• How to give product demonstrations that sell

How can you enhance your brand’s product demonstrations – to massively increase engagement and really drive your sales at trade shows and consumer events?

For a lot of industries, the next few months are ‘show time’, where brands venture out of their offices to present their products and generate interest for the coming year. In order to make your activities count this year – consider if and how you might incorporate some of the following insider tips to maximise every interaction:


What can your products do, to really make your customers go wow!? With hundreds of other brands on show at each event – it is essential that you find a unique way to stand out. If your ideas might have already been done now, there’s no shame in asking someone with a totally external perspective to bring in some new ideas, to help bring your brand to life.

Quick example: Epson took their 3D projectors on tour across busy shopping malls pre-Christmas, with agency support from Link. As a sponsor of a football team, Epson were able to provide footage of a ball being kicked around by the players – who on occasion booted or headed the ball towards the camera which brought the 3D capabilities of the projector to life. The audience reaction was histerical, with people flinching, ducking and holding up their hands to avoid being hit by the projected football! They left the experience buzzing with adrenaline – and into the product display areas where sales consultants were on hand to convert purchases, achieving record sales so strong it was deployed over multiple years.


Many industries have critical sales periods where up to 80% of their purchases are made. If you can identify these dates in your promotional calendar, you need to focus your investment to strike while the timing is right. Using a promotional agency could enable you to massively broaden your reach covering all of your key stockists, during this critical period – reaching way beyond the capabilities of your own internal resources.


Quick example: Spring time for cleaning machine experts Kärcher is their Xmas equivalent. During the key weekends around Easter and the spring bank holidays, sales at DIY warehouses rocket. To capitalise on this seasonal trend, Link were tasked with supplying nationwide teams of trained demonstrators to cover 150 B&Q Warehouses and Superstores on the important dates. Unsettlingly for some at Kärcher, the Link staff out performed and out sold Kärcher’s own internally trained sales staff on a 5 to 1 ratio, on average!


It’s easy to fall into a complacent (or uncreative) mind set by thinking that there’s just no way that you can make your product fun. We might suggest that there’s always a way to make it fun! By incorporating a game or challenge into your demonstration, you create a stronger reason to get people to interact, generate memorable recall after the event and achieve positive emotional engagement too – helping to build lasting brand loyalty.

Quick example: Anyone with kids will vouch for the fact that families don’t normally associate teeth brushing with fun! However, for electric toothbrush brand Oral B, Link created a fun dance challenge to promote their new Tri-Zone Powerbrush. The fun dancing challenge interacted with families with their children (and adults) dancing in front of large Asda supermarkets. The moves communicated the movements of the new product proposition, enabling the teams to both demonstrate and sell lots of product to engaged shoppers.


Many brands are severely limited by their poor shelf positioning, lack of awareness and limited distribution. Rather than learn to live with such a second choice position you can explore a wide array of specialist events to get your brand out there – into the hands and minds of your core target audience. While you may already know the big name events, partnering with a specialist agency should open your possibilities up to a wider range of targeted options – and at lower cost than you can attend directly.

Quick example: Car polish brand leaders Turtle Wax were able to expand their audience awareness far beyond the reach of Halfords stores, by attending a broad selection of the 20 most well attended motorsport events and petrol-head gatherings over the busy racing season. Interactive demonstrations were given, direct sales made and long term repeat sales directed to regional stockists within each event’s catchment area – successfully establishing them as the fastest selling car polish brand in the UK.


If you think your product is too technical to outsource demonstrations, you might be surprised. Investing in some well-planned face to face training with your team of brand ambassadors is probably one of the best marketing spends you will ever make. Partnering with a specialist agency should then add to your own expert product knowledge, with their expert demonstration and consultative demonstration and sales skills – helping to convert each demo into a sale for you.

Quick example: For powertool brand Worx, their challenge was to sell drills and other powertools to professional tradespeople: joiners, builders, etc – at trade counters like Screwfix. They knew that technical usage questions about torque ratios and specific capabilities would need to be answered confidently, to convert purchase. As such, Link provided a national network of skilled demonstrators who undertook a mix of face to face advanced product training with the Worx technical team, coupled with direct sales training from Link. The sales results were remarkable – and helped to establish the brand amongst both trade and consumer audiences.


Data capture for longer term lead nurturing should be an essential component of any face to face demonstration. The purchasing journey varies depending on your product, so it’s helpful to acknowledge that not everyone is ready to buy today, even if they have received an impressive demonstration. What can your demonstration include to hook them in for the long term?

Quick example: For tinned food giants Princes, their presentation and taste sampling of their new range of tinned fish at trade event days also included a fun ‘catch of the day’ fishing game. Despite its low cost and simplicity, it provide to be a fantastic asset at converting hundreds of passing VIPs who tasted a sample to then enter their contact data – in order to have a go at the game and win a prize on the fun fishing challenge.


Don’t think you can’t afford it, but think that you can’t afford not to do it! To make a sale, you need to work out a convincing demo deal, if you want to help influence the sale being made there and then. What can you offer that is both a strong offer – and simple to understand?

Quick example: To launch Dettol’s No Touch soap dispenser, Link created an economical stand at the Ideal Home Show, supported by a team of enthusiastic demonstrators. A hands on demonstration of the dispenser coupled with a strong and simple show deal (£5.00 per unit on an RRP of £10.00) was all it took to create a massive, and immediate return on investment for Dettol (selling over £46,000 of stock on just a £16k total show budget). Not only did this activity provide the immediate profit boost for Dettol, but then tied in the purchasers with need to buy refills on a repeat, long term basis – from the array of supermarket stockists.


We know that you are already an expert on your own product and brand; but we hope (and expect) that you would benefit from the guidance and experience that a specialist experiential marketing agency such as Link Communication can bring too.

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