the customer should think that using the product is easy and convenient.

A effective product demonstration will ally the fear and will make the customers more receptive to the product and make them seriously consider procuring the product.

The typists (our final customers) would watch with bated breath as the paper automatically rolled into the machine. They would wonder at the auto justifications that the machine would accomplish. They would squeal in delight when I showed them the auto correct facility. Auto correct is a feature where the typing mistake can be corrected by making the machine move backward and the mis spelt words can be corrected by using the correction fluid.
The product demonstration was so effective that we could effectively sell the concept of daisy wheels (a circular wheel that facilitated a change of font). The daisy wheel appeared to be very fragile and all the sales executives were told to throw the daisy wheel to the wall or drop it from to the floor. Needless to say whether it is thrown at the wall or dropped to the floor the daisy wheel would never got damaged.

Two of the best product demonstration that I can think are the making of the Indian rumali roti  (rumal in urdu  means a handkerchief) and that of the making of the pizza base. The Indian rumali roti is very big flat bread. The dough is rolled on a platform and then the chef would throw the dough into the air. The dough would spin circularly in the air and it would be get bigger and bigger all the time. It is magical. I can never get tired of watching!.

Same is the case with the Pizza base which is thrown in the air. Indian street foods sellers  have mastered the art of product demonstration of products like the pani poori, and the samosa. The product demonstration is so good that even causal passersbys stop to have a tuck in. More speed to effective product demonstration.

1 comment:

  1. A product demonstration does more than just prove that the product exists and that it works as advertised.

    Product Demo Maryland