|Posted by [email protected] on May 21, 2012 at 6:10 AM|
Following on from my last blog post (Top tips for a great trade show demo), it struck me that the real reason many people feel uncomfortable doing demonstrations at trade shows is because they’re not the right person to be doing the demo in the first place.
Too many companies make the mistake of assuming that the person with the most KNOWELDGE about a product should be the one who talks about it on the stand. The developer or engineer who created your widget or app might be the person with all the facts, but are they really the best person to explain the business benefits of your product or service?
Ask yourself, how many car dealerships trust their mechanic to sell their latest models? Of course, the answer is almost none – they get a sales professional to do it for them. The sales person might not have a full working knowledge of how the cogs and pistons fit together, but they can learn the most important figures (average miles to the gallon, efficiency levels, safetyratings etc) and they’ll probably do a much better job of explaining the practical benefits of these features to a customer (you’ll save fuel costs,your road tax will be reduced because your car has low-carbon emissions, your family will be better protected in the event of a crash etc).
Of course, if you’re a small-to-medium sized business you may not have enough sales professionals in your organisation to provide full cover on a trade show stand. But that’s where professional demonstrators/presenters (like me!) can be your saving grace. We are used to quickly grasping the key points about a product and finding simple, clear ways to explain the practical benefits. You may be concerned that a stranger doesn’t fully understand your business or your industry, but you’ll be surprised how quickly a professional presenter can pick up the salient facts. I’ve done demos for companies within (literally) minutes of meeting them for the first time and none of the audience was any the wiser.
The secret to this, naturally, is preparation and research.The more information you can give your demonstrator/presenter in advance about your product or service and your specific marketing goals for this particular show, the more facts they’ll have at their fingertips and the better the demos they’ll give. If they know their stuff, they’ll have done a whole pile of background research on you, your products and the hot topics in your industry. They'll also come armed with a list of questions for you before they start the demos: do you want me to talk about price? Are there any topics you specifically want me to steer clear of? Are there particular examples of your existing customers I should “casually” mention to make you sound good?
You might be thinking that hiring a professional demonstrator is just another cost that you can’t afford when you’ve got staff already on your payroll who could do a relatively decent job. And that’s true. But if you’re at a trade show you’ve already invested in the space and probably spent money on a good-looking display. You want to ensure you make the most of that investment by laying on top quality demonstrations. And don’t forget that if your developers, engineers and tech team are on the stand doing demos, they’re not back at the office developing your product or delivering service to your existing clients. Is that actually such a cost-effective use of their time?
If you’d like to find out more about how RHJ Media can provide high-quality demos of your products at your next trade show or consumer show, please get in touch. We can also provide training to your team to help them improve their demo skills.